Sunday, 1 October 2017

Hello October

Just like that, September is over. What with the return to school and work and the arrival of Ziggy it's all been a blur, and our time after school has been packed with attending secondary school open evenings, baby showers, birthday parties. It's been busy. I think Bella and I both found looking at secondary schools a little overwhelming, although for different reasons, but pros and cons have been weighed up and I think we've made a decision that we're all happy with. 

It's also been very warm and we've had some beautifully sunny days. But I think I am ready for the cooler weather to arrive now and am dreaming about crisp leaf-kicking walks and woollen scarves. I found the prettiest leaf yesterday when we walked to the library - the colours and pattern remind me of retro pottery, Poole perhaps - and it made me impatient for the full glorious colour of autumn. The chimney has been swept and logs chopped for the winter but it's been too mild for a fire yet. Our weekends have been filled with Ziggy, DIY and chores and I am a little frustrated by not being able to get out and about much, to the woods or the beach. I am really looking forward to some dog walks.

The kitchen has been busy lately, churning out cake after cake for my colleague's baby shower, Macmillan coffee mornings, our cake tins. My crochet hook has been just as active, and I have now finished my box of crochet fruit and I made that ripple blanket you see above for my colleague as a gift. It was possibly the fastest thing I've ever crocheted, started and finished in ten days. But then she is one of the nicest people I've ever met and I was happy to do it for her. I do work with a lovely bunch of people, I really do. There are blanket details at the bottom for those who might be interested. 

The garden is winding down, although I still have cosmos and sedum in flower. My thoughts are now turning towards planting bulbs, trying to decide what to plant and where. Does anyone know how long you can reuse bulbs for? I have some in the shed that I have pulled out of pots when they finished flowering, and have stored them in the dark ready for another year. I've been doing this for a couple of years now and I wonder if they will still flower, or if I should just buy new ones. 

Right in time for autumn and winter, the roof has started to leak into the living room. We spoke to a roofer and it turns out that our roof is in a pretty bad way (the words ''sodden'', ''rotten'' and ''bowing'' were used). He can patch it, but said we will need to replace it properly at some point. We knew when we bought this house that we'd have to invest some serious money in the roof at some time in the future, but I think we were hoping it would be quite a lot further into the future! So now we need to decide what to do. It might be that we don't have any holidays next year (we were hoping to do something fun as both John and I turn forty next year), or the new bathroom we've been saving and planning for, but a dry house instead. We'll see what the quotes say. Wow, isn't being a grown up boring?

But on a happier note, my blog was shortlisted in the Amara Interior Blog Awards in the craft section! Thank you to those who voted for me. I have no expectations of winning, or of anything with this blog, it's just my hobby, but it does feel good to make the shortlist. 

Thank you so much for your welcoming comments for Ziggy! You are so generous and I really appreciate your kindness and your training tips and suggestions. Things are getting easier all the time and the nights have improved a lot, although we still have a long way to go with the house training, especially when it's raining...


Blanket notes

  • The pattern is the Neat Ripple from Attic24
  • It measures 70cm x 90cm
  • Yarn is Stylecraft Special DK
  • 4mm hook
  • I worked a starter chain of 115
  • There are 70 rows, each colour stripe is two rows wide


  1. October crept up on us fairly quietly, didn't it?

    Being a grown up is definitely not always fun. We have some major expenses coming up also, not of the fun variety unfortunately. I hope you get some good quotes for your roof, leaving some funds for a great birthday celebration. On the plus side, we don't have to worry about schools so much, we just send ours to the nearest one. I am glad you found a school that both you and Bella like, I know from other friends in England that this can be a really fraught time.

    I think your bulbs should be good for a wee while longer, if they died down completely before you pulled them up anyway. I had a pot full of tulips for 7 years before they started producing green shoots only.

    Love your crochet projects, the grapes are ever so sweet. I imagine they must be fiddly to make? The baby blanket is adorable also. You are a fab friend to have!

    Hopefully your Sunday is less wet than ours. It has been pouring with rain all day so far.... xx

  2. Ripple pattern is always so pretty. I'm looking forward to autumn too, this is our first cool day.

  3. I love that ripple Gillian. The colours are gorgeous and I always love a neat ripple.
    Congratulations on the nomination, your blog is always inspiring and a cheerful place to visit.
    Jacquie x

  4. Your blanket is lovely, Gillian. I really enjoy working the ripple pattern. I hope your weather cooperates, fall-wise. We've had a very wet and cool week and it felt wonderful to actually be kind of uncomfortably cold for a change!

  5. It sounds like your September has been busier than most. The blanket is gorgeous and I can't get enough of your Ziggy photographs. Sorry to read about your roof. Being a grown up sucks at times. X

  6. September just evaporated didn't it. Frustrations here too about the amount of time spent just keeping it all together. But such is life, I'm not complaining (really, I'm not!) but I think I need to push the chores to the edges a bit more and get the important stuff front and centre. A lovely dog walk of mud this afternoon with a friend and her puppy. Then a puppy bath. Now I have finally sat down (oh happy sigh) and I have a nice damp dog snuggled up to me. As my eldest says, happiness is a warm puppy. Well done on the craft award, it is very well deserved. Sorry to hear about the roof, that sort of thing is always a pain. Have a good week Gillian. CJ xx

  7. Hey Gillian,
    Roof renovation is looming here too. I am hoping for a couple of years grace; I turn 50 in three years time, and would love a trip to Italy to revisit my classics studies past. And eat pizza. Ziggy is an absolute beauty. Unless we send the boys to another town, there is only one secondary school to go to here, but it's not a bad place and only 500 kids attend. Here's to October. May it bring slow days and good things.
    Leanne xx

  8. Definitely a Pool leaf! isn't it wonderful. I love that picture of Ziggy and Angus it is brilliant. Have a good week Gillian. Jo x

  9. Choosing secondary schools I remember it well. With teen 2 it was easier as he passed his 11 plus and naturally went to the grammar school. He's such a brain box, like his Dad. Yes I agree with Jo, I loved the picture of Angus and Ziggy.
    The crochet fruit are brilliant and the blanket is lovely and bright.
    Have a good week. Cx

  10. Because I was away for two weeks and worked a lot during the other two weeks, September went by in a whirlwind, too. It was a beautiful month weather-wise, especially towards the end. Now I am ready for October and, like you, look forward to walks in the woods, even though I do not have a puppy to join us :-)
    Secondary school for Bella - that sounds exciting!

  11. Sorry to hear about your roof – shelling out for a new one is definitely not exciting but, sadly, necessary. Gorgeous photos, as usual; Ziggy really is photogenic. Re the bulbs, I'd stick them all in and see what happens. I generally leave all my bulbs in (and stick any from pots straight in the ground when they've gone over). Plant some new ones, though, just in case. You can never have too many :-) Sam x

  12. This year does seem to have whizzed by super fast doesn't it. So many lovely photos here. I love the one of Angus and Ziggy, your Poole pottery leaf is lovely and your blanket - just gorgeous. We had to have our roof repaired earlier this year - the worst part was the roofer's relentless radio! Enjoy your scarves and leafy walks. xx

  13. Im so glad things are starting to improve a little with Ziggy, I found the whole puppy thing so difficult although, to be fair, it came at a very bad time! I agree about September going in a flash, frighteningly so for me but Im kind of wishing October away a little too as its set to be a packed month. We're doing the upper school open evenings this week too. All of them in one week, which is nice! So annoying about the roof though, there is nothing remotely fun about spending a fortune on such a boring thing - even if it is incredibly necesary!!

    S x

  14. You are a busy bee. Great blog post. x

  15. My youngest started secondary school this year; it's a tough decision and you can only hope that you get it right - and every child is different so what works for one in your family doesn't work for another. All part of the parenting fun! Ziggy is so cute, these puppy days are just lovely xx

  16. Choosing secondary schools is worse than choosing Universities! I'm glad you have a decision.

  17. Goodness secondary schools for Bella already, where does the time go?
    It's good to consider all the options so you know when it comes to making that decision you've done the best you can.
    Gorgeous photo of your son and Ziggy, what a happy pair.
    Lisa x


Hello there! Thank you for leaving a comment. I read them all and I always try to answer questions, although sometimes it takes me a while.