Thursday, October 31, 2013

Orange October

This month I have been mostly going out.  The house is a mess, the garden is a mud bath and the ironing pile is starting to cast a shadow..... 

We've had electricians - the outside light was going on and off like a lighthouse.  I thought I was either going to have a fit or planes would start landing on the drive.

We've had plasterers - decorating is soooooo boring.

We've had builders - the room we are decorating developed a huge wet patch on the ceiling - agh!

We've had lots of animal stuff.

We had to pull the remaining carrots up as the ducks were pulling them out whole and leaving them on the ground!  I was going to say 'lawn' then but you could hardly call our garden a lawn.

Sarah (aka 'The Duck Whisperer')  -  Jemima and Donald first for a treat

All spring and summer the boys were fighting over the girls now we have had to split the two females up as they keep scrapping.  Jemima (practises escapology in her spare time) likes to levitate over the fence so we are constantly putting her back in the pen.

Jemima - the Marilyn Monroe of the duck world

The cows have gone to another field now, much to Big Dog's relief.

Stand off - 38 cows against 1 dog

Big Dog having a well earned snooze......

I have been studying the soft autumn light.

We've been clearing the veggie patch.

The last of the courgettes and patti pans

A lonely lettuce with just a few spindly leeks for company

The neighbours love Sarah as she is now busy raking up everybody's leaves for her leaf mould bin.

We've had some great walks.  The shooting season is in full swing - lots of ratchety sounding pheasants, flapping partridges and tweed jackets (not on the birds).  We got mistaken for the hired help the other day when a lady stopped her car outside the 'big house' (where they were holding a shoot) and told us she had put the soup and cake in the kitchen!

This is Sarah scrambling down a near vertical hill - we went a bit off piste, oops

Gorgeous light at Hare Warren

If only my legs really were this long

The barns are all full of hay

Big Dog's favourite walk by the mill

I don't know why I love hairy rope, twine and string

I'm glad that I made the most of the good weather and light evenings.

Now, the weather has turned.  Very wet, windy and gloomy.

Orange twine - sigh.....

A damp, blustery Cathedral close 

Last Sunday night we had an awful storm.  There were winds of 100 miles per hour over the south coast. I hardly slept a wink that night.  I lay there terrified that our little bungalow would simply take off like the Wizard of Oz!  The window frames creaked, the wind howled and the rain lashed against the glass.  The next day there was a trampoline in the middle of the drove.  We've since seen the owner who was out with his dog looking for it.  He lives a quarter of a mile away!

One good thing about the clocks changing and the weather being grotty is that I can't feel guilty for not gardening.  I can go to the theatre and to concerts with a clean conscious.

The best concert was Kate Rusby.  Her band were amazing and I love her Yorkshire wit and the stories she tells.  What better on a dark, windy autumn night than listening to folk songs about fishermen on stormy seas and desperate women waiting by the harbour for their men to come home. Lots of raw emotion, murder, loss and angst.  Great stuff!  

Kate Rusby

The best play was 'Ghosts' by Ibsen.

What I love about theatre are the sets and the costumes.  It's like a grown up version of a dolls house - open the front and peer into another world.  

The production of 'Ghosts' was inspired by the artist Edvard Munch's stage design for the play previously seen only once, in Berlin in 1906!  It was a fantastic set.  It had everything - the open fire, grandfather clock, atmospheric lamps and mysterious staircases.  Very dark and eerie.

Perhaps that's why I like our 1980's wall lights.  They remind me of a Victorian gas lamp.

I feel like I'm getting ready to settle in for the dark months ahead.  We've had a log delivery and I'm desperately trying to finish my Henning Mankell book so that I can read my usual spooky classic running up to Christmas.  I've got 'The Woman in White' this year.

I made some celery soup

With grated cheese and lots of pepper

Sarah made rye, ale and oat bread which was gorgeous with smoked cheese

And, I've got a cat for my lap!

Meet Frank

Frank is four and a bit mad.  He talks a lot, likes to jump on top of the book cases, is ripping the leather sofas to bits and sits on my chest whilst I am trying to watch 'Downton Abbey'.  I am in love....... 

Look - how could you be cross with that?

He's even got a beauty spot

He likes to watch Big Dog from the sink

Now you see him.....

When he's had his second jab he can go outside and play with the six ducks!

Anyway, must be off.  I bought a small pumpkin this year as we are home alone without children but Sarah is downstairs as I type making pumpkin pie which I am intrigued to try. 

 My sister always wins the imaginative pumpkin design competition.

I'll get her back on Sunday as she will be joining me in her fourth decade!  Ha ha!  And sis, if you read this. These are my tips for a happy middle age.....

- pretend you are French (no eating at the fridge, only eat when sitting at a table with a linen napkin)
- wear only simple clothes.  Complicated clothes make for weird attire and being late for work
- say 'no' a lot
- discover Lycra
- less is more with make up.  You don't want to look like Joan Rivers
- drink more alcohol
- try not to worry about your tyres, they're really not flat 

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