Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Summer Slowly Fading

The weather is in that perfect seasonal crossover at the moment, with warm, sunny days and cool, crisp mornings. Usually at this time of year I am in a big hurry for autumn - always my favourite season - to arrive but, this time, I find I am happy for the summery feel to continue for as long as it wants. I'm still wearing summer clothes and sandals, walking around the house barefoot, and there are no signs of any blankets on the beds yet. 

This all bodes well for the cotton blanket I have been making over the last few months, as I am now working on the border and hope to have it finished by this weekend. It's been a joy, this project, keeping my hands occupied on many an evening, and I am hoping it will be the perfect lightweight early-autumn blanket for our bed.

Angus looked at my round shelf in the kitchen-diner the other day and said it was "too summery". He suggested I lose the shells and pebbles for some conkers and acorns and other "autumny" pieces.  I found this at once hilarious and frustrating: I agree with him, but if he could just open his curtains, make his bed or put his dirty clothes in the washing basket now and then, well, then I might be more inclined to take his styling advice. 

I've told him that next time we go to the woods, he can look for some things to display on the shelf and arrange it all himself. 

Despite the warm weather, porridge has been sneaking back into my breakfast routine, and I've been eating a lot of blackberry porridge.

I made a huge kilner jar of much too runny blackberry compote, so I'm using it to cook the oats. It turns them the most delicious shade of purple and tastes amazing, especially when you add some fresh blackberries or a dollop of bramble jelly on top.

We took delivery of a new sofa at the weekend and are loving having enough seats for everyone to sit on at the same time. The dark grey three-seater sofa we had before was fine when the children were little and we could all squash on, but not now they are bigger (and the dog!!), so we wanted something more comfortable.

I love the way it creates a cosy corner around the rug and fireplace, but I have warned John that we are going to need more cushions. Fluffy, woolly ones, ready for autumn and winter. I'll get my crochet hook out.

Bella made pancakes on Sunday morning with the new crepe pan my mum and dad brought me back from France. They look more uniform than anything I could make and there were lots leftover for breakfast yesterday and today.

I have recently acquired a couple of new-to-me books from my friend Victoria who was going to give them to the charity shop. I was over the moon because they were just my sort of thing and full of such inspiring homes. I gave her our old tent and some camping equipment in exchange. We were both happy with the arrangement.

Our new fig trees in pots on the decking, moved from my parents' garden over the winter, amazingly produced fruit. Most of it was tiny and green but two figs grew, ripened and were ready to be picked. They tasted almost jammy, so strong was their flavour. I now have very high hopes for next year's crop!

Our sunflowers were small and late but still sunny.

We've been working really hard in the garden over the last two weekends, tackling a large, overgrown border at the front of the house, and cutting back a huge New Zealand flax at the back. Five trips to the garden waste section on the tip in total, plus a lot of scratched arms and sore muscles. The garden is slowing down now and and I'm starting to think about planting bulbs.

My holiday embroidery grows little by little. Before the summer holiday finished I managed to sew a brownstone building...

...subway sign...


...and, last weekend, a theatre symbol topped with a green witch's hat (for the show Wicked) and a hot dog.

I just have one more image to sew and then it is finished. I really want it to be completed soon, before the holiday memories and daylight hours fade too much. It's a summer project, this one, and when it's finished I have a pair of socks, a weaving and a jumper pattern waiting for me.


  1. I love your new settee - I like how the corner unit echos the corner of the bookcases behind. It has been a lovely week or two now - waking up most mornings to sunshine but much cooler - it has been a pleasure to be able to go out in the garden each day. Your embroidery is delightful and a lovely keepsake of your holiday.

  2. Really loving your blog,the new couch looks fabulous.

  3. Sounds as if Angus is shaping up to be a successful manager one day - and one with design flair! The next generation of design influencers??
    As always, I'm envious of your weather. We have been bumping along with temps around 13 degrees, and strong, cold north westerly winds. I gardened yesterday in thermal leggings under my gardening trousers, and wore a woolly hat. I popped my Celtic & Co sheepskin slippers in the wash the other day and they have finally dried out - cosy feet again at last! Had to wear my warmest hillwalking socks in the house in the meantime. (Don't think I'm selling the north of Scotland to anyone with this whinge!) I'll just have to feast on your sunny photos.

  4. I'm afraid Angus is right, acorns and conkers are needed. Your new sofa is very stylish and I am impressed that your home looks modern and traditional at the same time. I love the brownstone building, and I am eternally grateful that you depicted it, I have for years now wondered what one was.

  5. Love the new sofa. The middle boy and I tried out a selection in John Lewis last night, with me gushing over a particularly striking turquoise velvet one. It was like sitting on a cloud. I fear it would not be boy or dog-proof though. Is anything? Lovely job on the embroidery, it will be fantastic I know. CJ xx

  6. I wish i could write better in english, because i want to tell you how much your blog is inspiring! Because you are a "reall" women, with a job, children, like me, not a "design influencer"... and still your style is clean but cosy, i´m missing the right words. Thank you for the effort and care you put in your blog! Kisses from Portugal! Sara

  7. This weather is a treat... though tricky choosing what to wear for work on these chilly mornings. Lovely seeing all those hints of autumn appear in your days...

  8. I hoped there would be a hotdog on your hoop. Your blanket is going to be great. You can't beat a granny square for relaxation. Jo xx

  9. Love the sofa. The blanket will look great on it. CN x

  10. Your new sofa looks lovely and cosy, but you can always do with more cushions, haha. Your embroidered hot dog is fab, loathe mustard & ketchup!

  11. I love how well your house ties together with the mid-century vibe and pops of colour. Can't wait to see the finished embroidery and especially love that beautiful looking doughnut! x

  12. I love the embroidery you are working on, it is such a good idea for a keepsake.


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