I spent a lovely day today in the company of four of my 'babies', some of their babies and one of their baby's babies! There were four generations of us. It was total mayhem but great fun and the noise was augmented by one daughter's dog who was very excited to have the two little ones to play with. I apologise for the poor quality of this photo - I couldn't stand back far enough to get a better picture and had to hurry so that one of the party could keep an appointment.
The day was largely unplanned and began simply enough when our eldest daughter asked if I would help her cut out a dress pattern. Her daughter said she had the day off and could she come too - I suggested they stay for lunch - the news got round on the family grapevine and before I knew it there were 10 of us!
My husband wisely retreated to somewhere quieter until the coast was clear.
There's a lot of it about. It would be handy if the squirrels all had name tags so we could count how many there are. There must be dozens of them up and down the streamside walk here. I know some people regard them as pests but they are very entertaining to watch, even if they do chew through the nut and fatball holders.
Early in the year they chase each other across the spars of the pergola. Their sure-footedness and the speed with which they move is amazing.
A few autumn delights from the garden today. These tiny crab apples are about the size of my thumb nail.
I love the seedheads of the clematis 'Bill Mackenzie' which follow after the little yellow lantern-like flowers. This plant climbs to well over 20feet up into a nearby tree.
This is a type of sycamore and I am watching the leaves change colour almost daily. In early spring they are a very dark reddish brown.
This hydrangea is very pink in summer and I think I like it's faded autumn colouring better.
It has been a very dull and damp day today and I thought it odd that these drops of moisture were only on the red leaves of this shrub.
A lovely burst of colour from this acer which grows in a neighbour's garden.
More water droplets on a spider's web on variegated box. You would think that the weight of the moisture might damage the delicate web which is so fine it is almost invisible.
The green tomato conserve is as good as I hoped it would be but I haven't yet tried the red tomato relish. Maybe it should be left to mature for a while. With the greenhouse now empty and the forecast of arctic air by the end of the week I spent the morning lining it with bubblewrap and tucking up the geraniums and other tender plants. I wonder if I will manage to keep them going through the winter. The local garden centre will benefit next year if I don't!
............................ tomatoes! Well three bowls actually. I picked all of them this morning and sorted them into not ripe, becoming a bit ripe and definitely ripe. The ones in the top photo will become tomato relish.
These will live on top of the freezer where it is warm and hopefully ripen.
And these green ones will be made into green tomato conserve which is a cross between a jam and a marmalade as it has oranges in it. I first tasted it in France nearly 40 years ago and it is delicious so I am hoping to recapture that flavour - I haven't made it for years. No doubt now that the greenhouse is empty and I can accommodate the geraniums and other tender plants, the weather will stay mild.
I can't believe it is over a fortnight since I posted on my blog. I have been working hard on my coursework as I felt I was slipping behind though the timing is flexible. I have finished the current chapter and almost completed the next one in the past two days. Life got rather hectic and I lost my momentum for a couple of weeks but I am back on track now.
We took the scenic route through the Forest of Dean on our way home from shopping on Thursday and a young doe ran across the road a few yards in front of us. What a treat! I can no longer grumble that I have never seen a deer. Needless to say I didn't have the camera with me, but she was gone in a flash and I wouldn't have had time to focus anyway.
No new textile work to show but I am turning ideas over and have high hopes of something good coming out of them. I think it will have to be another book and this time the theme will be hares. I think they are fascinating creatures - the only trouble is that I will need to be able to draw them. That is scary and a big drawback but I have learned that if I really want to do something I can usually find a way of doing it.
It will just require lots of positive thinking and deep breathing!
Finished at last and I have since bought some buttons and sewn them on. It's not exactly a fashion garment but is so snug and warm, and I am wearing it right now. It's not a minute too soon either as I have been feeling decidedly yukky, on and off, since having that flipping flu jab last Saturday. I have never had any reaction to the them in the past but this one is not being nice and I want someone to take it away.
I am nicely wrapped in my cardigan feeling rather like a very old bear who wants to hibernate in the back of her cave. I've only got until next Tuesday when I host our group meeting and I'm looking forward to it, so Spring needs to come early for me!
I haven't been idle even if I haven't been a good blogger, and came across this little needlecase when I was having a clear out the other day. It came from my mother and I think may even have belonged to her mother. It is almost threadbare and could be made of silk.
Some of the needles inside are the smallest and finest I have ever seen and still usable, though quite a few are slightly rusted and need a rub down with some fine sandpaper.
It would be nice to know how old it is - my grandmother died in 1966 so it is definitely well over 60 years old and could be as much as 100 years old I suppose. Such a tatty little object but a precious little treasure.
In between gardening - showers permitting - and clearing things out, I have been knitting. Some years ago I found I had a lot of odd balls of wool some of which were really nice yarn. I didn't want to get rid of them so decided to make a garment from them. I played around with a pattern to create a sort of longline sweater which didn't turn out the way I wanted and it languished in the back of the wardrobe for ages. I unpicked it recently and using a different pattern I have reknitted it into a jacket style cardigan. I am on the second sleeve so not far to go now and if it turns out well I might treat myself to some really nice yarn to make a smarter cardigan. The colour is richer than it appears here - think royal blue plus dark moody blues and a few lighter areas.
If I don't get back into the habit of blogging on a regular basis I shall be in danger of forgetting how to upload photographs!