|Someone else's dog!
September! A month of birthdays, new teaching terms and a strong whiff of autumn. Are you enjoying September? I can't make my mind up. On the home front, life is trickling along nicely but I feel quite unsettled about the state of the world. With October just around the corner, I thought it is time to report back on September. Random snippets of our life, experienced over several weeks.
Celebrating Annie's and Richard's birthdays
Enjoying the crisp weather (when it is not miserable).
Thinking that soon the laundry will not dry completely outside, back to banister drying again.
Easting beef stew with dumplings and roast vegetable risotto (not at the same time)
Listening to The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki. A favourite author of mine, unfortunately not a prolific writer but when a new book comes out, I am never disappointed. Also listening to Songbirds by Christie Lefteri. I feel lucky to have found to books in sequence that I really loved.
Loving surprises. Two in September, both by Royal Mail. CJ of CJ Above the River sent me cuttings of her jewel orchid. I shall look after them with great care. The second surprise was from a former student, via Betty's in York. The biscuits were so delicious, just a few left now.
Sewing a new Blackwood cardigan by Helen's Closet. This is a simple open cardigan with extra long sleeves and two length options. I made mine short with a ribbed viscose fabric in a light grey. I only take it off for bed, it is that cosy.
Also sewing a hoodie. I haven't had a hoodie in my wardrobe for many years. My hoodie is a Chalk and Notch Page hoodie. It is simple, without pockets, two length options and two sleeve variations. I made mine a hybrid, the longer version with a ribbed but slouchy hem.
Mending jeans, always mending jeans. The GAP jeans that I usually buy wear through in a few weeks. The denim is really quite flimsy now, much worse than it used to be. I think I need to start making my own with the best quality denim I can afford. If only I could be bothered. Also mending my padded jacket, I caught it on a twig and it has now a small tear.
Making soap. I ran out of my favourite soap fragrance, Lily of the Valley*. I used one that I bought a million years ago, it smells a bit like blueberry jam. Don't ask, maybe I was hungry? Anyway, I made a purple and white marbled soap. I used cheap olive oil and coconut oil from Tesco's. No photos because the soap is still in the mould.
Hillwalking with my friend Jo, her boys and Alistair. We climbed Ben A'an. This is not a Munro, just a hill really but it is not for the faint hearted. The path up to the top is steep and unrelenting. But the views! The photos are from this hike.
Continuing to volunteer with The Conservation Volunteers charity. This makes four Saturdays in a row. Progress is slow but visible. Ecosystem restoration takes time. I liked making new friends and I feel quite at ease with this group of people.
Wondering how I managed to grow two sensible adults with only a couple of my neurotic tendencies between them. Sam wanted to buy thermal curtains for his large bay windows in the living room, imagine that. Annie meanwhile was asking about cash ISA accounts. It is scary.
Watching Alistair sort the clean laundry into piles, one for each James, Richard and I. He then rolls up his stuff and shoves it into his wardrobe. Ours gets thrown into one of those blue Ikea bags for further processing by the respective owner. All the above with a plaintive running commentary, interspersed with the odd squeal, usually when he comes across one of my giant knickers. It is a chore that I recently delegated to the youngest, they take turns. Their wardrobes are a sight to behold. No idea how they ever find anything in the morning.
Making progress with CAMHS, although the waiting time after the screening assessment is close to two years.
Getting excited about our October holiday in Turkey. I really can't wait. I hope we'll go on a boat trip and sample the local cuisine every day.
Pondering all the work travel I could and/or should do. I have the opportunity to go to Seattle in late October, will definitely travel to Malawi in January and possibly Malaysia in February. I'll probably skip Seattle as this is optional. I am torn between being excited about visiting new places and feeling guilty for flying so much. Could we please speed up the development of carbon neutral teleportation??
Feeling tired after a sneaky day off work. Time for bed. Thank you for visiting 😊
* I like the Bramble Berry brand of fragrances, their Lily of the Valley is the only one that smells like the actual flower. It is a US based company, shipping and customs are far more than the fragrance. and the same is true for the European distributor in the Netherlands. I tested at least six brands I could find in the UK, they all have a whiff of something unpleasant. Toilet cleaner maybe. If you by any chance live in the US or the EU and plan to travel to the UK, would you be happy to carry a small 30 ml bottle in your luggage and post it here?