It's not feeling nearly autumnal enough here at the moment. I mean, yes, the mornings are dark, it's sometimes misty, and there are leaves everywhere, but it's also mild - too mild to switch on the heating never mind light a fire - and relentlessly rainy. It's been a very wet October so far and I am ready for some of those crisp, sunny autumn days when the leaves are crunchy and you can see your breath in the air. I'm doing everything I can: lighting candles, cooking, crocheting warm socks, unpacking the autumn decorations, getting out the crocheted woollen cowls and scarves.
While it rains, I make soup and bake cakes. Recent soups have been courgette and brie, spinach and creme fraiche, and butternut squash and red pepper. I like soups that I can just leave to cook in the pan then blitz in the blender. Nice and easy. What are your favourite simple soups?
Cakes have also taken an autumnal turn, with Anna Jones' apple cake with honey icing (from her first book A Modern Way to Eat although if you google it there are versions online) and sticky gingerbread (from Nigella Christmas but again, versions of the recipe are around online.)
When the rain stops, we all madly put on our wellies and raincoats and dash outside with the dog to get some fresh air.
Mostly we go to the woods which are a rainbow of colour at the moment, or somewhere local where Ziggy can have a good run off the lead. Sometimes we go to Bosham and sit and drink a cup of tea in the sunshine.
At home, we've been finally getting around to a few DIY jobs that have been niggling at us for only a few years or so and removed the old light fitting in the living room by the window. It gave us a level of lighting that was at best "task" and at worst "interrogation" and had been half hanging off the ceiling for years. John and my lovely dad swapped it for a vintage-style bulb in a wooden fitting with a long, black cord cable, designed to hang low in front of the window.
We've also ordered some fitted roman blinds for our 3.6 metre wide window, to replace the two sets of IKEA curtains my mum and I sewed together almost five years ago "until we get something else". It's important not to rush these things. Other house jobs which may get done in the next six months but more likely a few years include replacing two old, drafty windows upstairs, internal doors and, hopefully, a new bathroom. I never talk about our bathroom on here and there's a good reason for that. It's just awful - badly fitted, mouldy and dark - and no amount of house plants or good quality towels will redeem it.
I don't even think a handmade crochet pumpkin or felt leaf garland would make the bathroom acceptable, so I'll scatter these old favourites around the living room and hall instead.
That leaf garland remains one of the easiest things I made: leaf shapes cut out from felt and threaded with a needle onto a length of cotton. The last two autumns I've had to remove it as the dangling leaves have proved too tempting for the dog, but this year he's ignored it in favour of building a nest of trainers in his dog bed.
Our Sunday night family dinners are no longer eaten outside, but indoors with candles on the table and the roast chicken is now accompanied by roast potatoes and gravy, rather than new potatoes and salad.
Now that my two big summer projects (Sugarhouse blanket and Holiday Embroidery) are finished, I'm working on these socks. The pattern is from here and the yarn here. Once these are done, I'll be making this as a baby blanket for a friend who is expecting her first baby soon, and then I might make this for myself. Perhaps if I crochet enough warm, cosy items then autumn weather will finally arrive...