Yes, another one of those posts. Lots of pictures, lots of scrappy bits of this and that.
Firstly: a big thank you for all your lovely comments. Despite me not replying recently, I do read and appreciate each and every one of them. Secondly: I'm getting around to responding to my emails. Apologies for the delay. And lastly: for those who've ordered personalised paintings - it's all in hand and I'll be in touch very soon to work out the details with you.
Phew! And now: goings-on chez Mitenska.
The new house is taking shape despite several hiccups (the joiner has suddenly decided he's starting another job next week so some things won't get done. I'm very annoyed with him but we're only paying him for what he's finished). Things we've had delivered have been the wrong size/missing a component etc. None of the paints we've chosen look anything like they did on the colour cards. Yes, we should have bought tester pots. Yes, it's too late to do anything about it. But the bathroom needs repainting at some point as the colour's just all wrong.
We move in on Friday the 13th (I know). It's a week away. We're spending any spare - i.e. Joe-free time - painting and sanding and filling. Jay's up there every night after work. We're worn out. I suspect December will be spent relaxing and taking a well-earned breather.
I have actually slept a bit better lately. Strange, considering all this panic. But I've realised that making time for the little things is so important. A walk through the trees, a cup of tea and a biscuit (dark chocolate-covered ginger, my favourite), a flick through a magazine.
We spent Halloween at the village cricket club. Joe went as a spider and went a bit mad on the sweets. He also dragged us onto the dancefloor for 'Bat Out of Hell', which was rather mortifying (we hadn't drank enough). I made some cards with him and we posted them to his grandparents as he's quite keen on posting things.
I took him to a yoga session for preschoolers on Thursday. We lasted five minutes then left. Fortunately my friend and her little girl left too. It seems our little ones aren't serene enough for such touchy-feely pursuits; they were bent on disrupting the whole thing so we headed for a cafe instead. To be honest, drinking coffee and munching on biscotti is a lot more fun than toddler yoga.
Joe's into satsumas at the moment. Although we go to the market for fruit and veg, Aldi currently seem to do the best satsumas. And apparently they've pledged to stock a large range of British-grown produce too. So that's good to know when I can't face shivering under the dripping tarpaulin on a Saturday morning.
I made Lancashire hotpot the other day. It was good. No, I didn't add kidneys. Nobody here likes them; in fact the only way I can cope with offal is when it's in the form of pate. Strange really as I do love black pudding (and we all know what that's made of).
My thoughts are turning to Christmas. There are TV channels dedicated to festive films. People are asking for present ideas for Joe. I keep intending to put a bit of money away each week - this year's going to be a bit no-frills because the house has cost us a lot of money. We're not quite talking lumps of coal and an orange, but extravagance won't be our buzzword. Home-made and simple maybe. We'll be settled in to the new place by then so can spend time just enjoying it.
Even if the joiner says the plumber told him someone once hung themselves from our stairs.
Not sure I'm buying that. I know the family who inhabited it for the previous forty years or so. And the plumber hasn't been living in the village that long. Sorry if I sound a bit parochial... to be honest, Gary the joiner does love to look on the dark side. He regularly refers to the house as 'the money pit' and sighs that he'll 'never fit one of these kitchens again'.
I was laughing to myself yesterday when I heard him singing along to 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go'. The most upbeat of songs, the most miserable of sods.
We seem to spend a lot of time up at the farm and animal shelter. Joe still loves Wallace the goat and that means a visit at least once a week. It's only up the road, a two minute drive away. On Monday we went along and all the goats were outside but Wallace wasn't there. In a state of mild panic, I said a secret little prayer that he hadn't keeled over and gone to the big enclosure in the sky.
Fortunately that wasn't the case. We found him taking it easy indoors, bedded down in a deep pile of straw. Joe ignored him and started telling me about Jackson, the goat residing in the stall next door. Fickle.
It's set to be a busy November. There's a bonfire party on Saturday evening which we may or may not attend. I really need to get some packing done. The house needs to be as near finished as possible before we move in. And I have several commissions to work on.
At the end of the month I'm going away for a night or two (more on that when I return).
I hope Christmas fever hasn't crept up on you too early, and that you have a great Friday and weekend.