Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Full Swing

Autumn is in full swing here. The magazines are full of pumpkins and cakes, my kitchen is full of pumpkins and cakes, and I've been crocheting up an autumnal storm, although not of the Ophelia* kind. I've planted tubs with tulip bulbs and filled the large planter on the decking with about a hundred daffodils bulbs. I'm scouring Ravelry for the perfect crochet shawl or scarf pattern and wondering if I might crochet a jumper, if I can just find a pattern I really like. My only complaint is that it's still much too warm for the time of year, and this interferes with both my desire to light the wood burning stove and to wear my woolly scarves. I would like some crisp, dry days please, where it's chilly enough to see your breath in the air but not so cold your toes are numb.

The woods are glorious right about now, and they're just going to get better over the next couple of weeks. I love the woods in autumn. The other time I really love them is in early spring, when they're full of bluebells and wild garlic, but I think I prefer them when they're full of fungi and the leaves flutter down around you as you walk under the trees.

It's been a mixed few weeks here. A combination of terrible sleep and busy days finally caught up with me and I came down with a horrible virus last week and I had to take two days off work, where I moped around the house coughing and feeling sorry for myself. John happened to be home for one of them and that day was nice - he cooked me lunch, baked brownies, brought me cups of tea, ferried the kids to and from school, looked after the dog. The day after that was a lot less relaxing. I returned to work feeling a bit better, but with very little voice, and a lingering cough that meant I had to sleep propped up on pillows. One week later I feel well again, finally, but very tired and I am glad it's half term next week. 

Ziggy is doing well and these photos make me realise how fast he is growing. We can walk him now, and I have really been enjoying getting out and about each day, even if the walks are short. Ziggy was ambivalent to begin with but is already getting used to other dogs, cars and all the hustle and bustle he sees on his walks around our area. Lots of treats help. I have to keep reminding myself how little he is though, for he is as exhausting as he is endearing, as disruptive as he is delightful. Honestly, I could write a list of things that have been trashed or chewed; plants, toys, table legs, drawer knobs, shelves. If we don't keep the bathroom door closed he dashes in there, grabs the toilet brush then runs off with it so that he can chew it and wave just generally wave it around the place. I try to stay calm, really I do. It's not as if he doesn't have a basket full of puppy-safe bones, toys, chews, name it, it's there. But like a toddler, he'd rather play with the packaging, or with the thing he's not allowed to play with.

Fellow crocheters: have you come across the Secret Crochet Club? It's a monthly subscription scheme in which you receive a box each month full of yarny goodness; pattern, yarn, hook - everything you need to make what's inside the box - and a few goodies too. They kindly sent me one to try and it's just the loveliest thing.

The best thing about it is having no idea what's inside.

Mine contained everything I need to crochet myself this colourful bag, plus useful bits like a WIP planner/notebook, which is actually a really excellent idea. There were chocolates too. I got quite excited about the chocolate. 

It's a great idea and would make a very nice Christmas present for someone you know who loves to crochet, or for yourself. 

*For those not in the UK, we had a very strange weather phenomenon on Monday afternoon. The sky had been a really odd, yellowy-orange colour all day, and the sun glowed red. Around lunchtime it became quite dark, as though we were about to have a huge storm, then got darker still. Streetlights even came on in some places. It was very, very eerie. Then, by the time I left work, it had all cleared and the world had not ended. I believe it was a combination of Saharan dust and smoke from Iberian forest fires brought up into the atmosphere by Hurricane Ophelia and blown over the UK, which all sounds very sensible but it was quite unsettling.


  1. We had the same weird sun/sky/darkness thing here too - I had to put the lights on to see to put the groceries away! Your autumn photos are lovely and Ziggy looks like butter wouldn't melt! Some yummy looking meals there too. I quite agree that a few more crisp days would be nice; I'm itching to light the stove again. Glad that you're feeling better. xx

  2. Beautiful photos. Are those mushrooms / toadstools really blue?

  3. Your photos are lovely. I get hungry when I see that soup and the egg topped dish! Yum! Fall just brings out the need to have those kinds of comfort foods. Thank you.

  4. Ziggy is gorgeous. All of these photos have been so good to look through today. I love those mushrooms.

  5. You get the coolest things to try out. I've been sick too, and totally away from blogs. I hope you're feeling better now. I'm still working on it. I'm glad you're enjoying the autumn, it looks like you're doing lots of nice things.

  6. Ziggy is adorable, Gillian! What a lovely dog you have now. And even though I'm not a crafter, even I think I might get excited at receiving such a box of goodies! I wouldn't know what to do with them, but I would just admire the beautiful colours of the yarn!
    Oh, woods in autumn are lovely. You have reminded me that we must have a walk around one that we lovely in autumn; it was once a quarry and once disused, it was turned into a lake with surrounding woodland. Not a long walk, 3/4 hr at most, but so lovely - again, quality rather than quantity in everything.
    So glad you are recovered from you nasty cough/cold, but take things as easy as family and work life will allow, you need to rest in order to recover completely.
    Margaret P

  7. Glad you are feeling a bit better. I haven't been in the woods for ages, really must go. I mostly walk the dog along the river and canal these days, which is nice but not as nice as the woods. I bet the toilet brush is full of dog-attracting smells! Jack still has a love for things that he shouldn't play with, at three years! No more chewing though, which is great. Look after yourself these next few days xx

  8. Sorry to hear you have been unwell - I keep avoiding the coughs and sneezes at work as best I can and so far I am OK. Are those mushrooms really that blue colour they are quite unusual and decorative - we had red ones at the cottage this time in the wood - not sure what they are either. The boxed crotchet gift makes me wish I could crotchet - I have bought a book on crotchet for beginners and that is as far as I have got - I wouldn't even know what size of hook to buy or the type of wool! Ziggy does look quite a handful but gorgeous in the photos.

  9. Glad you are feeling better. I loved catching up with you and the family and ziggy of course! I look forward to seeing your crochet project xxx

  10. Fantastic fungi shots, and Ziggy under the crochet is adorable. I have a list of chewed things that no doubt rivals yours. Bertie is expert at grabbing a thing he isn't allowed and dashing under the dining table with it. It's REALLY hard to get hold of him when he's got all the table and chair legs to weave around. The other favourite is the garden. No chance of recapture there at all. Terrible sleep here too, infuriating isn't it. Sorry you've been ill, I do hope you're completely better soon. CJ xx

  11. Lovely post Gillian with great photos to accompany. Do hope you are feeling a lot better now. Ziggy is certainly growing & should be fun for the kids during half term. Thanks for the titbit on your strange weather & the dust phenomonen. Ours is a little on the odd side here too. Take care. PS There was a nice jumper pattern in Simply Crochet (I think), a while back. I'll email later.

  12. Hope you're back to 100% very soon. Ziggy is gorgeous, but I'm sure it's testing when you have to retrieve the toilet brush... Gorgeous autumnal photos (that fungi is amazing).

  13. Do hope you are feeling so much better... Lovely photographs, I do like autumn time. And Ziggy-what a sweetie. Though I do not envy you chasing pup and loo brush around the house. Off to fill our house with pumpkin, soup and cake too!

  14. Well, of course you knew all that when you decided to get a puppy... but I understand how not being able to sleep properly for a period really gets to you.
    Lovely time of year, I am enjoying every minute! Like you, I am waiting for it to get a little colder, so that I can wear my knit dresses again - they have all been unpacked and ironed and hung in the wardrobe where they will be needed for the next half year.
    Sorry to hear you were ill and are still not fully recovered. Hopefully, half term will allow you to get some much needed and well deserved rest.

  15. Ditto the loo brush!
    For our puppies (we're on the 2nd in 3 years) we bring out our old baby gate and use it to limit them to only parts of the house. It helps if there are only some rooms you have to patrol for potential damage - and in our case gives our cats some safe harbour!
    Lovely pics, thank you.


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