Tag: autumn

Is Winter Here?

Has it snuck in without any of us looking?  What a stealthy thief, sneaking in without even a polite knock on the door?  Honestly winter!  Autumn isn’t really done yet showing off her lovely golden colours.  Autumn?  Hello, are you there?  Oh she’s gone.

Admittedly, winter and I don’t get on very well.  Apart from Christmas, there’s really nothing good about the winter.  Its long dark, cold, and dreary days take too much toll in my mind.  And so my mind has to over-work itself up by trying to ignore the bleak darkness outside my window.  I constantly think of small joys, and try to focus on the positives instead of the negatives, like, sure it’s so dreary outside I could cry, but the trees sure do look beautiful.  I love this quote from Cynthia Rylant, author of one of my favourite short stories anthology, A Couple of Kooks.  Let me share it with you:

In November, the trees are standing,

all sticks and bones.

Without their leaves,

how lovely they are,

spreading their arms like dancers.

The know it is time to be still.

Winter trees are indeed beautiful, especially the silhouette it makes against the grey sky.

If you follow me over on Instagram, these photos will look familiar to you.

What about you?

Do you find Winter a bit harsh?

One Crisp Autumn Day

Our life here in the country is really simple.  We don’t really go out much, especially when the husband is busy with his work.  Apart from the hike over at Rough Tor, we didn’t really do a lot over the half-term break.  Luckily, we have a big garden and when the weather was good over the holiday, T and I were out there, raking-leaves.  She’s such a good little helper. She likes doing chores with me.

We actually like staying home.  Of course, you’ll hear “I’m bored” or “There’s nothing for me to do” occasionally especially when the weather is bad.  But I guess like all solo kids, she eventually finds something to do and when the weather is good, as mentioned, we are out in the garden pottering around.

Last year, we bought her, her own little rake and garden gloves.  That’s one of the reasons why she loves helping because she has her own tools.  It makes her feel more “grown-up” I guess.

We have a lot of trees out there, so we constantly have to rake the leaves, if not, there’ll be a blanket of mucky-brown leaves on the lawn before you know it.  During school days, I consider this my autumn exercise, raking and wheeling my pile of leaves down the garden.  But when T is home, it’s a mother and daughter team.

T also likes to clear her trampoline off the leaves.

My little gardener.  Watch her go.

We have a compost pit where we pile all the leaves on behind our little barn.

Autumn is a second spring.

Where every leaf is a flower.

– Albert Camus

And there she is, resting after an afternoon of raking the leaves.  And of course, Doc was also out there with us.

He likes to either run around with a stick on his mouth or lie on the grass and crunch on a stick that he’s found.  You’ll hear him crunch, crunching on his stick.

And when he sees Boots, they like to stare and wait for the other to make a move and it’s usually Doc, but of course, he never out runs her.  She’s the boss and he knows it.

Just for fun, T and I made a little shortie

What’s your garden like in Autumn?

Autumn Faves: Chunky Jumpers

Since Autumn seems to have comfortably settled in, I’ve decided to embrace everything about this cozy season.  What do I love about Autumn, let me count the ways:

  • I love winter-warmer recipes, especially homemade soup like my favourite squash soup.
  • I love open and lit fires.
  • I love taking long Autumn walks.
  • I love the changing of the colours of the leaves from green, brown to golden.
  • And lastly, I love wearing chunky jumpers, who doesn’t?

I’ve never been a fashionable person. I’ve always gone for comfort and not style, especially now that I’m a mother.  Who has the energy to think of outfits for the school run?  Do women even do that, I wonder?  If you do, well done to you!  As for me, I usually grab whatever I can get my hands on.  I’m lucky if I remember to even brush my hair.  That’s one of the reasons why I have my hair short now – less hassle.

I do however love Autumn and Winter fashion, though I do use the word “fashion” loosely, as I mentioned, I don’t really care much about it but I love, love, love chunky jumpers.  Who cares if they make you look a bit heavier, as long as they keep you cosy and warm?  Here are four of my faves:

1. Face Face   2. Dorothy Perkins 3. H&M  4. Zara

Come to think of it, I don’t just love chunky jumpers, I guess you could say I love Autumn and Winter clothes.  I know what you’re thinking, “I thought you didn’t care much about fashion?” I guess I do, but only in the cold seasons 🙂 From lovely knits, to fluffy hats with pompoms and thick scarves, and boots!  To quote L.M. Montgomery (author of the classic – Anne of Green Gables)  “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”  And I’m adding …chunky jumpers!

What about you?

Do you love chunky knits too?

Autumn Images

The Indian summer I was so hoping for, didn’t happen.  It’s like summer didn’t even try to linger a bit longer.  It just packed its bag and nary a glance, left and shut the door quietly behind it.  Ah well….

Autumn isn’t that bad at all.  In fact, I do love the changing of the colours of the leaves from green, brown to golden.  I love raking them in the garden, dressed in a warm coat and wellies, engrossed in my own thoughts.  I pile all the leaves and scoop them up in our wheelbarrow, then wheel it behind the small barn and unto our compost heap.  I have a feeling a badger or hedgehog family might just decide to move in there soon.  They’ll dig in real deep under that pile of leaves.  Hopefully it will keep them warm.

All the leaves in the trees will soon be gone. I’ll keep raking them as fast as I can but the weather hasn’t been too kind lately.  The leaves have turned mucky.  When it’s better you’ll find me busy raking in the garden, such good exercise too.

And here is Boots on her favourite spot.  I’ve probably photographed her more than a dozen times on this very spot, over the seasons.  I think she likes it there so she can wait and watch before she pounces on her prey.

And you’ll still find the cows grazing in the empty field behind our house.  In the winter, they are all put in the barn.  I guess it’s because there’s not enough nutrients to be found in the grass and so they’ll have to be fed in the barn.

Autumn days are also lovely when you have a fire to light.  When I think of autumn, I also think of delicious home-made soup, thick-chunky jumpers, and lovely autumnal walks.

Yes, it isn’t that bad at all.  While I do miss you summer, I’m cozying up with Autumn now.  See you next year!

A Country Kid’s Post: Autumn Fun in the Garden

Our garden is carpeted in leaves.  We had absolutely lovely sunshine weather a few days ago, the kind that’s best spent outside, so T and I decided to hunt for a rake and do a little bit of tidying up in our lawn.

We couldn’t find one, what my husband found instead was his nan’s old small garden pea-rake.  “Yep, that will do!” I said to him as I grabbed it and handed it to little T who seemed really excited about it.  I promised that she could jump up and down in leafy piles after.

raking_1

Hard at work with her great-grandmother’s small pea-rake.

raking2raking3raking4raking5

And once she had a good pile of raked-leaves, she decided that it was a great burial ground for her baby.

t_doll

 I warned her though that children’s services would take the her baby away if they found out. That stopped her. She took Ella away from the pile and started raking again, till she had a good amount of leaves to jump in.

jumping

Don’t you just love watching them have fun in even the simplest ways?

I do.

PS

My husband is right.  We do need a leaf-vac.

Autumn Thoughts

“We’ll be needing a leaf-vac” my husband says to me as he surveys our big garden.

“Pfft” I say to him “All we need is a rake and I’ll get raking!”

backgarden

Scene from our back-garden.

I had images of myself going out with a rake in hand, wellies, wrapped up nice and warm in my brown coat (the one I use to walk the dog), complete with wooly hat.

wellies

I had visions of myself raking away, deep in thought, while Doc as usual, would be lumbering around like a silly billy.  After while, I’d have a whole mountain of lovely brown and golden leaves on one side.  Maybe later if there was still enough light, T can do a leaf dive and I’d manage to catch everything in my camera (I rarely do, by the way), perfect captured moments, to be later posted on Instagram.

leaves

When all this is done.  We’d go in, hand-in-hand, mother and daughter, the husband will be slaving away in the kitchen with a lit fire, making us delicious hot-chocolate, complete with whipped cream.  He’ll also be slicing us a piece of cake fresh from the oven.  Lovely.  Life is bliss.

 “Dean, look at all those trees” the husband pointedly says, interrupting my reverie.  Can you imagine all of those leaves on the ground?

view_fromstudy View of the side-garden from the Historian’s study.

“Yep, we’ll need a leaf-vac”  and just like that my husband bursts my bubble.

Are you a dreamer like me, or practical like him?

A Country Kid’s Post: Blackberry Picking in Our Garden

“I fancy making some blackberry and apple crumble today”  says the husband from the kitchen.  He is still in a roll again.  T and I are in the living room.  The fire is on, I’m flicking through my Ideal Home magazine and T is on the iPad.  She’s only ever allowed to have it on a weekend.  I put my magazine down and quip “Not to worry, we shall pick you some fresh blackberries in our garden”.

We have a wilderness behind our old shed at the bottom of our garden.  For a while, we toyed with the idea of planting a vegetable plot behind it, but I’m thinking now to let it be. There’s something magical and mysterious about this little plot of land behind that shed.  And much to our delight, we’ve discovered blackberries growing in the bushes there.

T and I put our wellies on and this makes Doc excited.  He bounds out as soon as we open the door, grabbing a stick along the way and watches us forage.  After a while, he gets bored and decides that it’s more fun running around like a loony with a stick in his mouth and he lets little T and I be.  It doesn’t take us long and we have enough for the Historian’s recipe and head back inside the house.

Now that’s what I call bliss.

If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard.  Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with. –  L. Frank Braum, The Wizard of Oz

What’s yours?

 

Autumn Cooking: The Day the Husband Invaded My Kitchen

While summer is undoubtedly my favourite season, I do like autumn too.  I love the way the colours of the leaves change, from orange, gold, brown, taking long walks, bundled warm in our scarves and hats and hearing the crunching of the leaves under our wellies.  Then coming back home to a warm fire and maybe a mug of hot chocolate.

I think we’re settling well into autumn now, although you’ll never know we might just have an Indian summer … One can still hope.

I’m usually the main cook of the family.  But a few days ago, a close friend of ours gave us some vegetables from a relative’s garden which included marrow and beetroot and gave my husband ideas.  He loves marrow you see, and decided to try his hand at “stuffed marrow” last night.  Apparently, marrow is a winter vegetable.  I never knew that.

stuffed_marrow

He absolutely enjoyed it.  As for T and I?  Let’s just say we ate the stuffing 😉  To be fair though, I’m not familiar with this vegetable at all.  To me it looked like a giant cucumber.  T actually called it a “snozzcumber” (from the BFG), The Historian wasn’t impressed at all.

Still on a roll, today, he baked us a beetroot-chocolate cake.

cake_batter

This time, T and I loved it.

beetroot_chocolate_cake

He still has a couple of recipes up his sleeve, hopefully T and I will manage to eat it.  What I meant to write was, I’m sure T and I will absolutely without any doubt lick our plates clean 😉

Our word of the week is Autumn.

What’s yours?

The Reading Residence

Summer in November

The first day of November felt like summer.  After the experiencing Halloween madness the previous night, we along with some friends, decided that a beach day was a must, especially since the day looked very promising.

But it being late autumn, I packed coats, wellies, wooly hats and scarves in the car.  It turned out that we didn’t need them at all.  Widemouth Bay (as you all know is a fave) and was surprisingly packed well not the beach (there’s always space enough for everyone), but the parking lot, considering it was the last day of the half-term break.

beachandsun_littlesteps

littlepools_littlesteps

While waiting to meet up with her best friend F, as always, little T and her dad were lost in the rock rockpools.

rockpooling

Soon little F joined his best friend and they quickly had a small collection of rock pool finds, a small fish, crab and some snails.

rockpoolfinds_littlesteps

One must never forget the rock pooling rule: What one finds, must always return back to the sea:

lettingitgo_littlesteps

T and F letting their precious finds back into the water.

T&f_littlesteps

And then it was time to run around like loonies.

running_littlesteps

 This was what it was like the first day of November.  It certainly felt like summer that day.  Today, the 14th is an altogether different story.  As I type this, I can see our little village clothed in grey and rain.  It is definitely autumn once again.

What’s the weather like on your side of the world?

Is it sunny or gloomy like it is here?

Off the Leash: An Autumn Walk with Doc

Our little village by the sea is quietening down.  Tourist season is over, although when the weather is fine like last week, you’ll still see a few of them roaming around the headland.  But there is no doubt, summer has indeed faded into oblivion.  Hello autumn!

autumncolours_littlesteps

The closing of the tourist season is good news for our over-excitable, over-eager not-so-little bundle of fur and neurosis doggie called Doc.  This means he can finally go off-leash again after the few unhappy incidents we’ve had since getting him from the kennel a month ago.

offleash_littlesteps

And now he’s free to roam the headland again, sniffing, running around like a loony, finding the most disgusting smell he can find and rolling on it.

doc_littlesteps

He is at his happiest when set free to run like the wind!  And since the stitches are now mostly empty, I can let him off leash without worrying that he might jump on poor unsuspecting tourists.  Doc is free.

As I am too and happy to snap away at the evidence all around me that summer has definitely packed its bags and left us with its remains of wild flowers that used to stand so proud with its vibrant colours now looking withered and sad.

witheredflowers_littlesteps

Where has the brightness gone?

And we’re left instead with every shade of grey and brown.

brownleaves_littlesteps

But autumn can be pretty too with its leaves turning golden before the winter days set it in.

For now though, Doc is happy to hear the sound of autumn leaves squelching under his paws.  As for me, I’m just glad that he is happy too.

What do you love about autumn/fall?

ANIMALTALES