Monday, October 30, 2023

Tribe, sweetmaking and getting on.

1. A roving band of teenagers is going up the high street ahead of me. In the centre, boxed in for protection, is a lad with a vision impairment using a cane to navigate. He also uses it to whack the ankles of the boys in front. They lead him round and round the metal columns that hold up the church porch before they go through the doors.

2. Up the stairs comes the scent of toffee -- Bettany and Nick are busy on the stove.

3. Occasional shouted questions about asthma suggest that Alec is getting on with his homework.


Friday, October 27, 2023

Make-up, box of chocs and music time.

1. Bettany carefully applying lipstick and an overstain to make it even more pink before going for her shower.

2. Nick reveals that a delivery came from Coastal Cocoa a few days ago that he hasn't told me about. 

3. Lying in bed catching up with Mark Radcliffe's folk show, we hear a song that leads us to a happy chat about our lovely holiday in Broadstairs, which was seething morris sides during the folk festival.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Piano, stewed fruit and dressing for dinner.

1. The sound of Alec demonstrating his piano practice to Granny.

2. Granny has left boxes of jewel-crimson stewed raspberries in our fridge.

3. Just as I am finishing work for the day, Bettany appears at my side dressed for dinner. So we pick an outfit for me, as well.


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Inclinations, no argument and looking up.

1. To chase my inclinations doing work of one kind and another.

2. Instead of arguing with tiredness, my child slides easily into bedtime.

3. Even after we work out that what we spotted was Starlink satellites climbing up the sky like a row of celestial ducks, it still seems like a wonder.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Turning, exact and radio on.

1. From my window, trees singed orange by frost and shortened days.

2. The piece of parmesan in the back of the fridge is exactly the weight the recipe calls for.

3. Alec and I finally have space to sit together and hear the bonus episode of Yeti on BBC iPlayer.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Too warm, price wars and snow.

1. Really it's too warm for coats today and we should have left them at home.

2. Today I've been planning meals and doing a supermarket order and picking up a few supplies for dinner. Reflecting on what I've bought, I realise that I haven't had that moment of 'how much?' shock. Prices seem to have stopped rising; and we've settled into money-saving habits.

3. Now that Bettany has tried skiing, the snowy episodes in Ronja take on a whole new significance.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Leaf fall, how scary and stitches.

1. This week there are green-orange leaves caught in the water gully. 

2. He comes up to ask me how scary is The Haunting of Hill House, which he has taken the library.

3. I turn on the radio and sew names in a few items that are being taken on the year 6 residential.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Long shadows, nearly and worms.

1. Our long shadows fall down the road ahead of us.

2. It's cold today -- nearly hat weather.

3. In the turned soil fat worms are at work. With our gloves on, we can touch anything.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Handing over, knitting and listening.

1. Up the stairs come the sounds of Nick handing over a bookshelf that we don't want to a man who does want a bookshelf.

2. Bettany asks for more wool to feed her French knitting habit.

3. What is important right now is sitting and listening to music on the radio together.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Winter plans, time slip and the sound of rain.

1. Shoots of cleavers, sticky on my fingertips. Instead of hiding in the soil as seeds they have plans to overwinter in the green.

2. I am half-listening to Bettany watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It feels like a timeslip.

3. Even through my headphones I can hear the rain falling outside.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Mackerel sky, boxes and plums.

1. When I glance up, the high clouds have stretched into a mackerel sky.

2. Our kitchen is steadily filling with boxes -- we're moving some books into storage (aka The Special Collection) to make a bit more space at home.

3. I come downstairs early to find Bettany in a sulk because Nick and I ate the plums in meringue at lunch (in our defence, these plums had been in the icebox since Sunday). Because I'm down early, there's time to show her how to make more.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Filed, technology and functional.

1. Filing last week's to-do list.

2. By some miracle of technology the recording I made at a lecture has been turned into a transcript; further miracles of technology allow me to search for the actual names of the people mentioned, rather than the transcription AI's guess.

3. I was excited to listen to a Star Wars themed sleep story, but I don't remember any of it because it worked so quickly.

Monday, October 09, 2023

Pictures because it did happen, small business and geraniums.

1. The photos from last night start to appear on the group chat (we went to a Columbian supper club with dancing until midnight).

2.Alec and his friend want to make cookies and sell them to people passing by. I like half-listening to them working out how to do this, and solving problems as they go.

3. I pot on my geranium cuttings. File > save as against winter.

Thursday, October 05, 2023

Digestive, hardboiled egg and water.

1. Sinking a chocolate digestive biscuit into my coffee.

2. My hardboiled eggs have come out perfect -- yolks deep yellow.

3. Where I have to stand waiting, there is a rill beside the road and so all I can hear is sound of running water.

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Forecasts, sunset and evening TV.

1. We've somehow failed at having an almanac session so far this month. I bring the books down to coffee and we check out the astronomical and astrological forecasts. There's an eclipse coming; and Neptune might be visible if you have a telescope and a good sky map.

2. As winter approaches, the place where the sun drops below the horizon moves into the frame of my window.

3. We lie across the sofa, both drinking fizzy water, watching Ronia the Robber's Daughter.

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Catalogue, parcel and starlings.

1. Nick brings the Lidl weekly catalogue home at coffee time. We pore over the flimsy pages, examining the coming Eastern European week, and the orange and black Halloween offerings.

2. Putting a parcel in the post. The price has gone up to nearly £5, but it's still cheaper than taking a day off work to deliver it by hand.

3. A few starlings -- probably not enough for a murmuration -- taking test flights from the top of the tower.


Monday, October 02, 2023

Daisy, cookies and badge.

1. We don't have a lawn, and I miss daisies very much. But last summer a good Bellis perennis appeared in between the paving stones. It was such a high footfall spot, though, that I dug them out and put them in a shallow pan planter to see if they would do. They've made themselves at home, and I have high hopes for next spring. 

2. Alec returns with some of the cookies he and his friend have baked.

3. The gold back of Bettany's deputy head girl badge gleaming on her desk, ready for tomorrow.

Hardboiled egg, back in line and foxgloves.

1. I hardboiled a few eggs this morning. At lunch, I note that the one Nick is eating has a perfect yolk -- just a little soft. 2. It just t...