Friday, 30 October 2015

Into The Wide Blue Yonder on a Perfect October Morning

I have a sudden desire to escape, to head off into the wide blue yonder
and never return.

A perfect October morning.

Bright sunshine. Strong breeze. Blue sky. Walking boots and windproof jacket. Camera in hand. Tussocks of wet grass. Nettles waist high. Wandering down the hill.

Into the wide blue yonder.

Wide open spaces; fields, trees and hedgerows. Silence, but for the whispering of the wind in the trees; no traffic, no people. Alone. Peace. Tranquility. Not a cloud in the sky. Stepping carefully. Avoiding cowpats. Fluttering red admiral butterfly; the last of the season. Flock of pigeons bursting from the trees in a flurry of feathers. Hedgerows gleaming with red of hips and haws. Cawing of  crows. Squirrel running along the fence line, quickly disappearing. Five bullocks contentedly chewing the cud in the long grassed field behind the abandoned farm. Clambering over stiles. A strenuous climb back up the hill. Breathing heavily. Heat thumping wildly. Sweat trickling down my back. Boots muddy and soaked through. I return home.
A perfect October morning.
In the wide blue yonder.



'Til next time, I leave you with my favourite autumn flowers.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Days as Crisp and Golden as Apples

These are the measure of my days.

I work outside - preparing the garden for winter.  Taking down the bean canes and tomato supports; bringing the tender plants into the greenhouse.
I work inside - putting the living room to rights now the decorating in finished.
I take walks - in all weathers; talk to horses who come up to the fence.
I visit a friend - and admire her two newly adopted black cats.
I sort out  wardrobes - swapping summer for winter clothes.
I shop - one day for food supplies; another for pleasure.  I buy a pre-loved navy tweed jacket.
I read - Us by David Nicholls.
I watch drama on television - The Last Kingdom a tale of Vikings.
I write in my journal - capturing the moments of each day.
I comment on my favourite blogs -  inspired by well-written pieces and the many different topics.
I watch - leaves swirling, tossed by the wind.
I listen - to owls hooting outside the open window at night and geese honking on the lake.
I see - the trees changing colour day by day.
I take photographs - one for each day of the week.

The nights are drawing in and log fires are lit earlier against the chill of  evening, curtains are closed to keep the darkness at bay. I wake up in the half light of morning  and find it hard to get out of bed.  The clocks will be turned back at the weekend - goodbye to British Summer Time.

Soon we will hunker down and accept the shorter days and longer nights.  Soups and heart-warming stews will be made, more time spent in the kitchen and reading beside the fire.  Last winters’ projects will be hunted out and resumed, picking up from where they were left when spring arrived.

Hats, scarves and gloves are at the ready.

'Til next time

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Friends and Neighbours and Family

“I think if I've learned anything about friendship, it's to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don't walk away, don't be distracted, don't be too busy or tired, don't take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” ~ John Katz 

I only have a handful of 'real' friends.  Not having any family or children, friends become even more important.  Yes, I have quite a few 'virtual' friends - but it isn't really the same.  Spending time with real people is so much more rewarding, even though I feel as though I have bonded with a few blogging  buddies.  So when one of your friends moves away to pastures new, and you know you won't see her everyday, over the garden fence, or when she pops round on a whim for a chat and a cuppa - when you discuss everything under the sun, when you enjoy the same things and understand one another - then it is like a loss.
Yes, I am sure we will keep in touch, send birthday and Christmas cards; visit occasionally - but it won't be the same.  She came round before she left with a gift; a print of hers that I had always admired (see above).  What a kind gesture.
I have been to see her new home; a 17th century rectory in a beautiful village a few miles away, where she will begin her life again.  I wish her well.
I have met my new neighbour and she seems very nice.

Remembering Fred
This isn't my normal type of post but I felt I wanted to write about my dear old Dad whose birthday it is today.  He would have been 94 had he still been alive but he passed away 19 years ago.

Here he is looking hale and hearty.
  This photo was taken on his last holiday with my Mum before she died.

He was a quiet, shy man who worked hard to give us a good home. I get my creativity from him as well as looking a little like him too - I have inherited a lot of his personality traits.

This one was taken after Mum died - we are both looking rather sad and a little forlorn.
  He seemed to age overnight and lost a lot of weight.  He was never really his old self again.
He had a talent for art and in his youth was a great caricaturist of the famous people of his day.  I never saw him read a book but he would write lyrics for songs with Shirley Bassey in mind - I can still remember them and could  sing them now - unfortunately, none of them ever reached Miss Bassey. 

I only have one letter from him in my possession; something I treasure - written in 1964 when I went away on a school trip - when I read it, it takes me right back to living at home and family life - written with a sense of humour you rarely saw on a day to day basis.  He had beautiful handwriting. 
His name was George but everyone called him Fred - George Frederick, the same as his father and his grandfather before him.
He was a good man who has left a void in my life but I can only look back on my memories of him with a smile.  I hope you don't think this post is too self-indulgent.

And to finish off here is a little video I found of an amazing 86 year old woman.

'Til next time.

Friday, 9 October 2015

The Air is Wild with Leaves - Random Autumn Jottings


I wake up at 6.30 the sky is grey and the morning isn't very welcoming. I watch as a skein of geese fly in formation, low over the rooftops, honking  all the way to the nearby lake. It takes me a couple of hours to get myself together and presentable - the older I get the longer it takes, this is all prolonged by the fact that I check my emails, read a few blogs, keep picking my current book up to read a few lines.

I go downstairs and try to find a space to set up the ironing board in all the chaos that is my home at the moment.  Husband is painting the skirting boards - the last leg of the dining room decorating.  Tomorrow he starts on the living room end - the jobs seem endless and I really will be glad when it is all finished and I'm sure he will too.

 After lunch of egg on toast, the sky turns the colour of bruised plums, the heavens open and torrents of rain fall.  Gushing down water spouts and running down the road like a river; pounding at the windows - and we say goodbye to the perfect weather of early Autumn. I decide to make a cake to pass the time till it stops - I'm not much of a baker but can manage a decent fruit cake.

Then, as suddenly as it starts, it stops; the sky reverts to a beautiful cerulean blue and the sun shines.  I take a walk down puddled lanes where trees drip about me; raindrops glittering like diamonds on every leaf tip, shimmering and quivering.  Leaves twirl and fall turning into a gold and copper pavement beneath my feet.

On my way round I stop for a gossip with a friend who is walking her dog, a Springer Spaniel called Fudge. We talk for a while and the dog gets impatient wanting to get on with his walk, so we go our separate ways.    I pop into a friends  for a cup of tea, it's been a few days since I saw her,  it's nice to have a chat, and talk about the books we have read and how our gardens are doing. When I get home I put a chicken casserole in the oven for dinner. In the evening we watch a film 'The Place Beyond the Pines' that I had recorded - which turned out to be rather good.  Bed by 10 for more reading - The Infinities by John Banville, a strange  kind of novel about how the ancient gods interfere with our daily lives.

This is just a random day in a week where nothing much happened. 
Here are some autumnal pictures that I took whilst sauntering round the village.



'Til next time here is a passage from
Ann of Green Gables

It was October again ... a glorious October, all red and gold, with mellow mornings when the valleys were filled with delicate mists as if the spirit of autumn had poured them in for the sun to drain - amethyst, pearl, silver, rose, and smoke blue.  The dews were so heavy that the fields glistened like cloth of silver and there were such heaps of rustling leaves in the hollows of many-stemmed woods to run crisply through ~ L.M. Montgomery
And lastly my contribution to National Poetry Day
(albeit a day late)
Mary Oliver <3

Friday, 2 October 2015

Inspired by Nature

Where did September go?  It flew by so fast - one minute it is August, the next, October.  Although it has been a fabulous start to Autumn - the weather perfect almost every day - it has been a stressful month for me.  So what do I do when I am stressed - I go outdoors as much as possible, and feel the tension lift from my shoulders - and become inspired by nature.


The garden always has this effect on me - it is a form of therapy.  Tackling all those end of the season chores takes my mind off the less pleasant things that I have had to contend with.  Doing the same things every year as the seasons turn has a symmetry to it, a kind of  'all's well with the world'  feeling.  I cannot be cross or impatient out there.  The sights and sounds soothe and calm me.


I don't talk about the garden much these days as I feel as though I have said it all before over the last four years of blogging, but it still has a calming effect on me, I still appreciate the beauty of it all and it is still where my heart lies.  I know not everyone feels the same way about gardening; to some it is a chore, an extra complication to an already busy life - I feel that way sometimes when  everything that needs to be done piles up; but the feeling soon fades as I set about my tasks.


Sitting outside in the last of the Autumn sunshine, face up to the sun, feeling the warmth; not sure how long this good weather will last before the frosts arrive; making the most of these bonus days; I feel the stress ease and I am able to smile and enjoy the moment and know that I have a lot to be thankful for.  And in a couple of weeks time I will wonder what all the fuss was about and will get myself on an even keel once more.


Although the trees are slow to turn from green to russet and gold the flowers are looking lovely in their autumn colours.

Early mornings have been hushed and shrouded in mist; the cows standing motionless in the fields waiting for the sun to rise.

There are still butterflies making the most of the warmth that the day brings.

And then, as dusk falls, the sky turns dove grey, scarlet and burnt orange as the sun sinks below the horizon - and so ends another perfect autumn day

How could you not be inspired by all that Nature has to offer.

'Til next time enjoy the colours of Autumn.
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous."
~ Aristotle