Sunday 31 October 2021

Happy Halloween

Hello lovelies,  
The weather has been mixed again today. This morning it was so dark and rainy that I was very glad to hide in a warm kitchen finishing off my batch of mincemeat. 

British summertime has ended and it certainly looked autumnal in the garden as I worked, just don't tell the cosmos as they are still flowering their heads off

Happily, by late morning the sun had come out. I love wandering around the garden after rain. The water dripping off plants glitters and everything looks fresh and happy. My young crab apple tree has lots of bright red fruit this year, which I'm thrilled about. These stay on well into winter and look great on the bare branches before they are eaten by the birds.

The light is so lovely when the sun is that bit lower in the sky isn't it. It shines under shrubs and highlights usually dark corners.

The leaves are really begining to fall now. It's a little sad to see them begin to disappear until spring but I liked the way CJ says she focuses on them feeding the worms and fungi, who turn them into lovely rich soil for next spring. 

A few weeks ago mum treated me to this little eucalyptus tree. I've wanted one for ages and evergreens seem extra special at this time of year, when we know there will be so many bare branches soon.

I love the shape and colour of the foliage,  especially against the black of the shed.

I know they can make huge trees and the more mature leaves are much different to this. But happily it doesn't mind if you cut branches off for flower arrangements,  therefore encouraging more young leaves.

As I get older I  find I'm more drawn to interesting foliage. Obviously I'll always love flowers  but I can equally enjoy beautiful foliage. 
I really like this houseplant I bought in the summer. It's a pepperomia, a new plant to me.

I took a cutting as soon as I bought it and after a couple of months in water it had a good root system so I  moved it onto soil and started a new cutting in water.

I like the idea of making "back up plants" incase the parent plant dies or gets too big.

I'll finish this post by sharing my favourite Halloween decoration, this sweet handknitted witch. She comes out every year and never fails to make me smile.

Happy Halloween if you celebrate it lovelies,  if not, happy last day of October.  Lets hope for a kind November with plenty of small joys.
Jacquie x

Saturday 30 October 2021

Sunshine and Showers

 Hello Lovelies, 

this morning it was rainy so I made a start on some festive baking. I love making mincemeat as all the family love a mince pie. Right now all the fruit and spices are soaking in the fruit juice and alcohol, plumping up nicely. Tomorrow I'll cook this mixture and fill my special jars, which I reuse from year to year.

I also did a little crochet circle making. I like doing a production line for this type of project.

This is the square they will become, once I've made 114 circles.

They are hopefully going to make This gorgeous waistcoat.  We shall see. Last week I tried making a cardigan and it turned out like this....🤣

Oh dear. Making a garment with sleeves and without a pattern proved a tad too frustrating. Still, all's well that ends well and I do love this bag.  

By the afternoon we had lovely sunshine so I headed out for a walk.

 Mum thinks it's not a wasted day as long as she has done some painting, or sketching at least. I'm the same with walking. A day without a walk seems like a missed opportunity somehow.

I love this view towards the distant city. It's looking rather autumnal now.

Here I was playing around capturing the sky in a puddle. This has to be one of my top photography tips, try a low angle. It can make a world of difference.

See what I mean 😄

Here I'm sharing my current hair situation. I've never had such long hair since I was in primary school. This is totally a result of various lockdowns and getting out of the habit of going to the hairdresser. Did I really go every 6 weeks?! You can see my previous short bob in my profile picture in the sidebar. I had that for years.

I do miss my hairdresser visits and my lovely hairdresser. I must go and see her to get this mane tidied up soon. But actually I'm loving having longer hair. It's great to be able to tie it up out of the way and it's much thicker than I imagined I could grow. In fact  I'm a little sad I didn't have a longer style when I was younger and long hair would have suited me better. 
Do any of you lovelies have a different hairstyle, caused by the pandemic?

Jacquie x

Friday 29 October 2021

Out and About

Hello lovelies, 
Today has been a busy Friday. I squeezed in a quick walk first thing and was rewarded with gifted apples.....these bramleys are  delicious and I took 4, two in each pocket. I'll make crumbles for the freezer or investigate apple cake recipes 😋 

It's still very mild but we had rain overnight, nothing compared to the flooding Cumbria and parts of Scotland has recently suffered.  By 9am the clouds were clearing and a watery sun was just peeking through 

Highlighting the autumn colour which is really building now.

Speaking of colour, how about these blooms? My sort of bouquet,  it even complements my hot pink coat 😊

 The flowers were for my mum in law as it's her birthday today. She seemed pleased with them.

On the way home I had to stop and admire this scene. I just loved all the golden tones

And I can't resist crunching through fallen leaves.

Then there was just time for a quick lunch before mum came round and we went out for a drive. We stopped at a tea room and even sat inside.  Mum's recently had her covid booster so we feel a bit more confident about mixing, but still try to be cautious.

It was an interesting place and friendly service 

Just half a mile up the road is Mount Saint Bernard Abbey, which is still a working monastery. 
Happily the public are welcome to walk some of the grounds, which are set into an impressive rocky outcrop. 

You climb up lots of steps,  with many turns in the path

Until you are looking down on the sizable and impressive Abbey 


It's a beautiful setting with lovely gardens too. There was not much in bloom so late in the year, but these striking blue hydrangeas caught my eye.

And this topiary Abbey made me smile. 

I'd left mum in the car, looking at this view for about 20 minutes 

She had sketched this by the time I returned 

Then it was time to dash home, go and pick youngest up from work and take him ,with cake, to see his Nanna on her birthday. 

This is my go to birthday cake. I use THIS RECIPE 

Mine is filled with simple buttercream and topped with even simpler glace icing and chocolate sweets.

 It's so nice to be able to get back to simple family gatherings like the ones we used to take for granted. 

Thank you again for reading. I'm enjoying writing these posts at the end of the day, but I must apologise for the quality of some of my writing.  It's not my most eloquent time ( if I'm ever that) but a nice way to wind down and focus on my blessings.
Jacquie x

Thursday 28 October 2021

Thursday scenes

 Hello again, I'm happy to be back so soon. Thank you for reading and even commenting so thoughtfully on my post of yesterday. 
 The picture above is today's sunrise. I'm currently taking youngest to work 5 days a week. He's been unable to get a driving test slot yet and his first job is not on a bus route. At this time of year it means I'm getting to see some lovely sunrises. 

I drop him off and come home for breakfast.  Porridge at the moment is my winter version.  Sultanas, a sprinkle of ginger and a drizzle of golden syrup. So warming and satisfying. 

After breakfast I had a walk. There's only time to do 2 miles as I need to go to help my mum in law in under an hour. 

It was such a lovely sunny morning. 

I really like how this image turned out. The long shadows and hint of autumn colour. It was the gathering cloud which had caught my eye.....

No mistaking the autumn's glory here. Glorious.

I've started feeding the churchyard birds again, though they are not very hungry at the moment.  It's something I love to do and one of my favourite things about winter, when the birds are so keen to fly down and eat, meaning I get to see them up close.  It always makes me smile.

Today the sunlight on these yew berries were a highlight...they really glowed. I know they are poisonous but so beautiful. Mother nature's Christmas tree decorations 😊

It was really warm again this afternoon. I'm sure Fred is usually hibernating by this time of year, but today he was enjoying the sunshine and some tomato. 

Soon he will be cosy in his box for the cold months.

It was really breezy today, great weather for drying the washing, though you can see the amount of shade our north facing garden is already in as the sun doesn't rise as high in the sky.

I'll end today's post by sharing the painting mum did today. She sends me photos of her paintings most days as painting is an almost daily activity for mum. This one really appeals to me. We went out earlier this week and I had a walk while she sat and sketched this view.

I'm so glad mum still has this passion to fill her days. 

Creativity is a wonderful thing isn't it lovelies. 
Jacquie x

Wednesday 27 October 2021


 .....I  felt the urge to write a blog post, so I'm going with it. Sometimes I  do miss blogging and it's nice to share the small joys with more words than feel appropriate on Instagram. 

This morning I was ironing ( another rediscovered small joy now I have more time in my day.) It's an ideal job to do whilst waiting for my grocery delivery as I  can be sure not to miss the knock at the door. 

My favourite thing to iron are tea towels, and this vintage one always makes me smile. I say vintage, well mum bought it many years ago, on a family holiday when I was little.  

She had it stored away for many years and gave it to me recently. I'm using it as I love to use things rather than save them. 
 I can't recall much about those places we  holidayed ( I  can remember the interior of our caravan in great detail) but I know I got a doll in national dress, much like this lady.

I love tea towels as holiday souvenirs , they add interest to the ironing and this one even teaches you a new language. 

I remembered to add some ingredients I need to make mincemeat to my shopping order (the apples were free at the roadside locally). I'm looking forward to the seasonal pleasure of a kitchen filled with citrus and spicy smells . The jars were saved from last year's batch.

Another seasonal thing is bringing pelargoniums indoors.  I've got quiet a few smaller ones in my conservatory already. I'm hoping this big one will be happy in my potting shed. 

Maybe I'm getting a bit carried away,  moving tender plants indoors at the moment.  It's been so mild,  especially today. 18 degrees in late October.  It feels very kind,  if rather unsettling . My cosmos are going from strength to strength.

They are so tall as well!

Maybe I shouldn't have planted any bulbs yet either as they are sprouting. Go back to sleep little beauties.

I decided to pick a few blooms to enjoy indoors,  mostly cosmos, but there's a rose and few dahlias in there too.

I've popped them on the table beside my chair and they are making me smile 

As you can see I've also got the beginnings of a new crochet project here too. I'm looking forward to sharing more about this soon.

I hope this post turns out ok. It's tricky blogging on my phone, so apologies for any odd layout. Still, I'm happy to be adding to my blog and hope to continue.  As much as I love Instagram sometimes all the rapid scrolling feels a bit empty.  I wonder if you know what I mean? Blogging takes longer but I'm kind of hankering for the escape of writing. The world seems so troubled these days I feel like talking with you lovelies about my days is what my head needs right now.  It is so nice to be back.

I do hope you are finding ways to cope with the challenges you face. 

Jacquie x