of time and crochet and chelsea buns..

So – what I really want to do is to carry on crocheting, I have a new lacy triangle scarf pattern and have already made and sold one and now I need to make another to wear myself.  Blogging needs to be done however, as I am getting back into the old habit of putting it off far too long again.  I have a way to go to beat the late Douglas Adams when it come to procrastination, as apparently his book ‘So Long and Thanks for all the Fish’ was 12 years late.

As usual much is happening and nothing is happening.  What I mean is, my life is packed full of things to do but for the most part they are all pretty usual.  It is all heightened however because of the HRT I started taking about six weeks ago and which has given me my life back – this is not an exaggeration.  I no longer live in quiet desperation (sometimes not so quiet admittedly) and am still amazed that I can wake up every day and feel ‘normal’.    My 50th birthday is rushing at me like an over enthusiastic labrador and my daily dose of hormone is the bestest birthday present EVER.  HOORAH!! WITH NOBS ON!!

I am off to Rome with friends on the 21st September for 4 days and then the following weekend will be my birthday party and then a week at Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower Peninsular with Mr T and Toastie the Dog.  On my actual birthday we will be going out to dinner in Swansea with lovely friends Julian and Kath.  All absolutely fabulous  and wonderful.

I am looking forward to being fifty.  I am just so impressed and extremely thankful that I have made it this far – half a century!  There is no way I would go back to being young now without being able to take my old self with me.. Fancy having all the youth, stamina, beautiful skin, body – all that newness and all that time ahead of you.. and not being able to appreciate it.

A few photos..

One of the collars I have made to sell.
Lace Scarf I have just unexpectedly sold and now need to make another.
Happy crochet coasters – made from much maligned acrylic but launder like a dream.
Come to Hay-on-Wye on a Thursday market day for Alex Gooch’s utterly delectable bread (enormous Chelsea Bun pictured, alas it is no longer). Alex was rung on a weekend a while back and asked to make bread for the Queen who was visiting a nearby town on the Monday.. how cool is that!?

Gratuitous Toastie photo.

How I’m feeling and how I hope you are feeling too…

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Bring on the light..

The first thing I do when I get in the door from work is to grab a lead, a poo bag and a small Toastie and head for the Great Outdoors.  At this time of year it is a pleasure as I know that I will be walking in the light and pretty much mostly in the dry.

It is pure pleasure to see everything regenerating, not just the plants but the birds and animals as well – everyone is out and about and fulfilling the three Fs, feeding, fighting and .. .well you know the last one.

A couple of photo highlights from our walk this afternoon..

 

Pheasant females browsing with their man happily share the field with rabbits

Day light saving starts this weekend so it will be even lighter in the evenings and of course it is the Spring Equinox tomorrow, yay!

Here is my little table all ready  for a celebration with daffodils from our garden and the patchwork table runner that I put together a while back.

See you tomorrow

Happy Samhain all..

 

And happy Beltane to those on the other side of the world..

Our clocks changed at the weekend and this evening while out walking Toastie and admiring the neighbourhood pumpkins I realised that if I didn’t move my ass I would be walking in the dark.  Sure enough it was full dark shortly after we got home at 5.20.

Although we have been having some gloomy days we have been blessed by incredible autumn colours.  Everywhere there are fiery glowing trees.  I walk in wonder..

Tonight is All Hallows Eve/ Halloween/Samhain.  A night to remember the dead and to light fire.

Lighting our Samhain fire

 

Lighting candles for the dead - among them my Father, I miss you Dad..

 

 

 

And the wheel turns..

 

 

Simon’s Shop…

Chandeliers baby..

 

My friend Simon owns a shop called Goosey Gander’s and if you are in Hay you just have to go along and check it out.  It is an experience for sure.

Simon knows all about glass and everything there is to know about chandeliers.  Including how to put them together, he buys wrecks and restores them into the most beautiful, magical things.

His shop is tiny, but crammed full of light.

 

 

And I do love them all – but they would look really crap in my house.

 

 

 

Simon’s house is filled with the ones that he just can’t part with – including a few of the rare, giant, man sized lava lamps in existence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toastie, Simon and I sit on the front step of the shop and watch the world go by.  We discuss the appalling state of parking in Hay and genrally set the world to rights, then we visit Kilverts’s across the road for liquid sustenance and continue.

Such is life in a small town..

 

Simon and Toast

..you can have the spiders

The spiders are coming inside..  It’s a sure sign that  summer is on the wain.

I had noticed an extra few about the place a couple of weeks ago.  And then Mr T commented on a particularly large one he had seen run under the sofa – and the one he had seen in the bathroom running under the cabinet… and then that night, as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed Toastie staring intently at something on the floor by my bed side table.   I couldn’t find anything crawly on my search but then spent some time lying in bed in the dark feeling imaginary insects creeping on me..

I have been stewing plums, making plum jam, and caramelised red onion relish.  Very soon our apples will need picking and as our tree is over loaded we will be eating them for quite awhile to come.   I once had a recipe for spiced apple preserve which has disappeared so I will have to try and make it up.  I know the apples were cooked in orange juice and a little bag of spice but that is about all I can recall..except that it was heavenly.

I have been eating home made muesli, Rachel’s Full Fat Organic Yoghurt and my own stewed plums for breakfast and enjoying every last bite.  Mr T has taken up making sour dough bread so for a change I eat the most wonderful toast with my jam on it of course.

I am getting even fatter..

 

Stewing Plums

 

On the other hand I am getting way more exercise now we have Toastie and that is a very good thing both for my body and for my mental health.  There are a lot of walks to choose from in this area.  Cusop even has its own little packet of trail maps that we bought from the Information Centre in Hay .  One map points out Badger sets which I had walked past before and not noticed.

 

Cusop Walks

 

Although our weather is on the turn it is still warm and last night as the dog and I sauntered out for our evening constitutional we stopped to watch the wee bats stealth diving around the street light at the end of our terrace.  Although the light and warmth make the days seem lazy  and slow, with the Dingle sluggish in places, the animal life is in a mad rush to eat and/or store away as much food as possible.  Nut trees are stripped in days by ravening hoards of squirrels.  Flocks of birds are migrating as well, our most noticeable visitors from afar – the Swifts, have disappeared in the last couple of weeks.

We have been on several long walks lately but the longest would have to be to visit The Begwns – a lovely stretch of open access land owned by the National Trust.  We wanted to walk to The Roundabout, a small group of trees planted on a hill to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.  Toastie is sporting her mohawk which is has got thinner as the summer has gone on.  So far we have resisted efforts to get us to dye it pink.

On the way to the Roundabout on The Begwns

 

Showing off her mohawk

 

Mr T and The Toastalator on finally reaching the Millennium Circle wall that surrounds The Roundabout. Wonderful 360 degree views - but a bit hazy on this day.

 

View from The Begwns - spot the sheep

 

I do love late summer – except for the spider bit that is..

slightly bleeding squashiness..

Hey there..

I love red grapes don’t you?  Nom, nom..

Lovely to munch on after dinner if you feel like pud and have none in the house and are too damned lazy to do anything more energetic than swipe the grape bowl of the counter and squash back up on the sofa again with the dog.  Soooo..

How are you all out there then?  Hope you are all well and goodly.

Probably due to hypothyroidism I have been wrestling with the black slug again but think I am coming out victorious.  This time I had the help of a small dog in fighting the good fight.  She keeps me company, makes me walk the countryside with her and generally cheers me with her sheer cuteness and mild bonkersness i.e. the Assault of the Cherry where after throwing a cherry around and batting it back and forward with paws she then proceeded to snarl and growl at it when it had the temerity to menace her as it sat on the floor in its slightly smeared, slightly bleeding squashiness.

The Hay Book Festival and the How the Light Gets In Festival of Philosophy and Music have both been and gone in the same crowded ten days.  Both seem to have done extremely well and I have heard that tickets for the book fest well exceeded last year.  We have a population of around 1500 here in Hay and they sold about 220,000 tickets for the book festival alone – needless to say our town was just a tad rammed.  The poor buggers who were camping (and there were a lot of them) had to put up with rain and cold the first weekend and by the Tuesday when I went to do my shift at the charity shop we had sold out of all blankets and coats and people were still coming in and asking for them.  It amazes me that some do not understand that summer weather in this country may be a little uncertain.

T and I had the great good fortune to see film director John Waters speak on the first Saturday night – he was very, very, very good.  Interesting, funny and wise.  One of the bonuses of the evening was that he was interviewed by his friend Helena Kennedy who is also a pretty damn wonderful woman, you can read about her here.  I admire both of them immensely for their outspoken stance against prejudice and injustice.

My other visit to the festival grounds was to see the marvellous and incredibly prolific Alexander McCall Smith, he of the No1 Ladies Detective fame.  Once again a visit and battle with the crowds worth making. Interviewed by Ann Robinson ‘Sandy” as she called him proved fully capable of taking a simple question and turning it into a circuitous and engrossing tale – great fun with an infectious laugh.

There was a wonderful energy to the town while the festivals were on but I have to say that it is lovely now everything is back to normal.

I’m off now – don’t want to rabbit on too much now i’m back in the blogging mood again, I’ll just leave you with this..

Like her new i.d. tag?