Well, September was a bit of a blur. I did a lot of extra hours at work which, while I really enjoy my job, always impacts on everything that is going on at home and makes life feel rushed and disorganised. (I think I could definitely work full time, so long as I had a wife at home. Someone to think about what's for dinner, shop and cook, do the washing, remember when someone has a birthday coming up, remember when it's Forest School day, do the cleaning, write this blog.) Then, last weekend, I came down with a really nasty head cold that lingered and lingered. I thought I was fine on Friday but then woke up on Saturday morning feeling absolutely terrible. We had to go shopping - the kids have outgrown all their clothes overnight, apparently - and we stopped off at Wagamama for lunch. I had a bowl of spicy ramen and it was the best thing ever, just what I needed. I spent the rest of the weekend lying on the sofa moaning and crocheting in equal measure, then spent this week recovering. My work hours have returned to normal now and I can feel the pressure easing already. I am so behind with everything; blogging, emails, admin. I think I should go back to my Make, Bake, Sew, Grow posts - they give me a good focus when I want to pop up here and say hello but don't feel like I have any time or anything to say. And while I may not have much time I always have something to say.
Thank you all for your kind words on my scarf. I haven't worn it much lately as I've been trying to make the most of my poncho. The Poncho Window, as I like to call it, is short - September was much too warm and it will soon be too cold and I'll need a proper coat - so I have to make the most of it! Thank you also for sharing your weekend plans with me. I really enjoyed reading those. I like how similar our weekends often are, how we all try to find a balance between being inside and outside, spending time on chores and relaxation, being at home or away.
There has been a definite shift in the seasons and weather. We haven't turned the heating on yet, but I feel like it won't be long, and we lit our first fire of the autumn last night. I bought the November edition of Country Living and that always makes me feel cosy. Recent cooking has taken a turn to the autumnal, with lots of slow cooking, stews, pies and roasts. I saw some plums in the shop yesterday and suddenly had an urge to make a plum cake. We used to have a plum tree in our old house in Leeds and, until the tree died, I would make this cake every year with some of the huge glut of fruit that it produced. I forgot how good it is. The recipe is from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries (recipe here) although I leave out the walnuts as I'm funny about nuts in cake, unless they're ground almonds, which I love. I'm going to stew the rest of the plums and have them on my porridge for breakfast.
Talking of trees, our ornamental cherry tree, pictured above, is really not well at all. It produced hardly any blossom last spring and has been shedding leaves all summer. I think it's dying. I suspect it was planted when our house was built so it must be over forty years old, and I am told they do not live that long. We have another tree, a laurel, which needs to come down as it's growing over the boundary and into our neighbours garden and stopping them replacing their fence, so I think we need to get a tree surgeon round. I'm reluctant to be chopping down trees but luckily we are not that overlooked, there are many of trees around us anyway, and we have a really good relationship with our neighbours (who are lovely) and I want to keep it that way. Maybe I should plant a plum tree!