Oh my, September has slipped by so quickly this year, in a swoon of golden light and a myriad of small tasks. It was hard getting back into the busy routine that marks the start of the school year but adjust to it we did and are all the better for it. Slowly, the house is being put back to normal after all the renovation activity and slowly all the plaster dust is being eliminated.
I have been preserving and gardening, simple life affirming tasks that I love doing when all is peaceful in the house I finally got around to making my marrow and ginger jam which has been a taste revelation! Spread on hot buttery scones the taste is of delicate sunshine with a little hot lick of the ginger, so so good. I posted the recipe last Autumn here. I have been planting in my poor neglected garden, 60 tulip and narcissus bulbs all waiting for the spring and a couple of bare root roses which I hope will inject some much needed summer colour and scent.
My tottering pile of granny squares is making me feel quite smug and is keeping me from getting back down to concentrating on practicing my sewing but I can feel the weather turning and cannot wait until all the squares are joined up into a lovely cosy blanket. In between all that, my Open University course has started again and I am loving it so much this my penultimate year. This module is a history module, my first love and we are studying Europe from 1914 to 1989 which gave me quite a start when I realized that the scope of this course ends the year I began to study history the first time around!
We have celebrated Life, E turned eight that the end of the month and is getting so tall sometimes I glimpse the teenager that will appear in my life one day, yet sometimes when she cries for me I sense that my wee cuddly girl will be around for a little while yet. The tooth fairy arrived and she was allowed to ride in the front seat of the car for the first time, big steps for a little person. O found it a little harder to settle back to school this year, he was upset at leaving his teacher from last year and while his current teacher seems fine, he had a special connection with his first year teacher that was always going to be impossible to replicate. Sometimes I do contemplate going back to work but it is such a privilege being here for them when they come home and to have the time to listen to all their little worries and triumphs.
We have also brought in a tiny harvest from our poor neglected allotment, we say this every year but next year we are going to be top growers. I was just delighted with the sunflowers this year and we had a good many cucumbers, courgettes, and the pumpkins are looking good for Halloween. Unfortunately O has adopted that wee pumpkin that you can see on the plate there, 'Pumpkiny' has been going to school with O for the past couple of days and I am wondering how to break the news that I want to roast and eat him...
We have saluted Death, my Grandfather's brother J, was laid to rest in the Co. Tyrone soil that sustained all eight of his brothers and sisters, his Father and Grandfathers. He was almost 95 and jokingly referred to himself as 'The Last Man Standing,' With his passing ends a generation of men and women that connected our familial memory to a past that is retreating all too quickly into our folk history. A history of collecting well water, gas lamps, drying clothes on the blackthorn hedge, thatched roofs and baking soda bread on the griddle. The Child of Prague on the wall and a best suit for Sunday. His family placed his cap, walking stick and wedding photograph on the altar, J and M smiled out from the frame, the joy of youth captured in a shutter click, filmic in their simple 1940's suits and sharp good-looking features, hair swept back. A blink of an eye is a life yet isn't there something so comforting, so right about a life lived well.
Thank-you so much for reading. have a fantastic week! xxx