But posting about books is only a once a month event, I felt I wanted to write more, even though I probably don't have much to say. So I've decided to start my 'ramblings', just random bits of this and that, my everyday life in fact for the most part. I hope someone other than me will read it!
As with most people who garden, July and August are very productive and busy times. For us with our large garden, part of the gravel garden you can see in the above picture, it has meant lots of deadheading of flowers, harvesting of soft fruit and vegetables, and late sowings too, of yellow courgettes and peas. All the peas and broad beans had been harvested by the beginning of this month, and now the runners, stringless and dwarf French beans have kicked in and I pick every other day. Tiny yellow courgettes are harvested a couple of times a week too. Herbs have grown really well this year, in fact, very few disappointments, with the exception of a pack of Giant Larkspur which have turned out to be something completely different. I have no idea what they are, about six inches tall, with foliage like that of carrot tops, and with the promise of some sort of flower waiting to bud. Hardly what I wanted, and letter of complaint will be on its way to the producer of the pack. But with my allergy to the heat, and severe skin problems which mean I am not supposed to go out in the sun, my forays have been early morning and late evening, when I think the garden is at its nicest in a way... the searing heat we've had here in our corner of Norfolk, with little or no rain compared to many other areas, has dissipated, and the garden has a calmness to it. This is when I do a little weeding and meditating. Thankfully of late the temperatures have dropped and we have had much-needed rain.
One of the great things about blogging is the ideas you glean, the inspiration that you get from other bloggers, and thanks to Lynne at Textile Treasury, last year I got interested in working with felt and this month I made the above cushion. I know he's not brilliant, or terribly arty in a way, not over-embellished or anything, but this is how I like it. I used an old soft brushed cotton shirt of my husband's which was destined for the car polishing/rag bag, until I salvaged it, using it with the buttons at the back as a means of easy removal of the pad. (I don't know who first thought of doing this but it's a brilliant idea!)
I've also done knitting, quite a lot. It seems that it's the easiest of the crafts on my hands, and it is so calming. I love to listen to Radio 4 and knit, or just sit quietly with my needles in the conservatory, watching the birds come to feed or bathe, neighbours cats passing through, often sticking their nose in the open door to say Miaow at me before wandering off again. It has been shawls of late, just simple triangles using a beautifully soft four ply merino (half price in a sale ages ago, I knew I'd find a use for it!), started on short needles, then onto normal length, and then onto circular as it gets wider.
Writing is something that's a big part of my life as well. At one time I used to write regularly for county magazines, and then I turned my hand to fiction, short stories I enjoyed some small measure of success with. But the idea for a novel was never far away, in fact it was in a drawer, handwritten, sitting waiting for me to resurrect it and do something with it. I'd been meaning to
do something with it for several years, but left it, knowing that when it was the right time, I'd go back to it. Well, the right time was early this year, when I took it out, dusted it off, edited, scrubbed out, re-wrote for months. And the end result has gone to a publisher, my tutor on the novel writing course tells me that the digital route seems the best option for new writers. It's not going to set the world on fire, it's not a brilliant first novel, not like some I read in July (see previous post), but I love it. It's my little novel, I love the story, the place it's set in and some of the characters I am particularly fond of, they often surprised me with things they said or did. Whether it will get accepted or not, who knows? It would be lovely if it did, but if not... well it matters not 'cos I've already started the next in the series of three. Ever hopeful.
My life, is as anyone who knows me will tell you, is quiet. Usually this is from necessity as good health deserted me long ago and there are times when put simply, I'm not up to much. Osteoporosis of the spine and Type 2 diabetes were the latest to hit me last year, and I don't wonder 'what next'. Life's too short - and it's a shame we don't realise that when we're much younger than when we're an OAP. That's Older Aged Person if you don't mind, not the other definition.
But occasionally we venture out of our comfortable, cosy little old house and last month it was off into Suffolk, to a lovely antique centre at Risby. I recently acquired two of these small printers trays....
and so have been on the lookout for tinies to put inside, and at Risby one of the cabinets has vintage toys, Dinky little old Dinky and Corgi cars, all well-loved but the chipped paint and wonky wheels adds to the charm. And thanks to my husband's interest in model N gauge railways, I have access to catalogues with lots and lots of tiny vehicles, like the Blackpool tram, reminding me of my teenage working years when I travelled on one to and from my job in Blackpool.
Most of our outings are unplanned, we just go when and where we feel like it, with my husband having the mid week free from work obligations, this is an ideal time. It tends to be quieter in the places we like to visit, and neither of us is fond of crowds and noisy children! But one outing I had been going to plan was to the Status Quo concert at nearby Holkham Hall, but with the news a couple of weeks ago of the group having to cancel several concert dates on their European tour, I decided against it. I would hate to be disappointed if it were cancelled at the last minute. There weren't going to be fireworks anyway!
So there is my mid-month ramblings of my quiet Norfolk life. Hope you found something to interest you! And thanks for visiting.