November Already?

Hello Everybody. Happy Autumn!

I said I would take a break for the summer but it’s been a longer break than I intended. I stopped doing all my usual hobbies: My textile course, my poetry course, my language course and my EPP works in progress, all in favour of getting the house ready for sale. I thought I would feel as if I had oodles of time to do whatever I wanted and yet, strangely, I didn’t feel as if I had any more time than I did before.

It was a wonderful summer here in this part of Scotland, warmer, but most importantly, drier. It was so warm and dry and there were hardly any flies or ticks in the summer, though that might have been partly due to there being sheep in the fields next to us rather than cattle, for a change. I was outside much more than usual, weeding, cutting back bramble, planting the rockery, tidying the greenhouse and looking after new Hydrangea cuttings. As you can see in the photo above, I had company in the greenhouse!

My cats also found a new use for the duck box:

In late summer, I picked up a Swallow that had fallen out of its next onto the concrete floor of the carport. The bird was still tiny and so cold but it was alive. There were quite a few swallows’ nests in our carport roof, and I found it a distance from all of them, so I didn’t know which nest I should put it back into. It would have meant an unsafe climb to try, so I took it indoors, put it in a little box and it survived for quite a while on a constantly refilled warm hot water bottle and a nest of kitchen paper. I had to feed it about every fifteen minutes which was hard going and it was alway hungry.

I got up extra early and went to bed late to keep it warm for as long as possible. Each evening it was lively and chirpy but by the next morning it seemed close to death again. It took a hour or two to warm it back up again. After a few days, I managed to find a disc for pets that you could warm in the microwave and it would stay warm all night but by morning the bird had shuffled away into a corner and become cold again. I wonder if I had got up in the night as well, whether it would have made it. When I saw all the young swallow fledge, swooping in the skies around our house, I felt that I had let it down. It’s not a very sharp photo of the little bird here but I thought you would find it interesting to see how Swallow mouths are specially adapted for catching insects on the wing.

Apart from the work outside, a lot of tidying went on inside. We had new carpets laid and I began the long haul of selling more unwanted things on ebay. I am still selling now, into autumn, now passing on toys kept in an under stairs cupboard for grandchildren that I am probably never going to have, so they are off to new homes.

Look at these! Arn’t they cute?

Other things included extra Christmas lights and decorations, old vacuum cleaner attachments and a whole box of old CD’s. A stack of books went to the second hand book shop and two bags of mixed items went to the charity shop. It feels good to pass all these on to someone who will use them.

I also sold much of my mother’s vintage jewellery that I knew I would never wear. That was hard but I came to realise that my mother would prefer someone else to enjoy the collection, than have me holding on to it out of guilt. And when I am gone one day, it would all be sold anyway. I still feed sad and mean when I think of it but I hope in time that feeling will fade.

I have some quirky additions to my bookcase. My daughter gave me these two animals that you press out of card and put them together. I think they are a lion and a rabbit? I have ornaments from my travels all over the world in other rooms but the bookcases in my study are for quirky items that I come across, or little things my children or my friends have given me. They are all so different and make me smile.

I also bought a pair of vases with faces, so that I could give them little plant ‘hats’. There are men and women of all sizes available, made by a family in Poland. These are sisters, Lilian and Amelia.

So here we are now in autumn and I have done no sewing for months. The break has been good for me because I had become sick of sewing and just wanted to stop. Now I feel like starting again. I have a few months, before we put our house up for sale in early Spring, to think about what I want to do and any new direction I want to take. There will be time to complete a few works in progress and perhaps some UFO’s.

I have taken my work out of our local gallery with a view to selling it on Etsy. I have wanted to this for a few years but thoughts about how to begin, and how much it might cost to begin with, made me anxious and led me to avoid it but now it’s the right time to do it, I think. I just need to read up on the tips and advice on their site before I get started. I have already opened a shop but there is nothing in it yet!

As the garden is tidier now, it’s a pleasure to go out and walk around it, especially among the trees, as I know it may all be lost to us soon and I don’t think we will have the like of it again. It’s is a great privilege to have such a garden but it comes at a cost. We need a smaller garden now because we want to have time and energy for other things

Falling leaves are scattered over the grass as well as here in the courtyard, and they line the floor of the beech forest behind us

My Hydrangeas are turning into the muted shades of autumn, though one or two try and hang onto their summer colour.

I’ve talked a lot about myself in this post, about my garden and what I have been up to these past months but soon I will be back to English Paper Piecing and other random experiments with fabric. I will try not to be away quite as long.

Until next time….

2 thoughts on “November Already?

  1. Your summer sounds much like mine for different reasons. I’m now back in the studio and my partner Michael helped me add some things I needed there – better lights, better system for hanging finished work and work-in-progress. But it was slow going and I am glad to be painting again. I know you’ll be happy to get back to your textile work, too. Great good luck with Etsy! I’ll look for your shop when you let us know it’s open for business.

    Love from Oregon,


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