We passed the Autumn Equinox on Sunday, and that's our Summer over for another year. Often in the past, this time of year would absolutely flatten me with an overwhelming sense of melancholy mixed in with something akin to mild panic. I honestly used to dread the end of September which is a bit sad really because it's just a collection of emotions based on nothing tangible. I would mourn the end of Summer with a deep down feeling of real loss. But this year? Well...............I feel great about Autumn slowly arriving, really and truly! I think this is mostly down to the fact that we enjoyed such an amazing summer this year, oh it's been utterly glorious and I have so many warm, sunny memories to tide me over this period of seasonal transition.
It feels like Autumn has crept in early, just as Summer did back at the start of May. I ususally think of September as a "late Summer month", but this year, it has felt very autumnal right from the start.
This is the stretch of the river between Burnsall and Linton, which is a part of the Yorkshire Dales that feels very familiar and comforting to us as we walk here often. On this Sunday morning in early September it was warm and muggy as we ambled along, me, J and Little B. I remember feeling like we needed to make the very most of the last remaining days of holiday before the new school year began, and a slow walk along the riverside felt like just the right kind of thing.
Our destination was the Old School Tearoom in Hebden which I can highly recommend if you are ever in the area visiting. It's an absolute gem of a place in a charming Dales village - we like to go mid morning for coffee and brunch, and if the weather is mild there's a lovely garden you can sit in whilst you enjoy some very good food and drink.
Being that this was an end of holiday treat, Little B took full advantage and ordered up a waffle, complete with toffee sauce, ice cream and banana. He declared it "soooooooooooooo good.....but not better than the waffle in Bruges", which I think is fair enough. I don't think any waffle will ever be as good as the one in Bruges.
The following day, Little B and I went off just the two of us for a day in the City. During the summer he had kept asking, and I had kept promising, and quite frankly with only two days of holiday left I was running out of time to make good on my promise. When he tumbled out of bed that morning, I calmly told him we would be getting the train and heading for a day out in the City and he nearly jumped through the ceiling with excitement. It made me think that maybe I need to work harder at fulfilling promises, because he was so shocked that we were actually going to do it!
It was fun being just the two of us, he is terrific company, a real chatter box and still at an age where train journeys and trips out in general hold much excitement. We spent a bit of time shopping (very last minute school uniform, and some Lego as an end of holiday treat), and then it was time for the most exciting part of the whole trip.......a visit to The Alchemist......
.....and yes you would be right in thinking that this is a rather posh cocktail bar and not especially the kind of place for an eight year old to wish for with so much enthusiasm. We were lucky to get a table outside on the terrace (it's high up, with stunning city views), and proceeded to order up some mocktails. Oh boy, the excitement!!! Little B is quite a science geek, so the fact that the cocktail menu is set out like the periodic table really floated his little boat, as did the rather chemical looking drink that arrived for him. Such fun. He absolutely loved it, so much so that he chose to write about it in his "what I did in the holidays" report at school. I hope the teacher doesn't think badly of me for making a cocktail bar the highlight of his holiday.
I spent a bit of time towards the end of the Summer enjoying some non-crochet creative time, which was hugely enjoyable. Crochet will always be my passion and my first love, but every so often it gives me a lot of pleasure to follow other people's patterns and designs and do something just for fun. I knitted a pair of socks (more on those in another post), and I worked some more on my latest cross stitch.
I am totally loving this design (by Tiny Modernist on Etsy), and find that the extreme concentration needed to prevent a stitchy balls-up really frees up my mind and relaxes me. I've had to put it away again for a while as I've been concentrating on doing Yarndale work, but I'm really looking forward to life post-Yarndale when I'll have time to sit quietly and stitch again.
The Little People have been back at school for three weeks now, and all seems to be calm and settled in their respective childhood worlds. I was thinking about that fact this afternoon, and was suddenly overwhelmed with a wave of gratitude for the fact that right now, all three of my offspring are content, happy, doing well for themselves and thriving. I am so so glad. I walk along the canal every morning with Little B, and feel so happy that this is our routine, our life. We are blessed, and I never for one moment take it for granted.
I treated myself to a new light weight summer cardy before all the winter woollies arrived. I bought it mainly because I loved the colour - it's kind of a cross between mustard and lime green and I've been wearing it with anything and everything, not caring if it matches or not. I thought the colour looked especially good alongside these leaves that I picked up from the bottom of the street. The big sycamore trees are always the first to start changing colour, reminding me that Summer is slowly slipping away.
I'm still so madly in love with my Cottonsoft blanket, and have become very possessive of it. I enjoy having it with me at night - even if it's too warm to have it on top of me, I like sleeping with it folded up at my feet. Don't ask me why, but it gives me such a lot of comfort and I love having those beautiful, soft summer ripples close by.
My hill view is looking so lovely right now (well not right this very minute as it's pitch black out there now). The countryside is lush after a lot of rain these past few weeks, and there is something about the particular mellowness of the September sun that makes the light and shadows look very beautiful as they pass across the hillside.
We've been walking locally a bit just lately, Little B and I striding out after dinner to make the most of this time of year when the daylight hours allow an evening walk. We have a circuit we like to do which takes us up steep, steep streets of (posh) houses to the very edge of our town, then a wide farm track around the foot of the above hill, through a gate and into the top of the woods. We have to time it right, because walking in the woods as it starts to get dark is a bit tricky to be honest!
But it's lovely to emerge at the outer edge of the woodland and take in the early evening view over the town. I appreciate being able to do this at the end of my often hectic days, a chance to gently unwind as the day comes to a close.
I hope that whatever transition you are making as we shift from one season to the next, that you find pleasure in your days.
Enjoy every moment!