dear diary :: sing to me, Autumn

Home once more and we are truly into Autumn now; but hasn’t it been a glorious month – apart from bouts of heavy rain (my sympathies go out to anyone that has been hit by a flood).

The words of the poem ‘Sing to me, Autumn’ are a perfect reflection of this moment and encapsulate the beauty of the season – the sunlight streaming onto the garden this morning was so beautiful – casting deep shadows whilst highlighting the crimson red berries of the cotoneaster… I reached for my camera but it is so hard to get a good photo. There is an abundance of berries down by the seat – we have left it out a little longer as it is such a nice sheltered place to sit and admire the last of the season’s flowers.

Our blinds are being drawn earlier each evening and some of the solar lights left out in the garden are struggling to stay on for very long. I am looking forward to all that the dark evenings and cooler weather brings – after the ‘gathering in’ time it is beginning to feel like the ‘snuggling down’ time.

As usual, after the wonderful slow life at the cottage, we hit the ground running once we are home. I have a long list of lunch dates to fulfill and phone calls to make – there are finances to catch up on and the garden still needs a bit of TLC. I won’t even mention the housework and cleaning that is obviously needed.

Oh and have you thought about Christmas yet?

…….No, ….. very sensible…..I would normally shriek at the very mention in September….but I feel this year that I want to get ahead as I am finding, in the more recent of past years, that everything gets so hectic and stressful the closer we get to December and I try to pack in far too much in those last 3 weeks.  So rather than rush through it I would prefer to savour each moment and enjoy the concerts and Christmas events (that I often miss through lack of time) having completed all the necessary preparations in good time.

I have made a start and though I said I wouldn’t, I relented a few days later when in Tesco… right in front of my nose the new Country Living Christmas magazine appeared – (of course I blame Sadie at Notes from an ordinary life for persuading me as I noticed she had also bought a Christmas magazine and that made me feel so much better!). I kept last years too so hopefully they will spark off some new ideas.

I am mainly thinking about the gifts (we don’t have many to buy or make) – our family takes part in a ‘Not so Secret Santa’ – though I have a feeling this may change again this year – my daughters, who say they have everything they need, have expressed a preference for having a family gathering or event that gives us memories rather than any gifts, so this may be our step towards a no gifts Christmas within the family other than the young children. I will await the whole family vote on this but I personally would find it a lovely idea and support it.   

So it is mainly just a few friends who like to receive my homemade offerings -though I could be wrong and be like Ella of Thrush Green in the Miss Read books,  giving horrendous handmade gifts that people then give away as fast as they can – I haven’t as yet knitted any ties… wonky or otherwise!! 

I also enjoy making the décor, keeping it as natural as I can and of course the Christmas cards (I am thinking another lino cut this year as I enjoy doing those) and perhaps now is the time to start looking at sketching out a few design ideas rather than sitting down on the first day of December and saying today I will make the Christmas cards and then not having a clue as to what I might do.

And what a stroke of luck to find Sainsbury’s are celebrating Organic September (never understand why it is not Organic October – has a better ring to it) and those who know me well will also know I eat organic food most of the time so our Christmas cake is naturally an organic one.   Anyway, Sainsbury’s have reductions across their organic range so I filled my trolley with the fruit for my cake and the nuts for the nut roast.  I am well pleased though it bumped my shopping bill up quite a bit.

Whilst in Sainsbury’s I bought this snuggly top. I have bought very little throughout the year – it has not been quite ‘a no shop’ year but close – this little top will be ideal for those chilly days at home or when visiting my friend for coffee, who has minimal heating on and I do find it a bit cool at times so tend to go in a few discreet layers.

Remember I collected a few flower heads and petals to press at the caravan – well they are now quite flat and ready to go. The only means of pressing them at the caravan was to use some kitchen roll between the pages of a notebook so the textured pattern of small dots on the kitchen roll has imprinted onto the petals but I quite like it! I have bundled them into some cellophane bags to protect them. My favourites must be the delicate blue campanula, the white daisy heads of the chamomile and the vintage hues of the hydrangea petals. I just have to find a little time to turn them into some cards and tags.

For the rest of today I will be attending to the last of our cooking apples from the cottage garden. I am thinking an apple loaf would be just right and maybe a crumble using the blackberries for tea.

Have a lovely day x

14 thoughts on “dear diary :: sing to me, Autumn

  1. I’m trying to get Christmas – ready, too.. tired of the last minute cleaning! We were going to the U.K. to see the grand children for Christmas, but the airfares are so outrageous have booked for February half term and will pray for no snow storm here to ground the planes!
    My friend in North Yorkshire always has a cold house with doors open in winter to air it out (!), so I wear silk long underwear now!

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    1. Hello Lynda and thank you for your comment – I believe you are a new follower so it is nice to hear from you. Good idea about the silk undies – I might try that – my friend is lovely but a well padded lady and presumably does not feel the cold quite so much. They do have the heating on but it is sometimes hardly dectectable for me! I hope you manage your trip to the UK – the snow here can be quite unpredictable sometimes we get more before Christmas and sometimes more after.

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  2. I do love a good Christmas mag! Didn’t realise the Country Living one is out, so I shall search it out at the weekend. There are an awful lot of berries out this year. I do wonder if we will have a hard winter? I might actually make my own Christmas cake this. I don’t normally bother, as it’s only hubby and I who like Christmas cake, so I tend to but a little one. But I have a yearning to make one this year!

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    1. I seem to make the same cake each year mainly because we both love it. Neither of us go a bundle on candied peel and mine uses dried apricots instead. It also has currants which are so hard to find these days but luckily my local wholefood shop always has some in.

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  3. That is very true about the relationship between padding and temperature! I’m not at all padded, and definitely need to layer up.
    It’s been a while since I’ve bought any Sainsbury’s clothes, largely because I’m not near a shop now, but I do have a striped top of theirs which is about 15 years old and has kept its shape beautifully. It’s also a heavier weight than most cotton tops you find now – great quality for the price.
    We have a big house renovation looming and it won’t be finished by Christmas, so I’m not planning much decor. I’ll look forward to seeing your creations tho!

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  4. I’ve been following your blog, but this is the first time I’ve noticed the comments box! I love your pressed flowers and the indentations of the kitchen paper. Our weather has been pretty good up to now. We had a couple of days of rain and it’s turned noticeably cooler. Best, Jane x

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  5. I love this post, just the right thing to read today when it’s so wet and wild outside.

    I’m not a Christmas person myself but for some reason I really enjoy reading about how other people prepare, especially the cakes!

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    1. Aww thank you for such kind comment – it is wet and wild here today (West Yorkshire) – of course it would be as I had intended to go into the garden for a major tidy up!!
      Our Christmases are changing over the years it will be interesting to see where this one goes. I love the making and baking bit – not so much the crowds and shopping.

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  6. Lovely post Vivien. You have done well with the pressed flowers – I think they would be nice made as book marks with an inspirational quote on the reverse side. It is overcast and rainy here today and a home made apple cake would be very welcome. Enjoy the weekend. x

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