Monday, 18 August 2014

Feeling Autumnal...

Don't really want to acknowledge it and can't bare to think that perhaps the nights really are drawing in. But having had to reach for a long sleeved top yesterday evening and feeling the necessity to switch the kitchen lights on while preparing supper, autumn is gently creeping nearer. 

The slight change in the temperature outdoors means I have had to admit defeat this year with the squashes. They sat in their pots for far to long waiting to be planted out. The irony is while waiting in their pots they flowered their socks off but alas once their roots were allowed to stretch out into soil they decided to protest by simply doing nothing. I do have some seed potatoes that have been patiently sitting in the kitchen waiting for a free bed so I may well plant them up in an attempt to get new potatoes for Christmas. The one common trait any gardener has to muster is optimism!

The floral garden is showing signs of running out of steam, although I continue to coax the annuals to keep on flowering. I have found that one of the joys of the summer has been deadheading. On fine mornings I have spent 10 minutes, secateurs in hand, nipping off the heads of faded blooms. The reward from those few minutes spent in quiet contemplation has been a flowery display that is still producing new buds which will hopefully take us to the first frosts. 

Calendula brightening up the flower beds - and salads

The courgettes are appearing in ever stranger concoctions, the most unappealing to date has to be the green flecks appearing in the chocolate muffins. But looks aren't everything and they taste delicious.

Chocolate can be good for you too!

It's been 6 months since I lost my Mum so suddenly. I can say with an honest heart that at times she let me down terribly, behaved dreadfully and made me hate her for her lack of thought. But she was my Mum and you only ever get one and I loved her.

Don't know how to describe how I feel, a sense of loss seems to sum up the emotion best. I hate Sundays just now as wherever I was in the World I always phoned her on a Sunday evening to tell her any news. I miss talking to her and find myself thinking, 'Oh, I must remember to tell Mum'. She was my sounding board and one of her good points was she never, ever gave an opinion but instead let you discover life for yourself. 

Baking at present makes me feel a little closer to her. I brought home from her house her battered, old Pyrex mixing bowl and a solitary Silver tablespoon. I remember the bowl saw regular kitchen service, with cake mixes and pudding batters being mixed in it. The tablespoon I have found holds just the right amount of raw muffin mix to fill the paper cases to the correct level. So I mix and I measure, holding conversations in my head with my Mum.

Pyrex bowl filled with memories

Of the many regrets that only reveal themselves when it's too late to make amends is that of not asking questions. I have the old cushion cover Mum kept all the family photo's in. And there are a great deal of them that I have no clue who is looking out of the photograph. They will remain a mystery as Mum was the last person who knew and could tell their secrets... it doesn't stop me wondering who they might be.

Distant relatives enjoy a day by the sea

The week ahead will see us standing over the printing press once again. I am working up another floral print while Gary is going to pull on his wellies and visit the farmyard for inspiration.

The winter landscape that has kept him occupied for the last few weeks is now finished. It captures the haunting beauty of a winter sunset in the English Lake District perfectly.

Winter Sunset on Lake Windermere

Enjoy your week.

'Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come'.
Chinese Proverb.


  1. Don't say the "A" word yet, it's still summer in my heart!
    I lost my Mum over 7 years ago so I know what you're going through. I have conversations in my head with her too (usually when I'm doing something I know she'd probably tell me off about!) I still miss her and always will but the passage of time does make it easier.

  2. What a beautifully written piece. So much to connect with.

  3. Your baking looks just delicious. What a wonderful way to remember and celebrate the good parts.

    Grief is terribly complicated. Even when things aren't the best, I think we both grieve for what WAS good and for what we wished we had. No do-overs. I know what you mean about wishing to ask the questions. I ponder that a great deal, too.

    But six months out is not very long. There is a wonderful grief expert here in the states named Alan Wohfelt. I've attended many of his seminars. He speaks of "grief bursts" -- the times when everything is fine and something is said or heard or smelled or seen that reminds you so of that person that the grieving begins again. It isn't linear, and sometimes I think just knowing that can make a very big difference.

    Be gentle with yourself. And keep baking.