Saturday 2 September 2023

September 2023

It may be September now,  but finally we're experiencing the warm sunny weather that might have been more suited to earlier on in the summer. Still, I'm here for it, even though just last week I had been seriously contemplating whether or not to dispose of a few of my numerous bottles of little used sunscreen, and then possibly unearthing some of my warmer sweaters from the darkest depths of the wardrobe. Then again, I should have realised we would see an improvement in the weather, just as soon as we were preparing for the new school year. Isn't it always the way.

Since returning from Belfast, I've been indulging in some serious down time. Anchoring myself at home, the garden is looking tidier than it has done all summer so far, and I've enjoyed some shorter walks straight from the doorstep. I've also been Blackberry picking, which is always a fun activity, not to mention the delicious treats I can make with them. They have been washed, weighed and bagged, and are now tucked away at the back of the freezer. I'm sure I'll be making compote at some point, but the Blackberry Vodka is already steeping quite nicely at the back of the cupboard, in anticipation of the colder months ahead. 

In the garden, the tomatoes still seem to be a little while off ripening, but the sweetcorn looks to be growing remarkably well, which is pretty good going, considering they were planted only as an experiment. This afternoon, I've re-potted both of the apple trees and I've noticed some small thorns appearing on the 'lockdown lemons', which I've read is a good sign that they're maturing.

Earlier this week, Lily and I took a trip into town for the annual back to school shopping trip. Never one of the most joyful activities, it proved to be fairly painless in the end. Especially as we managed to get nearly everything on our list first time, which is almost unheard of.

In other exciting news, I am very pleased to say that this week, after walking up Gray Crag and Thornthwaite Crag, we have now reached the halfway point in our Wainwright bagging journey. That's 107 fells! There's still a long way to go, but I'm quite proud of our achievement so far. 

This morning, at the library, Lily received her certificate for completing the Summer Reading Challenge. I'm not sure how many years the scheme has been running for now, but it has always been very popular and is a great incentive for those more reluctant readers. I am going to try and continue our visits to the library going forwards, as I'm sure we would both benefit from reading far more than we already do.

This week, I also received some positive feedback on the first study module I submitted. It is always useful to learn new skills and, if I get the opportunity, I would quite like to complete one more course before the end of the year. But there is still a lot of work on the house which I need to complete, so that might need to take priority for a while. 

On reflection, it has been a very enjoyable break, and the weather has been very kind each time I've been away. Still, summer's not over just yet...

J. X