Yippee! It’s Autumn!

My son went back to school last week – my daughter goes back to preschool tomorrow.  It’s sunny but still chilly enough for me to be wearing a cardigan.  It’s Autumn!  My favourite month.  I love September.

My favourite month

My garden has been bumbling along, same as usual.  My husband has bought a chainsaw and has done a deliciously brutal hack of a load of shrubs in the bed outside the library.  I hope that this means that the hydrangeas end up being a bit happier – I think the spot has been too shady for the oak-leaved hydrangeas (the American ones, with flowers shaded a bit like the buddleia).

The flowers were finished much earlier than usual – I think this is because we had such a hot, dry April.  We gave the wildflower patch a brutal hack well before the end of August.

Wildflower patch

The plants left are the foxgloves that I grew from seed.  It should do the jasmine some good to have nothing in its way before the sun disappears.

Over the summer, we also got a couple of conifers taken out at the front.  They had terrible wind burn (that spot gets a lot of wind and sea spray).  In their place, we have put an arch and planted a couple of roses.  I can’t find a picture so will put one up a bit later.  The roses we planted are Malvern Hills by David Austin.  There were only a few climbers / ramblers that were okay for a coastal spot and the yellow roses should look pretty in that spot.

Sorting through the ottoman

My tidy up continues.  Tuesday was a busy(ish) day – plus incredibly hot – so I didn’t achieve all that much.  We met M at Dinings for lunch and it was just the thing for a very hot day.  If you get the chance to go there, I recommend it completely.

So my job was to sort through all the stuff in the ottoman.  It’s small so didn’t take all that long.

Piles of stuff taken out the ottoman - some forking, some for putting elsewhere and some for Save the Children
Piles of stuff taken out the ottoman – some forking, some for putting elsewhere and some for Save the Children

Quite a lot isn’t suitable or big enough for the children so that stuff is going to the charity shop.  I found a mosquito net that is meant to go on my old buggy (which I’ve given to someone so I’ll post it to her.  I’ve never been aware of babies being bothered by mosquitos in London but I need to post it.  For completeness).  I found a load of baby swimsuits, baby hats and a broken under-the-buggy basket that we kept for some reason.

There were a few things I wasn’t sure what to do with – I have a bunch of socks that my Mum knitted out of rainbow wool that I don’t want to get rid of but which I don’t need immediate access to at all times.  Those I put in a carrier bag, which I shoved at the top of a wardrobe we have at the top of the stairs.

Organised ottoman
Organised ottoman

In the end I put the hats, gloves, scarves to the left, the fleeces and sweaters in the middle and the hats, gloves and scarf that are included in my son’s uniform to the right of it.

I’ll start sorting out my clothes soon.  In the meantime, check out these tacos.

These are so good
These are so good

The welly cull

I’ve started off by culling the wellies, snowboots and crocs.  These were the easiest as they were all sitting in a plastic bag in the dining room.

Here they all are
Here they all are

I’ve been holding onto these as my son outgrows them so that they can be passed down to my daughter.  However, she has also outgrown the smaller ones so it was definitely time for a cull.  At the back of my mind was that someone else may have a baby and find these useful – but this is ridiculous!  I live in a three bedroom terraced house!  I don’t have room to store every single sodding thing that my children outgrow.  So off the smaller ones go to the Save the Children shop.

Here are the remaining boots and crocs.  There are a couple of pairs of crocs currently in use but they are in the IoW
Here are the remaining boots and crocs. There are a couple of pairs of crocs currently in use but they are in the IoW

I have kept the purple shoes at the top right hand of the picture.  These were my daughter’s first shoes (UK size 3.5).  I haven’t kept my son’s first shoes because on the second day he wore them, he prised one off while he was in the buggy and threw it into a bush / bin / under a passing car.  So I ended up chucking the single shoe.

I had been keeping these in a cupboard in the dining room (which is now in the hallway and is the new place to put post that arrives).  However, we had a useful shelf in an upstairs wardrobe so I cleared that and put the remaining boots on that.

Here it is
Here it is

The longer boots are a bit squashed in – perhaps I should put those in a box instead so they don’t end up warped and unusable.

Buying multiples

Yet another parcel from Boden arrived on Saturday.  I know that I am a dull woman – I bought yet another long Breton top (this time in olive!) and some more black leggings.  In my defense, I wear leggings nearly all the time (when it isn’t utterly roasting) and some of mine are getting very ropey.

Yes, it IS that same top - this time in olive
Yes, it IS that same top – this time in olive

I do think that when you find a piece of clothing you really like, you should buy it in every colour.  I have an ex work dress (still gets worn sometimes) in grey, navy and green – and it’s great!  Shove a black cardigan on over the grey and the green one and you have something formal enough to wear to a non work meeting.  The navy used to look great with a purple cardigan, which now has a massive hole in the elbow so needs to be replaced.  Bloody shame that, I loved that cardigan.

The Pool has a marvellous article about how September is the best time to make new resolutions and just get some stuff done.  I need to sort out my clothes, binning any woollen stuff that has hideous motels in it (no matter how much I used to love it) and eliminating stuff that just isn’t wearable any more (either due to fatness or fadedness).  I need to go through all the kids’  clothes I shoved in a box when they outgrew them.  I need to sort through the hideous shoe collection (both mine and the kids’), sort through the wellies and sort through the toys.  I need to be brutal.

My husband has got the same idea, I think.  He has reorganised the bottom tow floors of our house and has removed our coffee table.  I had thought “Ugh! Where do I put coffee now?” But in fact it is better – the coffee table tended to collect piles of post (opened and unopened), magazine and a load of other detritus.  As a result, the kids seem more willing to hang out in the living room.  I am starting to see the appeal of minimalism.

It’s going to be hot next week

I’ve just checked my BBC Weather app … and it’s going to be hot next week.  It’s meant to get up to 30C (86F) on Tuesday and 27C (81F) on Wednesday.  I disapprove of people whining about the weather – you take what comes and dress appropriately.  But but BUT – it’s September!  This morning, it is clear and crisp – the sort of temperature where you think you might want to wear a jumper … but not yet.  This is how it is meant to be.  Anything else is just confusing.

Plus, I am not sure that I am confident enough to wear shorts on the school run.

Trees - these are meant to change colour soon
Trees – these are meant to change colour soon

The last day of summer

I know that there are a couple of different ways in which seasons can be defined – I do it the Meteorological way, which means that today is the last day of Summer.  I can see the logic of doing it the astronomical way, except that it would be mean that Winter would begin on 21/22 December (so immediately before Christmas) and Summer would begin on 21/22 June (so on the longest day).  I like the idea of grouping the months far better – so September, October and November are Autumn.

Last day of summer
Last day of summer

The other day I read this post on The Spike about how much the author is looking forward to Autumn.  I am too – but then, I do enjoy drizzle.  September is my favourite month – it’s crisp in the morning but then warms up as the day progresses.  I love the light in September.  Plus (because I am a dork), I really enjoy the Back to School feeling.  It’s the time of year when school was most enjoyable – still a novelty AND not a lot was expected of you in the first few weeks of the school year.

My garden at the end of summer
My garden at the end of summer
The lavender on Headon Warren
The heather on Headon Warren
More heather
More heather