So here I am again. And again, thank you for all your lovely kind messages. I really do appreciate them - each and every one.
I said I'd be blogging when I felt like it and I feel like it right now. My days are busy but Joe is at nursery for a few weeks to allow me to visit my mum. He goes for a couple of hours each morning and has taken to it like a duck to water. Literally. Twice now I've collected him and he's been soaked through because he has a keen interest in the little trough they have outside for 'water play'. Add to that a layer of sand, chocolate (from baking) and whatever they've had for lunch and you can imagine how much action the washing machine's seeing.
He goes to the nursery in a village just down the road from ours and we tend to go walking there most evenings. There are chickens which we have to visit when I pick him up each day. And you can hear the steam train too. He's in his element.
We'll be back to our old routine at some point but in the meantime this little adventure is turning out well for Joe. And it's been a life-saver for me too.
Dropping him off in the mornings you get a sense of autumn beckoning. Leaves dancing along the pavement and that unmistakable smell in the air. There's a tree across the lane from the nursery which is full of fat Bramley apples, some of which have been blown down during the heavy rain showers we've had of late.
I've often said that walking in the fields and woods is the best therapy for a troubled mind and last night's stroll confirmed it. There was a cool breeze and the smell of the damp earth and leaves was just so wonderful: balm for the soul I think. I inhaled it deeply and savoured every breath, wishing I could somehow bottle up that scent and bring it home, maybe infuse this post with it to share with you all.
We found another huge patch of brambles and plan to return this evening for yet more picking. I found a simple but tempting recipe for blackberry vodka yesterday whilst leafing through my cookbooks. And the stoppered bottles I used for elderflower cordial have all been returned and are waiting in the cupboard.
The colours are changing around us. The rosehips are beginning to blush but the predominant colour I've noticed is yellow: leaves from the birches which grow along the old railway line; Solidaster (or Solidago, depending on your preference). The long grass has that bleached look I love so much. It looks spectacular when sunlit against the leaden skies.
I've bought a bunch of asters for the house. They always signal the final days of summer for me; I went for a deep red for myself and bought my mum some pink ones. She tells me you can take cuttings from them so I'll have to look that one up. My grandma used to grow them in her garden.
I'm looking forward to another jaunt this evening. It really does help when things are difficult. Last night we came home to soup made with vegetables, lentils, spilt peas and barley. More of a broth really but it was good. And there's a decent amount left over too - even better.
Indoors we have the big feather quilt back on the bed which is lovely but it makes getting up in the mornings that bit more difficult.
I've also taken to wearing a chunky knitted wrap whilst sitting here at the computer. I suspect my next purchase for myself will be a set of thermals...