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? 


  1. Good to see you here Christina Thanks for posting

  2. I’m enjoying September weather at the moment but I dare say it’s a little damper in your corner. Work travel sounds exciting. I would love to go to Seattle although I think it rains as much as Glasgow. Love the hill climbing photos.sounds like you have lots to look forward to. B x

  3. Loving your ing this month so much to share! Well done on curtain/ISA asking offspring what a triumph! We are at the what do you want to do next stage of teendom. How does someone who is 15 know what she wants to do?! Lovely hill views and well worth the effort I would say. Jo xx

  4. Sadly CAMHS waiting lists are dreadful everywhere, especially post covid when every mental health provision seemed to completely stop for way longer than could be thought to be sensible. Hope some support from other areas is available in the meantime.

  5. Thermal curtains and ISAs, I am so impressed. The hair thing (I don't know about hair stuff) was a surprise! Sorry about the CAMHS waiting list, that is truly shocking. The views from your walk are amazing, it looks absolutely glorious up there. I hope the cuttings do okay, let me know if not and I will do some more. I think I told you that two of them just suddenly died on me, it was a mystery. I know what you mean about wardrobes. Sometimes mine take stuff out, screw it up into a ball and stuff it back in again. Sigh. CJ xx

  6. Sympathies from over here re CAMHS youngest has been assessed and now we are awaiting being assigned a CAMHS worker, but due to long lists its a long wait, sigh. I'm shocked and surprised that GAP jeans are not wearing well especially since they are quite expensive in the first place. Your Blackwood cardigan looks super cosy and just the thing for an evening autumn chill. A half term holiday somewhere warm sounds just the ticket and it will be round the corner before you know it x

  7. You had a lovely sunny day for your walk, Christina. Glorious photos! X Doris

  8. Hello, your house sounds like it is all running very smoothly and what thoughtful young people you have raised. I have had a bit of a mixed bag with the reading of late, I am currently reading The Edible Woman, Margarets Atwoods first novel, a bit slow to be honest also dipping into After Alice just for a change. I do not enjoy the cold and I am planning lots of cosy makes, I look forward to seeing your cardi. Have a good weekend.

  9. I am late in catching up with blog post reading, Christina, but this September recap was great to read. You certainly have a busy household. Fun to read about Sam and Annie making adult decisions and Alistair sorting laundry. The upcoming family trip and your work ones sound exciting and I would not feel the least bit "guilty" for the chance to fly to and explore new places. All of our recent travels have been by car. I always buy home made soaps whenever possible as they are so much better than the commercial store products.

  10. I so enjoyed reading your list of September doings - and I'm very impressed that you make your own soap! It's something that has always seemed inordinately complicated to me and I've always bottled out and bought another bar instead :) xx

  11. I found September to be exhausting for various reasons, so I am happy for this new month. I have to say your beef stew with dumplings sounds delicious. This is my favorite time of year to cook as the weather begins to finally cool down. I love hearty soups and stews and that's just not something I want to eat when the weather is hot. Happy belated birthday to Annie and Richard! Have a great time in Turkey! I look forward to hearing all about your trip.

  12. I will second that teleportation device. I have missed coming here.. not sure when and why I stopped. I have both those books on my never ending TBR list. Glad to hear you are enjoying them.

  13. I am not sure where September went and now we are already three days into October. Life is zipping by full of lovely things. Your walk looks fabulous, the pictures are amazing. I am so glad that you got good views after all the walking uphill. I am impressed, as always, at the sewing you manage to fit into your life. I hope you are going to share some finished and wearing pictures?

  14. Gorgeous photos. I know what you mean about the state of the world. I was just in Seattle. It is very expensive, and they have a homeless problem. I took the train back home along the coast. You are so busy and productive!


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