Tuesday 29 September 2009

Can a Tea Cosy Make You Feel Cosy?

Some days we all need a pick me up don't we. When there are muddling things on your mind, troubles brewing, some horrid lurgy lurking and that feeling that things are a bit unbalanced, you just need something to make you smile - and look what did it for me today!
I've been hankering after a knitted tea cosy for ever (and I can't really explain why because I'm more of a cheap coffee drinker to be honest - dreadfully uncouth me; a mug of Kenco instant is always preferred!). They do remind me of my grandparents house though and these ones with the flowers are ever so sweet and really do make me feel jolly.

There are a couple of other recent treasures here too; a vintage annual for the boys' bookcase, a very pretty £1 sweets tin and a new/old crochet blanket bought for a couple of pounds on ebay. Now I almost daren't mention this but the new Cath catalogue was waiting for me when I got home too! Hope everyone finally got there's last time around - I ended up getting a second one so if anyone is still in need of the first Autumn edition do let me know.

So at the very least I'm feeling much cosier and a bit more settled. A sit down with a cuppa has helped enormously and we've decided to ring the changes a bit at home; which I'm hoping will give my sweet, tired husband a bit of peace and some much needed quiet (no, I'm not clearing off or buying him a shed - we're giving up a few hours income in pursuit of the old work/life balance dream!) Much better - even skinter, but much better for a happier home.

Hope something is making you feel cosy too.

Tuesday 15 September 2009

Summer lingers

Bright blue skies and balmy afternoons have treated us to a very easy start to the new term. No matter how old I am, early September always heralds a new year and a fresh start for me.
The boys seem to have settled into a new routine with relative calm, thankfully. Tiredness stalks the house and the sound of reality hitting home too with much talk "no more playing mummy! We have to do lessons all the time." Oh dear, bless. Our littlest chap is surprisingly happy to wear his brand new uniform and so far there have been no tears of distress which is the hugest of reliefs.
My early morning peer down the valley each morning reveals the slide into a new season more and more every day. Rising mists above the river, shot through with pale, golden sunshine and the occasional curlew or skein of geese heading over the hills.
For two weeks now the weather here has been truly beautiful. Not hot enough for a true Indian summer but still and warm with hardly a breath of wind or a drop of rain. Change will come though, there's a sense of waiting in the air as the valley prepares for the thrashing gales that will probably herald the arrival of the equinox next week. We sit in a harsh frost pocket here and before long the morning view will sparkle with hoar.

So I'm getting myself ready, cupboards have been cleared, old/unwanted broken toys, long read books and too small/too old clothes delivered to the relevant recycling place. The freezer is stocked with stock plus summer fruits for autumn crumbles and requests made for a regular Sunday lunchtime roast by he who does not usually give a fig for food (Woody).
Outside the sun still shines but eiderdowns are back on the beds and winter curtains up at the windows. I adore this feeling of preparation, burrowing in and waiting. Susan Hill sums up the beginning of Autumn beautifully in "Through The Kitchen Window", a little gem of a book with gorgeous illustrations that for fill me with joy whatever the season.
Autumn cooking is for storing, squirreling and hoarding, in larder and cupboard, attic and cellar and freezer.

In mornings, a mist rises and wreathes in and out between the tree trunks. On the damp ground lie windfall apples and pears, burrowed into by late wasps. By noon, the sun is high, and it is warm.

The leaves are beginning to yellow and curl. Runner bean flowers are shrivelling at the tops of their poles. Fruits hang thickly clustered from their stems, over-ripe, ready to fall, plums and damsons, apples and pears, rowan and elderberries and dark succulent brambles.

But I'm a little bit odd because its the bit that comes next I love the most, late autumn, dark afternoons, fog, bare trees, fireworks, pumpkins, toffee apples, cosy firesides and the roll down hill to festiveness. But for now...I can wait.

Sunday 6 September 2009

It'll Do For Me

For years I've been coveting a very particular type of dress that I saw in the CK catalogue ages and ages ago but was tantalisingly out of reach. I've been scouring ebay, fabric shops and look alikes ever since but nothing has come remotely close, apart from this beautiful dress handmade for the lovely Julia at Vintage Heaven, (one of my most favourite and very inspiring blogs - just scroll down the last post to see the frock of dreams!)

Until Friday.

Looking for a jacket Woody had requested, this pretty, pretty thing jumped out at me for a fraction of the price (£16) of THE original dress.

Now admittedly it isn't exactly the same but it comes pretty close, is the type of beautiful black jersey fabric I wanted and looks super with jeans or leggings (I must be mad) or even thick, thick tights.
Sorry for wittering on about purchases again, (especially after all your very kind comments about my latest haul of old junk/treasure, they have made me smile all week, thank you), but this really is such a special one. Hurrah for Peacocks is all I can say!