Tuesday 22 September 2020

The perfect last day of summer


Yesterday was utterly glorious. Not in any spectacular day-off, amazing trip sort of way, but just in the end-of-season perfection sort of way. All dreamy golden light and warm evening sun and a spectacular fiery orange ball sinking into the horizon.

It would have been good to sit in the afternoon sun with a book for a while, and I did think about it, but there was work to be done so I didn't. Which felt satisfying in a way, because the work got done, but I did feel the tiniest bit wistful that it was the very last afternoon of summer out there. 

It ended neatly, coinciding with the astrological end of summer. Today was still warm enough, but halfway through the day the sun went in and the washing felt the slightest bit damp and I thought, 'That's it, the season has turned.'

This evening, in a burst of gardening activity, I cut the grass before the rain sets it, pulled out the tomatoes, filled the kitchen window sill with all the green and orange ones, planted out some foxgloves I grew from seed, planted the elephant garlic and put some spare wood into the garage out of the way of the damp weather.

I have loved summer this year despite you-know-what. And maybe because of it. So many warm, sunny days, more time than usual spent in the garden, which has been lovely, and the garden has looked the better for it, and simple pleasures enjoyed. Walks with the boys and the dog, messing around in lakes, ice-creams and picnics, seeing friends outside and just a bit more thinking about the good things in life and really appreciating them.

And now it is autumn, and doubtless good things are ahead too. Let's not think about other stuff right now. I hope it was a good enough summer with you too. Onwards. CJ xx

Tuesday 15 September 2020



Look, a library book! It must be six months since I've borrowed anything, but finally the doors are open again and books are back on the menu. Over lockdown the children ran out of books and started complaining about having to reread things. The middle one is reading some adult thrillers now, so if anyone can recommend exciting but fairly clean, non-graphic stuff I would be glad to hear. Although of course I am sure they are all far ahead of where we think they are/should be.

School has recommenced for all, which is exciting. The dog is lying on his back, snoring happily in the blissful peace and quiet. 

I have spent ALL THE MONEY on new shoes, blazers, trousers, shirts, pe kit and a rucksack and I am left quietly reeling at the amount of stuff needed. And at how quickly it is all grown out of. 

A fair few pears came down in the storm, but there are still dozens more. I never really know what to do with them all, they don't store well. Martha Stewart dries them, and I am thinking about that, but she says they don't keep for very long and you still have to freeze them, which isn't what I'm looking for. I was thinking they might keep for ages if I dried them. If anyone has any expertise in the area of pear drying I would be glad to hear of it.

The top photos are from the Lake District, which seems a long time ago now. I wouldn't mind being back there, floating around on a lake or reading a book in the shade or climbing a mountain. Holidays are all too brief sometimes aren't they. Although now that summer has returned, a deckchair in the garden is the next best thing. 

The youngest has been working hard at his English and French this week. He has written an alarmingly violent dystopian story involving mutant pigs, a virus call pigona virus, alien invasion and a nuclear bomb. I made a plea for a happy ending, but apparently that won't do at all when it comes to dystopia. The best he was willing to offer was a cliffhanger.

His French homework seemed to be a lengthy list of questions about home and family life that a social worker would be proud of. I scanned through a few of them and feel that we have probably failed.