Sunday, November 10, 2013


I like November. I like the crisp, clear sunlight during the day, and then cosying up beside the wood burner at night with my various projects close by (knitting, reading, notebook planning, watching TV).

And I like winter outdoor pursuits. We had a bonfire again this year. And a firework display. I was a wee bit concerned about the animals, but Pete had chosen fireworks that didn't scream or bang too loudly. I spent the morning baking banana and walnut cake, and apple pies and it was lovely to have everyone round to ours first before heading out. I realised, though, part-way through, that I was worrying about Meg. I had expected everyone to stay out once we went out to the bonfire, but there was quite a bit of in and out for various reasons (cold; children) and I started feeling stressed. So I did what I should have done from the outset and locked Meg in upstairs. That meant people could come and go as they liked and Meg would be safely inside. 
Last Wednesday I met my friend Janie in York. It is halfway between where we each live. We headed straight to Betty's Tea Rooms when we arrived and had Elevenses. It was so lovely and very civilised and so busy. When we went back later (I wanted to buy their chocolate pigs) there was a queue right out the door! Amazing.

We had five hours in York and I knew it would pass too quickly. We talked non-stop from when we met to when we parted. I really miss living near to Janie and Ba. They are such good fun and great people. 
Hagos and I went to Whitmuir for coffee and cake on Thursday. Hagos likes to pull funny faces. The chocolate cake was amazing, but I have been over-indulging recently and my body has reached its limit!
I hadn't intended knitting a pair of socks anytime soon (what with five jumpers at various stages of knitting and completion on the go) but my friend hinted so often that she loved the socks I knitted her last year that I started thinking I should knit her another pair. I would need to get her something for Christmas, after all. So I chose the three colours and made it up as I went along. I like to think of it as a crazy-Tweed type pattern. I'm planning to make the toe entirely yellow.

It's been so nice having time off. When I'm working full-time my head is in work mode and is busybusybusy. Too busy. I miss having time to look after my house and family. All the little jobs there isn't time to do. I miss seeing Meg and Hagos and my chickens (particularly in winter as they are in bed by the time I get home from work). And just having the time to make home more homely. My back hallway needs a good clean and clear out. 

And now I'm on the countdown to Christmas, and I still have Hagos's accounts to itemise and finish preparing for the accountant. I'll just have to try to pace myself.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

A Catch Up

It's been a busy month. My husband returned home from tour and it's so nice to have him home. The first weekend back we had planned the GREAT APPLE-PICKING day. Collecting apples to turn them into cider! All apple-related pics courtesy of Pete. 
The lower apples were easy to reach. But it was so tantalising to see the higher apples and not be able to reach them. In the end we had a ladder, a mop and a football to try to knock the apples out of the tree. I think the football is still in the tree.
Shaking the tree was a great method to make the apples drop. The kids helped enthusiastically at the first tree. By the second tree they were already getting distracted and sitting on the quad bike instead while the adults gathered, and not long after that they headed off to watch Star Wars and left the adults to it entirely.
The apple press caused much excitement, along with the macerator (not pictured). Boys' toys. It is beautiful though. I love the green.
We collected so many apples. We started at 1.30pm and Hagos and I were still next door at our neighbours' house at midnight! We were so exhausted.
The apple press in action. 
I love this photo of the boys together. Some people ate the apples as we went from tree to tree :)
And a completely unrelated photo from Lynsey's birthday dinner last night at Viva Mexico on Coburn Street. Last year there was a sombrero that she put on and looked very fetching. This year the sombrero was nowhere to be seen (cutbacks, perhaps?) so Lynsey used her placemat instead.

I still have five jumpers at various stages of being knitted/finished off. I wanted to finish them all at the same time and then do a post entitled 'Jumper Tetris'. That's seeming less likely! 

Also in the past month my sister moved house. I went down to Dumfries to help clean the new place one day. It brought back memories of moving from Norfolk to Scotland. Such a major operation!

Today is Whitmuir for coffee and cake. Then tomorrow we're celebrating bonfire night early. I like fireworks but hope there aren't too many that go 'bang'. I don't want the animals (wild or domesticated) to be scared. I like fireworks that fizz gently and turn different colours. And sparklers. I like this time of year.