Sunday, 20 September 2009

Everyday Jottings - this and that

autumn chestnut

Today began early, or rather I woke early, knowing I needed to make bread, as we have guests coming to stay. I notice the chestnut tree on the Green opposite our bedroom window, and was minded that tomorrow is the first day of Autumn - take a pic whilst I remember; this is the tree I photograph in all lights and all seasons. Maybe I should make an image transfer book of all these pics. By the time I retrieved my camera (i.e. I couldn't remember where I had put it down yesterday), the pinky glow in the dawn sky had gone. But the chestnut still had that bronzed look about it; leaves are already falling, a carpet on the ground.

It has been, and is going to be, one of those 'crossing place' weekends: tasks complete and others to begin, when nothing is to its usual routine. Good for me, or I become obsessed with whatever is currently on my mind (like websites and canvassing new work and clearing the garden). Friday was a working day off: the sun was shining so off to the airfield to take photos for a promotional leaflet we are doing for some acquaintances, and to organise a 'fly-in' for October. We need to find a lunch venue and so check the pub we have in mind. Lovely, must post about this when the time comes, but meanwhile, we sample their coffee and note menus (sound delicious) and I - on a working day - sit and make notes on the fabric/paper journal I have actually started (I'll post about that on my Journaling blog 'ere long). 

Back home, I put the finishing touches to a travel article on Ludlow and the Shropshire Hills. Relief that that is done and Raymond's accompanying pics are glorious.  Saturday was house preparation day. My way of tidying (which only happens when we expect guests!) is to take all the paper clutter that has amassed in the kitchen and file it in a cardboard box! I fetch a similar box to de-clutter my work table so I can paint pocket pages for next weekend's Malvern Autumn Show; it will have a large golden paper-napkin sunflower on the cover, and ripe fiery squashes inside. Raymond needs help in the garden where he is working on the footings for my new greenhouse (the one in which we will grow over-wintering salads, and next year the best tomatoes ever (I hope). I cart barrowloads of bricks, and then - it is such a lovely day - I chop up all the elderly elder that we grubbed out of the hedge to make space for the g'house, and burn what cannot be salvaged for the heating boiler.

The new hens escape, repeatedly, but they are laying beautiful and such tasty eggs. My mood of the last week lightens; I decide not to post the poem of gloom I wrote a couple of days ago. The only remaining flying example of a world war two Lancaster bomber flies low overhead, and later, ditto a Vulcan. Such beautiful aircraft - yet their purpose was destruction. I take photos of the nasturtium - a flaming climber through the rose and willow - and veg for my recipe pages on the website (I'm lagging behind with this; too much else to do). Must find out what to do with the borlotti beans; soup I think.

flaming nasturtiums in the 'square foot' garden hedge

climbing borlotti beans (the pods are actually more vermillion than this)

When I should be cleaning (!) I sneak up to the roof space and gather together snippets of fabric for little journal. It is to have a watery theme and I find the perfect blue, with lighter streaks inlaid; I've had this fabric for thirty years at least; it's been waiting for something. I'll strip out the wavy bits and patchwork them with coloured pieces (they can be the swimmers cleaving their way through the water, causing ripples). My watery 'swimming' poems will be superimposed over more of this blue fabric. All goes into a bag with silk threads so I can start handstitching  once the chores are done.

'watery' fabric - I'll strip out and piece together the ripples

And now Sunday and time to get up and start baking. (How useful to be able to 'lap tap' in bed on my laptop; gaining time somehow as we drink early morning tea.) Lunch and supper are organised, the guest room is ready with fresh towels in the shower-room and a new cream throw on the bed. And tomorrow we take our guest to Tewkesbury Abbey, where I will photograph angels for my 'heaven and earth' project. Crossing from summer to autumn .... and homely things.


  1. Ah, fresh warm bread with butter. Sounds wonderful. And just the word pub makes me long for one of your great English pubs and beers. We've been enjoying bottle speckled hen of late, but it just isn't the same as being in a pub. And the greenhouse sounds divine. And I think we should raise hens when we move!

  2. Thank you for again taking me into the country.

    I feel so city-bound right now, it a joy to feel the space that comes with your posts. xo

  3. Bill - we'll take you over to our 'local' next time you come, as well as to the one I blogged about: a 'pub crawl'!

    Frances, country is all around me as I look out of the window, and it is indeed beautiful - until the traffic starts. Do contact us if ever you come over to the UK again.

  4. I have two wonderful children, my son Armont (21 in three weeks), Ariana 18, and I wish they had you for a grandmother. I wish I could express what I felt after reading your post, or any post for that matter.

    Though I am sad you were not able to locate the camera in order to capture the chestnut tree, but I am sure there will be another day. I am reminded of Monet and the haystacks that he painted in all kinds of different light and that you might do the same with this beautiful chestnut tree.

    May your day be filled with autumn sunshine.