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.