Wednesday, 23 September 2015


Oh dear, time seems to be slipping through my fingers like water. This new season has brought plenty of damp, cold and wet days and some nice ones too but each of them, regardless of what the weather brings, pass in the same flurry of domestic chores, work and general running around. Time is precious but it's hard to put the brakes on when there are three children, each with their own needs, and endless responsibilities. I can't believe it's the tail end of September already but the early darkening nights and the low light levels do not lie. Perhaps it's time to take stock a little and prepare for the colder months and spend our days wisely instead of in a spin.

Friday, 11 September 2015


Aren't sunny September days the best! The boys and I took advantage of a glorious afternoon and went blackberrying up the lane. Admittedly it's probably still a bit early for them and although we picked just under a pound of decent plump berries there were still plenty that needed ripening up. I froze the ones we picked as I want to make a few pots of jam and, my favourite, apple and blackberry curd, as well as some fruit crumbles. It's such an autumnal scent isn't it~that of blackberry jam puttering on the stove. And of course in time-honoured fashion the boys ate while they picked, often putting the best ones straight in to their mouths.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

sparkling water

A few weeks ago, just before the start back to school and with Hugo and William off at friends', we headed to the lake with flask and fruitcake, books and rug and enjoyed the sparkling water and the sun on our backs. Kevin and the dogs swam, Mide paddled and climbed and I stretched out and read relishing this precious time. And now, caught as we are in the hustle and bustle of school routine, looking back I realise it's so important to have simple days where there's nothing more challenging than boiling the kettle for tea and heading outdoors to enjoy the sun and the water.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

September reading

I am doing a bit of tail chasing this month so far. It's been a busy few weeks but I've still found time for reading, though it's more snatched happen-chance rather than luxurious wallowing.  I have to admit I haven't yet finished Testament of Youth ~ I'm still enjoying it but, as with all big books I find smaller books nuzzle their way in seeking attention and so I've read Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James and The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness in the meantime. 

Death Comes to Pemberley - a sequel to Pride and Prejudice but this time with murder most foul - was a fun read, although I'd have liked Elizabeth Bennet to have had a bit more 'oomph' to her, the book featured more of Mr Darcy than it did of her and there wasn't much mystery solving to it.

The Crane Wife was unusual - part fable, part love story - it tells of George who, in the middle of the night, rescues a crane which has been shot by an arrow .... the next day the mysterious Kumiko appears in his shop and George falls in love with her.... The book's fairytale quality made it a bit hard to believe and, to be honest, I preferred the likeable, real and humourous characters of George's daughter, Amanda, and also that of Mehmet who works for George. 

This month's book is Findings by the poet Kathleen Jamie. I'm afraid I'm a sucker for anything Scottish, wild and winterish. I'm barely 10 pages in and I'm already captivated by her writing which holds close the everyday mundane alongside the magical.

**Joining in with The Year in Books**

Friday, 4 September 2015


Image of collecting apples at twilight - miniature embroidery artwork
Collecting apples at twilight by Cathy Cullis
Hello weekend!! Oh I'm excited for the next few days! It feels very autumnal here with the chilly wind and the evenings have become darker, but hopefully it will be perfect for an autumn picnic that we're planning. We're hoping to go to either Springhill or to The Argory for the autumn bookfair and a spot of blackberrying or perhaps to the apple orchards at Ardress. Whichever one we get to it will be with a picnic and flask for tea. I do love a simple picnic - bread, cheese, chutney, sometimes soup and apples or grapes as well as cake...I've just made a carrot cake but I think a fruit cake is in order too...and for the non-cake eaters we always bring chocolate...
Image of autumn song - miniature embroidery artwork
autumn song by Cathy Cullis
Aren't these embroidered artworks by Cathy Cullis just beautiful? These are so mysterious and atmospheric ~ perfect for misty autumn in all its bounty. You can buy her work here

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


Yesterday was Mide's seventh birthday and unfortunately for him the first day back to school too! So very early in the morning we had the present opening and it was a bit tough to leave all his new toys and books behind and head off for a day of learning but he got there and of course came home to cake... it's always A Good Thing to come home to cake!