Monday, 29 September 2014

The Little Things (3)

Feeling better this week, and today is the harvest festival celebrations! (post a little late this week, due to the harvest festival celebrations... sorry).

quiet autumn walks, 
the endless energy of toddlers, 
afternoons playing with trains, 
bright, sunny mornings, 
bonfire smell, 
blackberry and apple crumble and custard, 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

An Autumn Chill

As autumn begins to creep in, I find myself beginning to think more about paints and crafts and getting my paint stuff out again to mess around. I am a summer girl, but there's something about the prospect of hiding away and being able to just write and create that appeals to me.

It has grown chilly over the last few days, and although it remains sunny, and pleasant to be outside, there is a chill that wasn't there before. A chill which requires jumpers and socks and all those sorts of things. I think that it might be time to retire the shorts away, sadly.

There's this smell, this feeling in the air - one that's difficult to describe and pin down. The smell of autumn - a crisp, freshness that has arrived in the air.

Meanwhile, there's lots still going on - including a bumper crop of apples - lots of cooking ones, so there'll be lots of stewed apples and crumbles coming up. Yum. There are still plenty of blackberries on the hedges as well, so I was trying to collect some of them as well. We also have a BUMPER crop of potatoes - about six sacks worth (at least), which is quite something! I think we're going to be living off potatoes for the next few months! And, the cows were all TB free, which was good!

I've been thinking about how this will be the first autumn in five/six years that I will have spent at home, and not in the city. It'll be strange, but I'm looking forward to it. It's nice to be in Sussex for an extended period of time - one that's not broken up by school/uni!

Today, the sun is shining, although there's quite a chill in the air. I'm enjoying walking down to the woods most days to see how the trees slowly become autumnal....

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Little Things

This week I've been feeling groggy and horrible thanks to a cold, and a bit sorry for myself. Even more important to remember the little things!

Heinz Tomato Soup,
Dew on the grass,
The smell of rain,
Sunny September days,
Late afternoon swims, 
Coffee and Alohomora!,
Online community. 

Friday, 19 September 2014

After the Rain

Another week has slipped by, and this time I've been in a cold induced state. It's so miserable having a cold and feeling so groggy and bunged up - especially when it is so warm outside! I'm feeling a little better today, and hoping to enjoy the weather a bit more, but still so frustrated at just feeling so unable to focus on anything.
Today, it remains warm, and there's that nice, after the rain feeling outside. Things feel a little fresher, but are already warming up. Clearly we're being treated to an Indian Summer (yay)!

Today we learnt that Scotland voted to stay with us (thank you, what a relief), but we're also waiting on another result here - the result of the cows' TB test. Fingers crossed.

So, the end of the summer and the beginning of the autumn means that things have to be wrapped up in the garden. My sweet peas, which are still producing flowers, are also beginning to produce seed pods.

After a little bit of research, I decided to pick these and hopefully store them until next spring, when I'll be able to plant them out again - and keep my fingers crossed that they will produce just as good sweet peas then!

Eurgh, I'm off to eat some Vitamin C and keep feeling sorry for myself. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Little Things

My last two posts have got me thinking.

Most specifically about little things, all those little moments that always make everything worthwhile. They're the moments, the tiny little things that you might take for granted, the things you miss if you don't stop for a while, and think listen, appreciate. I think I've posted about this before, and there's a wonderful poem somewhere about stopping to think and watch (I've posted it before - in fact you can read it here). There is even a magazine The Simple Things, which I love, and often treat myself to it.

Anyway, I try to do this. Try to stop and watch, listen. But sometimes its so easy to take things for granted.

Anyway, in honour of this, I'm going to try and post once a week about the small things that I have noticed/been happy about/grateful for that week - the little things. Whatever comes to mind. And please, contribute your own!

This week's little things:

Beautiful sunsets and skies, 
The sun streaked with pink, purple, and orange,
Still, September evenings, 
Dew on my bare feet in the mornings, 
Tea and laughter, 
The smell of sweet peas, 
Coffee with friends, 
Alohomora! on a Sunday morning, 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

View from a Straw Bale

I never know which time of year I prefer more: when the woods are full of bluebells, or now, when the stubble fields are scattered with straw bales. The two times of year frame the summer, my favourite season, although spring isn't far behind.

Mournful and poignant though this time of year can be, as summer turns to autumn, and new things are considered, and that back to school feeling settles in everyone's stomachs, nothing beats a good straw bale, especially the large round ones, onto which you have to take a run and a jump to hop. The dog tries to scramble up too, sometimes he's successful, and other times he stalks away, ignoring my calls, refusing to try again, as if he didn't want to be up there in the first place. Oh little dog. He's so silly.

There's something rather wonderful about the scratches on your legs, and just being able to sit atop a bale and view the world.

And of course then there's the fun of trying to get the bale to roll over.

When we were little, we would sit on the top, and wait for the bale to be pushed, with us on top, and this was better than any other game we could have played. My dad would park his pick up so that we could climb straight out the back onto the bales, and he pushed several together, which caused hours of endless fun. Of course, this is something I know not many people will have been lucky enough to do, but oh, it's the best. Nothing beats it.

Nothing like the simple things, hey?

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Dew, alone days, and flowers

Days alone are so full of hope and the expectation of what could come and different ways to be filled. There is nothing nicer than padding around by yourself, taking in the morning, the sunshine, drinking coffee, and thinking everything that the day brings.

There is nothing nicer than wandering around the garden, the dew still on the ground, clinging to your shoes, with the sun breaking through. It feels like it is going to be a beautiful day. The odd burst of colour breaks through in the flower beds, reminding me that maybe summer is not entirely over.

My sweetpeas are still thriving - I've even got a speckled one now:

I love seeing what the garden produces. There's all sorts, and I wish I was good with names, but I'm not, I'm hopeless. But I love all the different colours, the shapes, and smells. Although many things have ended for the year, there are still some wonderful smells and colours out there, and that is wonderful to see.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Fat Hen and a last summer burst

Wow, another week has just flown by, and I don't really know where it's gone. How can it be just over a week since I handed my dissertation in? And nearly a week since I returned from Exeter?

Time has this uncanny knack of doing that, of just flying away.

Anyway, since dissertation hand in, it's been a return to life with a bang.

I spent most of Wednesday pulling up a weed called fat hen (trust me, it really does exist). It is something that they used to use in Tudor times, as a sort of precursor to spinach. It kind of died out when spinach became popular. If you search it, there's surprisingly a lot about it out there - including a recipe for fat hen souffle! We pulled all ours up, which took all day. It was surprisingly satisfying though - especially when you managed to get a tough one out! By the end of the day, the vegetable patch was looking a lot less weedy, which was good!

The day before that I ended up helping my dad fix the windscreen washer on his Land Rover. I say helped - he needed someone to push the button every now and again as he couldn't do it all at the same time. Still.... a fun afternoon! We had to pull the whole dashboard off too (lots of screws), which was one of those jobs that was easy enough to pull it all off, but putting it back on and finding which screws went where was a little more challenging....

We had a last burst of summer this week, but it appears to have disappeared again just as quickly, which is rather sad.  So, I suppose Autumn is getting ready to stay, although I'm still holding on for another Indian summer....