I do love October. The weather so far has been kind, too - although it's definitely getting a bit of a bite to it.
We've been doing lots of outdoorsy things lately. Walking and exploring and gathering. Stepping on crunchy leaves. Cutting sunflowers from the garden (there are loads).
I've been and bought a block of lard today. I thought it would be nice to make some bird feeders when Joe gets home from school. We'll just mix it with some seed and put it in the fridge (in old yogurt pots) to firm up.
Jay's away with work until tomorrow night. So I've been a lone parent since the (very) early hours of Monday. It's not easy - constant demands and endless multitasking. Single parents who do this every day of the week have my utmost respect.
Of course, Joe thinks it's perfectly reasonable to have me make strawberry jelly whilst in the middle of cleaning the windows. Or play shops as I'm dishing out our tea. Yesterday evening, once he was finally packed off to bed, I collapsed with a cup of tea and dreamed about taking a holiday.
I attended the school Harvest thanksgiving service on Friday morning. The Reception class all sat nicely throughout the whole thing (Joe on his teacher's knee, finger lodged up his nose). I took a seat up in the galleried bit. It's a very old church and after 90 minutes of sitting still I'd lost all sensation in my extremities. Still, I did feel like Jane Austen as I descended the stairs later on. All that austere white plaster and wooden steps and arched windows with wobbly glass, looking out over the headstones and trees.
A little group of us have joined together to form a sort of creatives' network. Other mums - some I know through preschool, others since Joe started school in the village. Three of us are starting out in business (portrait photography, crochet and handicrafts, and me: printmaker and artist type). One is more established as a graphic designer. It's great that we can help each other out with all kinds of things: photography, blogging, finances.
Oh, and we take it in turns to host and provide cake.
I'm still hooked on Downton Abbey. I have that feeling of reassurance that there are still several series (and therefore tons of episodes) left to watch.
As for autumn reading lists: nothing. I think a library visit's in order. Minus Joe. I happily take him along to choose his own books, but I don't really get a look-in when it's time to peruse the grown-up's shelves. He disappears from view or pesters to go in the lift or head home.
Still, we're rubbing along together quite nicely, just him and me. His grandad's coming for tea tomorrow and I'm making a cottage pie. Perhaps we'll bake some biscuits too whilst the oven's switched on.
I've already satisfied my yearly craving for treacle toffee. Next on the agenda: pumpkins. To carve, not eat. I just can't get into them as a foodstuff. We've already been invited to three Halloween parties (I suspect there may be an overlap somewhere). Plus we've got a fifth birthday party on Sunday, Jay's birthday on Tuesday and it would have been my mum's birthday on Saturday.
I might take a little walk alone then to think about her. It does become easier but I still miss her terribly and I don't think that will ever change. I don't want it to. But I have so many good memories - enough to last a lifetime - and that helps. If you can think about someone you've lost and still smile then that's a good thing.