Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Not Autumn Yet

For the last two weeks I have been labouring under the misapprehension that it's autumn. At the weekend I made a big dish of baked oats with pears, ready to be warmed up on chilly mornings, and also a vat of beetroot soup to eat for lunch during the week. I had planned to pack away some summer things and even bought a new log basket. 

The weather, however, has been resolutely summery, balmy even. We've days so hot that it's still 26 degrees when I leave work at six pm, and warm evenings without a breath of wind. I've gone back to wearing summer clothes and the children's school has issued a special "hot weather" memo saying children don't have to wear jumpers. It throws me when it gets dark so much earlier than I feel like it should - the warm weather tricks me into thinking it's July not September.

Fortunately, the chocolate banana cake gets eaten whatever the weather. I have frozen the soup.

We are firmly back into the swing of school and work, with a staggering amount of washing to show for it.

But how things are changing - now I have one child who is, well, not exactly happy to iron her own school shirts, but able to do it.

Bella and Angus's first few weeks back at secondary school have gone surprisingly smoothly. They walk to school and back, make their own packed lunches and so far no-one has lost or forgotten anything vital (that they've told me about, anyway....).

After my first full day at work, I came home to bags and blazers on the hall floor, dirty lunchboxes and water bottles all over the kitchen, a dishwasher that still hadn't been emptied from the morning, and washing hanging on the line. There were words. We now have a list of jobs that they have to complete after school, which basically involves hanging up whatever needs hanging up, putting stuff away, washing up and making sure the dishwasher is empty. They bring in any washing on the line and give Ziggy his tea, and Bella and her cousins walk him a couple of times a week which they seem to love. Anyway, the difference this makes to my mood when I walk through the front door is pretty staggering. It just sets the tone for the whole evening. I am also getting back into the habit of using the slow cooker so that dinner is ready when I get in.

My first few weeks as a student teacher are going well. My parents gave me this amazing present which made me smile so much, although I have to confess some of the bottles may have been drunk before the actual job was completed. The course is unbelievably tiring and the work load is pretty intense - I am at work from eight until six every day as a minimum plus lots of reading and planning over the weekend - but being in a classroom full of children is a joy.

Another lovely surprise was this bunch of gorgeous flowers from my friend Abigail - they are the perfect summer to autumn blooms.

We've been getting out every weekend into the woods for a walk. They are lovely at the moment, quiet and still, before they turn into full autumn mode in another month.

I've been pottering around the garden a bit, cutting back all the plants in my pots, giving it all a bit of a tidy up and sort out. I think I enjoy the garden most at this time of year, when I have no expectations of it. But every week that the sweet peas keep flowering, every day that the sedum changes from pale to deepest pink, every cup of tea drunk outside on the bench, feels like a blessing. In another month I'll be planting bulbs and thinking about tucking the garden up the the winter. Not yet though.

I hope you are all well and enjoying these last warm weeks. 


  1. This is all looks so wonderful. Strange weather indeed.
    Our children are still off school here in Melbourne Australia. The only state to do so as we have been in lockdown (second time around)for two months. It's so tiring. If only the kids could go back to school I could handle the rest of it.
    Take care and all the best with work.

  2. what a thoughtful and fun present (wine) and nice to see the kids can chip in with the housework, mine are adult now and still doing their ironing and cooking, its good to get them trained and independent, empowers them :)

  3. A lovely post! I can't visit England this year because of the virus so I appreciate reading blogs like yours! Our weather has been wonderful until today. We are getting the remains of Hurricane Sally and she packs a punch. It is 4AM in Atlanta area, I 've been up since 2AM! Rain is fierce, flooding expected. Wish us luck! Take care.

  4. Gorgeous photos! Sounds like your course is going well - wishing you every success.

  5. Well done, kids should know they're part of the team. My bro's couldn't boil an egg, so much independence of others created. Planned it to different with my kids and it worked out fine. Your parents gave you such a lovely gift, the flowers of friend are gorgeous. Don't make your garden too clean, all kinds of animals need shelter and food. You're doing it! It's intense but for a short time. Well done.

  6. Hope you're enjoying teaching. I know how hard the training is, I've been there!

  7. Lovely photos, as usual. I especially enjoyed seeing Bella and Angus on the first day of school––beautiful and handsome! I have read your blog since they were 3 and 5(!), and it's been a joy to follow along. /Fay, in SE USA

  8. Glad you are enjoying your course and you have been able to redirect some chores elsewhere in the family. What a lovely present from your parents too.
    I agree that the weather is giving us lots of amazing days right now which means we can squeeze out every last drop of Summer. As always some lovely pictures. Thank you for sharing x

  9. I was just about to unpack all my woolly jumpers and back came Summer, although it has been going quite chilly at nights so the throw on the sofa has been called into use a couple of times.

    What lovely gifts, and the labelled wine bottles are just brilliant :-)

  10. We too are having a mini heatwave. The weather this past week has been glorious. Sitting out in the garden with my crochet is so blissful. I'm glad to hear that your children are settling into their school routine and the new chores list. I well remember walking my younger brother to and from school, getting things tidied up and getting things ready for tea for when Mum came home from work waaay back in the early 70s when I was still in junior school. I love the wine labels, what a fab idea! Take care and enjoy the weather. J

  11. I’m loving the extended warm weather, but I also love autumn so would like the nights to be a little cooler at least. A good delegation of jobs for Bella and Angus, they’ll soon get so used to doing them. All your food looks delicious, especially the chocolate banana cake. Is white chocolate drizzled all over it, or something else?

  12. After this year, I have decided that I'm going to not treat 1st September as autumn but wait until the equinox instead. Every year I start to think of the seasons changing and then the sort of are but it still feels like summer and not proper autumn so the 22nd it will be. We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on the 18th and I was reminded that I chose to get married in "late summer" not "early autumn"! I heard of a great term recently for these past few weeks: "Sortumn" - sort of summer/sort of autumn. I think it fits perfectly for these warm days/cool nights. So pleased the course is going well. It is tiring, isn't it? But so good that you're finding a bit of a balance and time to have a break even this early on. I didn't get it right until towards the end of the year, by which point I was on my knees! x

  13. Glad you are finding the course and workload exciting even if hard work. I remember my pgce year as hard but was so glad I put the effort in, made the nqt year more doable! Love the wine treats, wish someone had done that for me, can imagine it is much needed! Just a little further north here, so have begun putting the garden to bed this week, planting more bulbs, splitting plants and preparing for the winter. Makes things so much easier come spring to do the hard work now I always think. Found some large toads in my compost heaps, which gave me a fright (unexpected) so have left one heap untouched for them to enjoy!!


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