Sunday, 22 November 2015

Weekend light

I love the late afternoons at this time of year. Long shadows, low light and muted blues and greys. The lights in the shops look inviting and in living rooms lamps are lit and fires are flickering. The first picture was taken in that moment just before the sun sets. The town lit up in apricot light, It was gone in a minute.

I watched the sun rise as well today, on a run. I headed out into the countryside and saw the sky turn pink over the bare fields. The trees have mostly lost their leaves now. It's good for birdwatching and seeing last year's nests appear. Winter is on its way and I really rather like it.

We had the second consecutive football free weekend this weekend. Didn't know what to do with ourselves. The littlest boy and the biggest boy have horrible colds, so in fact we didn't do much. We did manage a bit of fresh air each day though. I think it helps with sleeping. It's one of the reasons I run sometimes. I'm very good at falling asleep, but I always wake up too early in the morning. The more exercise I get, the longer I sleep.

The garden has been battened down for winter. I put the tayberry back up today after its hazel wigwam blew down in the gusts of wind last week. Everything has been cleared from the raised beds now, the hedge has been trimmed and the raspberries have been cut down. Inside the candles are out on the kitchen windowsill and we've even had the heating on a bit. I'm eating extra chocolate to get me through the dark days. All those chocolate stimulants and chemicals, 300 or so of them apparently. It's an enchanting and mysterious substance. Who am I to fight the power of the bean?

Have you watched any of the new David Attenborough series, The Hunt? Honestly, the BBC are in a league of their own when it comes to wildlife documentaries. Watching seals hunting sardines is utterly mesmerising. Quite amazing what goes on in the deep blue sea.

I'm off to look for more chocolate now. Wishing you all a good week. CJ xx

Friday, 20 November 2015

Five on Friday

Joining in with Amy for Five on Friday.

1. Photos from a walk a couple of weeks ago. We haven't been on a proper walk since. Maybe this weekend if the weather is nice. I hear the sun may be shining on Saturday. I do love to walk at this time of year, and through the winter. I like to feel connected to the seasons and to the outside.

2. Imagine drifting downstream on one of those narrowboats. Intrigue or Destiny. Maybe even Petronella. (Anyone remember Blouse and Skirt on Brothers and Sisters? Only me? It probably is. I watched all sorts of rubbish in the casino staff room in the middle of the night. Prisoner Cell Block H!) I digress. I used to want to run off with a gypsy violinist. Still do a bit. Remember the girl in the Flake advert sitting on the back of the vardo? That was how I hoped my future would turn out.

3. For anyone thinking about advent calendars, I can do no better than point you towards Belgian Waffle's post about this year's selection. She has thoroughly analysed the market so you don't have to.

4. Please don't judge me too harshly on the Prisoner Cell Block H thing. The television is on all night in the casino staff room and it's impossible not to watch.

5. I shall leave you with a clip from the local free paper about new mayoral candidates for Bristol. The first one "is very much a one-ticket candidate". The second one "was thrown out of a council meeting by security staff in March". And the third one, oh the third one. You will love this one. He "has declared that he has given up making p*rn movies so that he can concentrate on his election campaign.  Mr L---, otherwise known as Johnny R*ckard, said in a statement: "For the time being at least my adult movie interests have been shelved because, quite frankly s*x has become boring and every day is like Groundhog Day. It has reached the point where I simply can no longer cope with having too many women in my life, both directly and indirectly.""

Stiff competition no? Sometimes it's so hard to know who to vote for.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Yarn Along

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along at Small Things.

No sunny outside picture of the blanket this week, rather an inside sofa shot. The best place to be when it's wild and windy. The funfair at the Christmas lights switch-on (I know) was cancelled yesterday evening because of the high winds. The lights are on now anyway, and probably will be until halfway through January. That's two months. One-sixth of the year. Seems a little excessive does it not.

I'm still knitting up and down these long, long blanket rows. The balls of wool are disappearing fast, I think I only have three left. Might need more. I have discussed the colour of the last stripe (at length) with the littlest boy. I think we are agreed, although I cannot for the life of me remember what exactly it was we agreed on. There will be trouble if I get it wrong.

I started reading Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, but I fear it may not be the book for me. Such misery and gloom. I really don't have the patience for it. I know lots of people love Kate's books, so I'm trying to give it a fair crack of the whip, but there are too many excellent books out there waiting to be read for me to press on with such dismal fare. Women who don't like their children (any of them), who don't like having more children, who don't like life, who are just really, really glum about everything. No, I don't want to hear about you, go away.

If I should stick at it, please let me know. I shall listen to you, you know I will. But I'm casting longing glances at the next book in the pile.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Five on Friday

Joining in with Amy and Five on Friday.

1.  The dregs of summer in the garden. Beans and peas and flowers are hanging on in there in this unseasonally warm autumn. I went down to the allotment today and the strawberries are flowering like mad and there are even green berries. Too little too late.

2.  I have changed the photo of me to one with a coat on in deference to the onset of winter. The other one was making me feel cold. The littlest boy is still in shorts though, even for school, which is highly forbidden once the Winter Uniform Decree has been issued.

3. The other half sometimes thinks the boys have too many shoes. But I'm thinking he might really have something to complain about if they were girls. At least their shoes are all functional (and well used). Studded boots for football on grass, bumpy bottomed boots for football on astro turf, trainers for whatever it is they do at school that doesn't involve kicking things and for the street and the park, school shoes for all day every day, walking boots for going up mountains and wellies for muddy stuff. As far as I can tell if you're a girl you need vast amount of ballet pumps in pink, and with flowers on, and covered in silver sequins. Then you need fancy boots for walking down the road and Lelli Kellies for going to parties and cool trainers for hanging out in. It's a whole different ball game.

4. After a conversation with a friend I'm wondering if I can get away with sending the littlest boy to school in an evacuee costume for Tudor Day... I've stretched it to Victorian Day, but I didn't think it would pass as Tudor. It's sludge coloured cotton trousers and a beige shirt. But really, urchins have been dressing like this since time immemorial haven't they? Grubby urchin clothes. And the children themselves don't seem to be entirely clear as to when anything was anyway. It's not as though he'll ever wear an actual Tudor outfit again. It's probably different for girls, I expect they like to skip around in fancy dresses, but there's less scope for dressing in royal blue pantaloons when your day involves climbing trees and kicking brothers footballs. Although the littlest boy does like to wear the evacuee flat cap about the place, along with his cool yellow tiger t-shirt and action shorts. Not everyone can carry off a look like that.

5. Finally a thank you to you all for coming here and reading and commenting and encouraging and allowing me to wax lyrical over a particularly fine acorn and have a favourite firework. Oh, and to moan a bit sometimes. Thank you, you are all cracking, and I'm wishing you a top weekend.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Jam today

Can anyone else see the Dark Mark?

Dark Mark again (right at the top, slightly left)
my favourite firework

It was a good weekend. Everyone was nice(ish) to everyone else. The food wasn't bad and by dint of some frantic between times cleaning on Sunday afternoon the house ended up cleaner than when it started.

We had a wander in the city on Saturday afternoon then went to the allotments to watch the firework display in the evening. 

The littlest boy had football training on Sunday morning, then we went to watch the bigs in their matches, and he played some more. Then he went to the park in the afternoon while the middle boy had the Remembrance parade, and played some more. By the evening he had come over all peaky and actually asked to go to bed, which is literally the first time this has happened in living memory. I don't think it was to do with all of the running around, that's a fairly normal Sunday for him, rather some passing lurgy. 

He managed to secure a scrumptious day off today by dint of still looking deathly pale and having a headache this morning. Around about 12 o'clock he said, "Can I have jam on toast for lunch?" I said, "Jam on toast for lunch???  Certainly not, that's absolute insanity having jam for lunch." He said, "Sometimes, when people aren't very well they can have jam on toast for lunch." He is learning that if he puts his case neatly I usually give in when I've finished laughing. Jam on toast for lunch it was. 

As the term kicks into full throttle the calendar is filling up in a ridiculous way with all sorts of demanding things. Wear a hat that you made day. Wear a Tudor costume day. I haven't fully recovered from Roald Dahl day yet. The headmaster emailed me at the weekend and thanked me for offering to take a load of boys to an away football tournament for an entire morning this week and said yes, he would be taking me up on the offer. I have absolutely no recollection of making any such offer.

You may recall I'm doing a little writing course, and I'm trying to find a few hours for it. And trying to make life as easy as possible. The school do not appear to be on message. If anyone needs me I'll be hiding in the cupboard under the stairs.