Well September seemed a short month I cannot believe it is over so quickly. I set my intentions at the beginning of the month – (I find it helps to make a list of what I would like to do in the coming month) – not everything gets done and I don’t always do what I intended – the review helps me to realise that I did actually do something!
As summer moved briskly into autumn it was time to switch over my clothes. I carefully laundered and packed away the lightweight garments for next year discarding anything that was very worn or in some cases hardly worn at all because they were those inevitable mistake purchases.
I completely emptied and cleaned out the wardrobe and drawers to reorganise the space. A lot of old favourites put back out on the rail and a few more items relegated to the charity bag – the mistakes from last year!
The finished result is so much better – filled with nice warm snuggly clothes to see me through the winter season – a much simplified collection with space to breathe. One or two items are still held in that state of temporary pondering whether they stay or go.
Do you have projects that just seem to rumble on and on – dealing with the exterior of our house has been one of them and it has taken up most of this year but at last I think we are looking at being watertight this winter. The rendering of the top half of our house was quite a major job and although the men worked hard and have done a good job there was such a lot of tidying up to do, much more than we anticipated. The pebble gravel round the house needs taking up, cleaning and putting back down again to get rid of the bits of render that fell into it despite the protective sheet the contractor put down.
Before our trip to Scotland DH was busy washing down the remaining brickwork beneath to remove the tiny splashes of render and re-staining all the windows. Then he put back the burglar alarm and outside light. The shed is on order at last, as space is a bit restricted we cannot have one more than 4 feet wide but we have ordered one that is an extra foot long – seven feet instead of the usual six. It is only an extra foot but sometimes that can make all the difference.
Once the gravel is cleaned the shed should be ready for delivery and by then the compost bins will be back in place (I have so much missed using my compost bins). All that is left on the exterior list then is to get a new front door and garage door and hire a contractor to redo the driveway.
Then the outside of our house will have had a complete makeover.
I could have spent the whole of September meandering – so many events to choose from and by chance we happened to be in Scotland for the Wigtown Book Fair (post about this to come) some very creative artists on show at the fringe events and an exhibition of miniature books.
Over the Heritage weekend we visited the little chapel in Matlock Dale (you can read about it here) – one of the best days, we really enjoyed it and especially finding the surprise tea room in the woods afterwards.
I love a good declutter, the planning, the cleaning, the clearing and creating more space so I started this job in the kitchen with a burst of enthusiasm. I have been reordering and moving around, trying to simplify the cupboards so everything is within easy reach and flows better. I often find that once you start the clearing process and letting things go it is easier to let more go.
I have been using up a lot of the food from the clear out and my food cupboards will soon look like Mother Hubbards. I don’t plan to restock with any ‘just in case’ food as it was obvious we weren’t using it, maybe keep a tin of beans and a tin of fruit in case of emergencies other than that it will be the usual pantry goods to make a meal or drink; dried pasta, flour, sugar, cereal, coffee and teabags and jars of jam, sauce, chutney and oil for dressing and cooking etc.
In terms of crafting I have ideas but not produced anything substantial yet. I plan to earmark a day a week to do nothing else and build on that. Autumn is a great time for inspiration and I have collected a few nature bits to sketch and maybe use these to turn into a lino cut.
Sadly my home-grown courgettes are just about finished – completely organic – we really enjoyed them. This year I grew them from seed rather than buying plants – I had forgotten just how easy they are.
As the weather has become colder we are definitely on warmer meals. I have been introducing a few more adventurous hot sandwich lunches and also made a start on reducing my recipe clippings – even thrown away a number from my folders that I know I won’t make or I have duplicates of.
Plenty of bedtime reading this month. Mainly on the theme of living simply and discarding. I particularly love the little book called A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind – it is pure domestic simplicity. Another interesting book which I have had for years is Swimming with Piranha makes you Hungry by Colin Turner – a strange title maybe but full of valuable advice on simplifying. It is good to have a re-read of a book from time to time.
I had the intention during September that I would set out a new budget for our new circumstances. The budget did not materialise even though it was a high priority on my list – some how I managed to ignore it as sorting out the house inside and out seemed to take over and I just never found the time. But as you know I have plans for getting down to this and already I am implementing the daily task of recording our finances in the hope that little and often will stop it mounting up.
The recent trip to Scotland to our cottage (caravan) was such a rejuvenating time.
We spent time on the beach…time in the garden…
and time out and about in Dunoon, Portpatrick and Wigtown and loved every minute.
In all September was a success for me – perhaps not doing exactly what I had planned and never doing enough, but I look back on the month with a feeling of satisfaction.
I am now working on my October intentions.
Back soon x