Friday, 7 October 2022

on a gloomy Friday afternoon

I cleaned the outside of our kitchen cupboards last weekend. Such a satisfying chore with our shiny white units but also such a futile one because next time a teenage boy breezes through the kitchen a greyish sticky miasma settles on all surfaces. Our house always looks a bit grubby even when it is clean. 

Cleaning is like chasing squirrels, you can get close but never quite catch one. Jack knows exactly what I mean, he is crashing through the cat flap at great speed several times a day, in pursuit of our resident squirrel. We call it Ricky and I rather like it. There might be two actually but we call all squirrels Ricky. 

We've been holding off turning the heating on. Although I feel like I am showing our energy provider the middle finger, it is of course I who feels cold, not them, while watching Frozen Planet II on the telly. On a more positive note, our living room bay windows face South and when the sun is out (rarely), it warms up beautifully, like a green house. We have decided that we should finally get blinds that fit the odd windows and the weird shape of the bay. I can't be sure but I have a fleeting suspicion that the windows are not fitted correctly. The blinds we have were a temporary measure when when we first moved here 18 years ago. They are too short and don't properly fit, we have to take them down to open the windows. I have made an appointment with a blind fitter. I didn't know this job existed but I am glad it does because I wouldn't know where to start. I feel defeated by these windows, but luckily the rest in the house are just normal.

With winter approaching, I am airing winter coats and jackets. I have more of those than I have pairs of shoes. There is "the good coat", an elegant black wool coat with satin trim which I use for special occasions only, of which there have been none lately. I think I wore it last to a funeral six years ago. Then there is my blue Harris Tweed duffle coat, which I made and love but rarely wear because it feels too precious to do so. The same holds true for my also me-made short teal A-line coat with the big square wooden buttons. And so it goes on. Mostly these days, I am wearing a worn-out mended lightly padded Decathlon jacket or full waterproofs. 

The weather is shocking, has been for a couple of week. My waterproofs get good use! Still, I spend as much time outside as I can. Last weekend for example, I was planting wild flower plugs in a local park. We must have planted about 1000 wild flower plugs between us. We had different plant species for different areas in the park. I mostly planted red campion, cowslip and wild primroses. Of course the plug trays were not labelled and it took some time to identify species correctly before planting them in the right area.... Did you know there are apps that can help you identify even young plants with just a few leaves? I didn't. The council wants to keep several areas in recreational parks wild to support pollinators and other wildlife. In some areas, we are using seed mixes, in other areas plug plants. I hope someone has thought this through because it was a lot of work. 

Just now, there is flooding along the large main road near us and traffic is backing up for into the distance. I noticed when I walked to the pharmacy to get my flu jag. The road floods in the same place regularly, each year the area expands by a metre or two. I am certain flooding occurred there since the beginning of times and likely will continue to do so until the sun supernovas in the distant future. 

Oh the rain! It does get to me some days. It is also getting gloomier and indoor photos more tricky to take. The scone shown here was much more golden and the soap is also more vibrant. 

Thanks for visiting 😊. Enjoy your weekend!


  1. Ooh I could do with one of those scones now. Well done on the planting in the park. We could do with a few similar initiatives here. A big thick coat is rarely worn here. Usually just a light waterproof with layers underneath. Can’t remember when I last owned a proper coat. Sending some sunshine your way. Hope it gets to you. B x

  2. Your scone looks delicious! I have been planting, too. I just put in some pansies, and will head up to the hill to plant tulips this afternoon. I think the pollinators really do help. I have many of them on my land, and I see bees and butterflies constantly. It's uplifting when they appear...

  3. The soap looks scrumptious. There's always something about homemade soap that looks positively edible. I rather like the rain, but that's probably because we haven't had much here in forever. I absolutely know what you mean about cleaning and squirrels. If you are lucky it stays clean for a whole hour. Well done on all the planting, I hope it all comes up and does amazingly. We always have some huge puddles down the road here, getting worse and worse as more and more people pave over their front gardens. I think I need to go and live somewhere where people are more wildlife-friendly. Hope you have a lovely weekend. CJ xx

  4. Yum Christina the scones look great. Lovely garden plants too. Jack gets plenty of exercise courtesy of Ricky lol Been cold here and we are in Spring lol

  5. Same here with the coat shoe ratio, though I'm discovering my winter coats and jackets have inexplicably shrunk since last being worn. Lovely pictures despite the gloom, though I did think the first one was the icing on top of a fresh cream puff pastry slice. Have a great weekend.

  6. The rain has come to stay hasn't it, we have had a lot of it here too. I only like it when I can stand and watch it from the warmth inside although there is something wonderful about coming in from a wet and wild walk to a warm house.....

    I hear you about the cleaning, I love your squirrel analogy, perfect.

  7. I hear you with the cleaning. I'm at the stage where I've almost given up but will be breezing my way through the house later in an attempt to make some small difference.
    Blankets have been in frequent use lately. I, too, have been holding off switching on the heating out of principle :)

  8. Your Schizostylis is looking lovely (oh wait, it's got a new name now - Hesperantha) - I've got a singular red flower on mine but I'm hoping for more! Endless rain here too, and still the reservoirs are low. I used to feel about my socks like you do about your Harris tweed coat and then, using my "what if I got run over by a bus?" decision-making process, I decided that I would rather wear them and enjoy them than have them sent to a charity shop in pristine condition ... :) xx

  9. Hello Christina. After coming back from our holiday, I am certainly feeling the Autumnal breezes and the blankets are being slowly rolled out to cover bodies and beds. Heating has not gone on here yet either.
    The wild flower plug planting will be wonderful and the insects will be very happy and grateful for all the hardwork being done now.

  10. You,are,notmalone, Christina, in delaying a heat turn-on as it seems the same is true of many others. Management announced this weekend that the heat is on after the AC was turned off, but we have yet to try it. Most days, while cooler, are warm enough with the windows closed and open a bit overnight as my husband always needs some “fresh” air and does the same when we travel. We have not had many rainy days in a row, just sporadic showers.

    I smiled at your comment that all squirrels are called Ricky, any significance to that moniker?
    Housecleaning is always a satisfying chore, when done…until the next time.

  11. Ugh I hear you about the clean. Sticky fingerprints reappear on the cabinets almost instantly after being cleaned.

  12. Oh no you are entering gloomy Scottish winter light aren't you? I couldn't film here yesterday because it didn't get light all day. Then today it was so sunny I was trying to tone the brightness down! In the end I gave up and cleaned the house. It wasn't grubby as much as full of tiny little things. Girls do that. Boys maybe not so much?

  13. I had to comment although I'm a bit late to the party as they say - I've just started making soap and your first pic made me smile - gorgeous
    Agree totally about cleaning, has to be done but never really finished
    Alison in Wales x

  14. Our Pixie also loves to see squirrels off the premises! Well done on the park planting!


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