Saturday morning before last - over a week ago already, where has the time gone? - while hanging out washing load number four or five, I realised that it was not only sunny but actually quite hot. Hot for the UK, anyway, at 28°C/82°F, and not a day to be squandered. We made plans to go to the beach hut that afternoon and met up with my sister and her family there. We drove and sat in traffic, they cycled, and it took us both an hour to get there. As the afternoon went on it started to cloud over but, undeterred, we still swam in the sea. I thought that afternoon might be the last chance we got to swim this summer and I wanted to make the most of it all - the weather, my family, the warmth. Isn't sea swimming just wonderful? So liberating and uplifting. That swim is another mental postcard to bring out in the middle of winter.
Then last Monday, it felt like we'd fast forwarded straight into autumn without any warning. We woke to rain and dim light levels which hung around for the rest of the week. I sulked. Where had my summer gone? Torrential rain was hurled at the windows as I made made pancakes for breakfast. I spent most of last week running errands, catching up on housework and washing, and getting ready for the new school term. This all sounds tedious but it was satisfyingly productive and a pleasing return to normality after our holiday. We dodged the rain as we went from parcel depot to dry cleaners to doctors to Hobbycraft to shoe shop. It seems to get darker earlier at a rate of knots now, and the evening air is cooling. The seasons are turning.
It's so much easier to embrace autumn when you feel you've had a good summer, and I do feel that we have, even with the wet end to the holidays that we've just experienced. Back in June, I wrote a sort of summer wish list and all those goals have been met bar the making of lemon curd. Never mind, I'll buy some. But beach opportunities have been seized and the garden has served us so well as a place to relax and eat, I've crafted and stitched and painted, and I've certainly found the weekends John works easier now that I am so near my family.
I'm more aware of autumn's approach than any other season I think, except perhaps spring. The beginning of autumn is so closely connected to the start of a new school year for me that I cannot miss it. On Tuesday, when I go back to work, my summer will feel like it's over, even though technically it lasts until the end of September. Of course I hope that we'll have lots more warm, dry weather in the coming weeks but...it wont be the same. I'll be at work, the children at school, and the leaves will be turning. But I love autumn with a passion, I really do, and I feel excited just knowing it's coming. Excited to experience autumn in this house, in this area, to light the wood burning stove and find the best woods for conkers. An end and a beginning.
Yesterday, while picking blackberries, we saw this spider in the hedgerow. I've never seen one like it before - isn't it beautiful and also slightly scary looking? Does anyone know what it is?
And thank you so, so much for the lovely, overwhelmingly positive comments to my last post, which was about a dress but really about body image. I know that we all share the same hangups but it's always feels good to give them an airing, then they seem to evaporate - or at least lose a little of their power. Once again I am lucky enough to feel the supportive warmth and friendship of the blogging community. You're all good eggs.
The two crocheted net bags pictured above are from the excellent book Modern Crochet by Molla Mills. The crocheted square is for the Cedar River blanket which I've been working on for the last couple of weeks. I'll write more about them both soon. And that gorgeous yellow kettle is by the genius brand Mini Moderns. When I left Leeds, my friends clubbed together and gave me some money as a leaving gift, so that when we were settled I could choose something non-essential and pretty for our new house. I chose this because I like yellow, I like enamelware, I love the shape, but mostly because the kettle is decorated with little pictures of really angular retro style houses which look so much like ours. It had to be done.