Thursday, 22 October 2015


Well hello to you! Are we well?

I start with a huge sigh of relief on behalf of my sister in law, who has had a difficult time of it lately. A health scare has left her in limbo until this morning, when she had Good News from the powers that be. She still needs to have an operation, and it will take a while to recover. How lucky that she has me on hand to vacuum for her while she is incapacitated! I have been terribly worried for her, as you can imagine. I'm not superstitious, but I have a feeling that the woman I wrote about in my last post, was sent along the beach to me by persons unknown. After talking to her, I feel it is incumbent upon me too look after Karen while she recovers. When the chips are down, people need bolstering and nurturing. Not abandoning or ignoring. It could be applied the world over at the moment, couldn't it?

Some happenings from my week.

Au Revoir -

One of my very good friends is moving to Leeds next week. She came round for supper last night, and there was fun and laughter and lasagne and a big box of chocolates. I shall miss her terribly. Her sense of humour is unsurpassed. Her non judgemental stance is inspiring. She has beautiful blue eyes, and her language is terrible. In short, just my kind of girl. I have always struggled with endings. I'm not sure why. Maybe I like the status quo. Maybe I'm not great with change. Maybe it's just the way I am. As Mitch Albom says in his book 'The Five People You Meet In Heaven'

"All endings are beginnings. We just don't always know it at the time."

Emma is beginning a new chapter in her life, and the once a week meet up of ours is ending. But it isn't an end as such. I shall go and visit her, and she shall come back to St Ives too. She has to; it's her turn to buy the coffee and cake.

Crochet -

I continue my frenzied crochet practise. I am trying to master the basic stitches, before I even think about attempting any kind of project. Did you see Gillian's post? Go and have a look, her poncho is a work of art. It's something I could never see myself attempting in a million years. I just don't see me there, creating and being able to show you and say 'look! I made something!' All of your crafty makes have always been inspiring, even if it's just the admiration I feel for the creativity and skill of another. I shall carry on regardless however. I enjoy the feel of the wool in my hands, and the calm it gives me as I work my way along the rows on my hook. I am also in love with the hooks themselves, particularly my wooden Brittany hook. It is a thing of tactile beauty, and I take pleasure in just having it in my hand. Is that something that sounds familiar to any of you?

Drawing -

The nights are drawing in, and the clocks go back soon. Olly and I don't have so much of the daylight after school to run and play outside. What we do together changes with the seasons. We have spent a lot of time drawing. Olly has always loved to craft and create, and as he is getting older and more proficient with his fine motor skills, he loves to draw. And I think he's rather good. His school has recently turned an old Eliot Block classroom into a dedicated craft room. The children are able to use it during their lunch hour; a different day for a different year group. They also get to go there during their school time. Apparently it is a big hit, and Olly absolutely loves it when he spends time in there. He also loves sitting at his desk in his new bedroom. He has all his pens and paper organised just so. I think he feels rather grown up. I forget how much I like to draw, until I do. I'd rather draw than get one of those adult colouring books actually. So we sit together and draw away. What a marvellous way to pass the time.

Tidying -

I have attacked the front of the house with gusto. Shrubs have been cut back. Hedges have been too, now that there isn't any danger of disturbing the nesting sparrows. I worked so hard that I earned a huge blister right between my thumb and finger. It was a secateurs related one. Marc told me to wear gloves, but I don't like to. I like to feel the tools or the soil or the bulbs or the seed in my hand. But if any of you can recommend some suitable gloves that enable to me to feel the earth, while protecting my pinkies, I'd love to know. The greenhouse was given a thorough clean and clear out too. I am now ready for bulb planting. I've decided to plant bulbs in pots this year. I have enough scattered throughout the garden, and I would like some by the front door, and some near the conservatory doors so that I can sit and admire them from the comfort of the sofa. It's a half term project for Olly and me. I found twenty snails in my greenhouse. I just don't know how they get in. They are the bane of my life. I gave them to Olly, but he has fallen out of love with them and I think they ended up next door.....

Reading -

A lot. That's not unusual. I always read a lot. I've got a bit of a Kindle backlog, as I bought about six books in their sale. That should see me through November. It's also my turn to choose my book group read for November, and I'm feeling the pressure to be honest. I think it's hard to get the balance right with a book group read. It needs to be the right kind of book. It's no good if everyone likes it, but haven't got much to say about it. It's pointless if there aren't any themes that warrant discussion. Do any of you belong to a book group? Is there anything that you'd recommend? I'm thinking I may choose something I've not read before, or possibly Jane Eyre, because I would like to read it again. I have two recommendations, should you want any. 'A Year Of Marvellous Ways' by Sarah Winman and 'How To Be Both' by Ali Smith.

Enjoying -

I've really enjoyed my walks in the Autumn sunshine. And the Autumn cloud too. We have started to have the more usual October weather here in St Ives, although it is very mild. There are still Blackberries to pick, and I brought a bagful home with me on Tuesday. They went into a crumble yesterday. Olly loves crumble. He had three helpings after tea. The colours all around me are stunning. It would seem that whatever I look at is full of tonal shades. I have been fascinated by texture and form of the ferns and lichen that I see up the lanes. Likewise the rippled sand and shining seaweed left by a receding tide. The colours are earthy and warm. I feel a compulsion to get up close and personal, to take photo after photo after photo (see above). Maybe it's because the pollinators aren't so much of a distraction for me at this time of year, and so my eye gets drawn to other things. I enjoy the bright rainbow colours of Spring and Summer, but it is the jewel like colours of Autumn that have my heart.

Looking Forward -

To half term. The boys are tired. This morning, Alfie just wouldn't rise from his bed. I called, harried, protested and shouted at him until he literally fell out of bed at 8.25. Bearing in mind that he needs to leave for school at 8.30, you can imagine how agitated I was. All that time Olly was lying under a blanket on the sofa and refusing breakfast. He fussed when I got him dressed for school. He was bad tempered and in that pushing/shoving mood. He was pretty miserable all round in fact, and I'm not sure that I was helping matters much. Two nights in a row of entertaining, rather than pyjamas, cuppa and bed by nine pm have taken their toll on me. So roll on next week, and some rest and relaxation all round.

Thanks -

I want to say thanks for all your lovely comments on my last post. I'm very chuffed that you guys come here, and your responses are always gratefully received. My ego would be nothing without you all. I feel at times that there is not much of worth or value that I have to say. I'm very normal and humdrum, you see. But I'm also a terribly frustrated writer at heart, and would love to be able to extend my sphere out from this blog. Then I read something as wonderful as 'Marvellous Ways' and realise that this is probably where the buck stops for me. And actually I'm okay with that. If I can raise a smile, or a teeny tiny pause for reflection that's good enough for me.

And on that note, I shall take my leave. I don't have to pick up Olly this afternoon, as he is having tea at his chum's house. I could do the ironing, but quite frankly I cannot be arsed.

Have a lovely evening, friends.

Love and kisses,
Leanne xx



  1. I can't be arsed with the ironing either, and one of my best friends has the worst language you'll ever hear too :o)
    My First Years were all noticeably droopy today too. Roll on half term. And I'm so glad I'm not the only one who can't cope with late nights and likes to be in bed nice and early. XXX

  2. A lovely autumnal rambling - three helpings of crumble? Excellent!
    I know what you mean about choosing the book club choice: the responsibility sits on your shoulders and you fret about whether others will enjoy it. One month I decided to plump for an autobiography and chose Claire Rayner (bear with me here!) as I think she's a wise old bird and I do like a bit of nursing history. I announced the fact it was an autobiography and started to bring the books forward, only to hear someone pipe up "ooh, is it by Jordan?"...
    I hope your sister-in-law will do well and recover nicely; it can be a scary world but good news is always welcome x

  3. So glad about the Good News. And I can think of no-one finer to put the vacuum round. Or to sod the vacuuming and get the gin out with. I get terrible blisters when I trim the edges of the grass wearing gloves, so I don't think it makes much difference. The rough glove fabric takes the skin right off. The only way to avoid the blisters is to get a man to do it all. So I've heard. Re the snails, I fear they will be back. Next door is not far enough away. I've heard that if you dab them with a bit of nail varnish (for identification purposes) and put them a long way off they still come back. They are yours and yours alone. It's their patch! CJ xx

  4. I'm really glad for your sister-in-law. What a relief. I hope she's back on her feet again soon. I don't care much for vacuuming but I really don't enjoy ironing. Come to think of it, I only take out the iron and ironing board when I'm sewing. Otherwise, wrinkles for everybody. Haha.

    1. I do this too! The sewing and ironing bit. Xx

  5. Hi Leanne. Lovely photos! I am glad your sister in law has received good news and glad too that she has such a great friend in you. Planting bulbs in pots is exactly what I did, I am looking forward to being able to move the pots to wherever I want to see them. Snails are apparently good with garlic butter. Enjoy half term my friend, hope you get to relax as much as you need. Christina xx

  6. Great news about your sister in law and she's very lucky to have you around to make her laugh, if not to vacuum! Shame about your friend moving to Leeds but you'll just have to have adventures on the train to visit each other - think of all the crochet you'll be able to do! Half term starts today here - E has lots of coursework to do but at least it can be done in PJs. Have a relaxing one. xx

  7. hurray for good news, and hallelujah for half term is all I can say! x oh that and I loved this post, every last bit of it.

  8. Hey Leanne, sorry your pal is leaving, she sounds like my kind of gal too - coffee, cake, lasagne, chocolate AND swearing? Perfect! And I do hope your sister-in-law makes a speedy recovery from her op, you sound like the perfect nurse. My boys are feeling the need for half term too so hope you all manage a lot of R&R and that the St Ives weather is good to you. xxx

  9. You write to connect and you do that so well, and I love the way you burst folks bubbles with humour. I think we often underestimate the power of life writing of the kind that bloggers undertake ... it benefits the blogger and the blog reader.

    Good wishes for your SILs swift recovery x

  10. For your book group - Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver. Lots to discuss, lots to empathise with - a wonderful book....

  11. For your book group - Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver. Lots to discuss, lots to empathise with - a wonderful book....

  12. I hope that all will soon be well for your SIL and that you have a good half term too! xx

  13. I'm very happy to hear it's good news for your sister in law. I can totally identify with what you said about tired children - my two have been fractious and emotional this week, especially Angus. Half term couldn't come soon enough! As for reading, I'm in the grip of an Agatha Christie phase.

    Thanks so much for your kind and generous words about my poncho. Xx

  14. Hope you're having a great half-term, so far. We need that restorative time - it was a week of tiredness for my eldest last week! Hoping your sister in law is sorted soon...enjoy your reading. I've found my reading mojo again with a Robert Galbraith! xx