The seasons are on fast forward here right now, and Autumn is very quickly being chased out by a sudden snap of Winter. It's been wet and blustery and down right cold, and everything has felt so fast all of a sudden...the clouds race overhead, the sun appears then quickly disappears, rain starts then abruptly stops, rainbows appear then disappear a few minutes later. It's the weather on high speed!
During this past week we've had that curious mix of rain and snow known as "winter showers". Rain that all of a sudden morphs into wet snow, then just as quickly turns back to plain old icy cold rain again. It's been really cold too, and although I'm not a massive fan of Autumn, I really think it could have stuck around a bit longer before letting winter slam in. We've not had any snow on the ground down here in the town this week but the surrounding hills are wearing a permanent dusting on their tops.
Yesterday morning we decided to take a walk in the woods at Bolton Abbey to catch the last of the leaves before the storms come and swirl them all away. We took the road which goes up over the moors and were stunned by the amount of snow up here and were in for a bit of a shock - we hadn't really considered the fact that the high ground would be snow-covered (doh!)
It made me laugh actually - I've been so fixated on my photos of the heather this week that in my mind the moorland is still in late summer mode. Discovering Winter sitting up here was a real eye opener! Still beautiful though, in a bleak, shivery sort of a way.
By the time we reached the woods it had started to rain, and although we all had boots and waterproofs on, it was still quite harsh walking weather.
Despite the rain, the trees were looking glorious and still very leafy (pheeww) which means that it must still be Autumn despite the snow we've had.
It's not always easy to encourage the Little People to see the good in Weekend Walking, and in many ways I do get that. The house was warm, cosy and snug when we left it, and the woodland was very cold and wet. Little Lady was quietly resigned, but Little B was seriously cross. And then he was very upset. He said his feet were so cold that they were hurting, not just hurting a little bit but hurting loads. He started to cry, real big sobbing tears and snot. I was torn between telling him to snap out of it and stop being so selfish, and feeling really sorry for him (I'm sure many of you will be familiar with that Maternal dilemma!) In the end, I crouched down and pulled off each of his wellie boots in turn and loosened his socks a little, rubbing his feet and telling him they would be ok if he just kept on walking. I told him gently that if it would help, I could always sit on his feet and have a go at puffing some hot air out of my bottom to warm him up....well you should have seen his little face, I don't think he could quite believe what I had said. But it hit the funny spot, and he burst out laughing which seemed to trigger a much happier outlook for the rest of the walk. Feel free to borrow that line at any time you are out walking with reluctant offspring complaining of cold feet/hands, it works a treat.
I have to tell you it really was flippin' freezing actually as the icy rain fell quite heavily and plopped down on us through the trees. Even I began to shiver and long to be indoors in the warm. But the woodland was absolutely enchanting, and I tried my hardest to ignore the coldness seeping into my bones and soak up the glory of the colours.
Oh the colours were simply stunning, I couldn't get enough of them.
We walked for maybe an hour or so, perhaps more, a circular route which eventually brought us right back around to the warm, cosy Cavendish Pavillion Cafe for some much needed defrosting and hot liquid refreshment. We pulled chairs right up alongside the radiator and devoured big mugs of hot chocolate/cappuccino. It felt sooooo good to feel warmth return to frozen fingers and toes, and although I did enjoy the seeing the woodland in all it's Autumn glory, I was very glad to hop back in the car and head home to light the fire.
Talking of which, I think it's about time for me to go and light the fire now, I can feel a spot of fireside hooky coming on this afternoon.
But before I go, I want to say a massive big THANK YOU for all your kind words about my Moorland Blanket. The response to the yarn pack and the crochet-a-long has been overwhelming, and I am so grateful for your support. During this next week I'm going to put together a Q&A post as there have been many similar questions asked about this blanket, the pattern, the yarn, and the crochet-a-long which I feel could do with some answers.
ps the above glorious image is a painting called "Autumn Leaves" by Janet Bell and is one of her new pieces for November. Isn't it stunning? You can get 10% off Janet's new November prints until the end of the month, more details on her website here.