Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...


The winds of change

A sharp breeze, one that slaps cheeks and grabs coats, accompanied us on our walk on Saturday. We'd gone up to Lancaster with a van load of things for Youngest as he returns to uni. We hold our breath while we hope the panic-lockdown of students does not rear its ugly head here. Youngest and gf are both student reps this year, assigned a house of students to watch over with all contact via zoom and cellphones. We left them with dire warnings of making sure they have sufficient supplies to last should things change.
Cold fingers and necks wrapped up in woolly cosiness, hats pulled on for good measure and coats pulled tight, we stepped out of the van, up a small and busy lane then turned off the road into a field full of young beef-stock. They lifted their heads from grazing and watched but soon became disinterested. Only one seemed more alert and watched us closely as we passed by. I, for years, felt stock-sure enough to be able to deal with fields of cows but after a couple of heart stoppingly uncomfortable near-moments - I have realised my own mortality and have become wary. 
We were not the only ones out in the buffeting cold autumnal breeze. A small gathering of swallows were chattering and preening overhead. They were certainly congregating and making plans to find warmer climes. I shall miss them.
The paths were quiet, very few walkers about. 
The odd fisherman - and yes I really do mean 'odd', with a pike in the net and hysterical laughter. We politely admired his catch and moved on. 
The very dapper couple, he with his goatie and waxed mustachio, bowtie and cream cords and she in a floral dress, black leggings and striking shock of brick red and steel grey hair. They were on bikes and wore chest wide beaming grins as we passed them - they just glowed happiness.
A couple of family groups with dogs - all observing the CV19 distance, all smiling and cheery.    A lovely change from some of the more surly walkers we seem to have met more recently.
As ever, Moss delighted in every sniff, every stick and every spot she could get down to the water. We stopped for a break on a longboat mooring and watched squirrels bouncing up through grass, birds and the last of the season's butterflies as we drank tea and ate fruit cake.
Considering how near to a city we were, it was remarkably quiet, the only noise was the light aircraft circling the sky disgorging parachutists at regular intervals.
It was late afternoon by the time we returned to the van. Moss was towelled dry, fed and wrapped up to keep warm - the breeze had taken on a sharper note - and bundled up into her bed. Kettle on and brittle hands wrapped around hot mugs felt good.
The sun, mostly hidden behind cloud during the day began to drop below the now dissipating thick layer of grey. The sky lit up.  From within the van, we sheltered from the breeze and watched the sun and the sky become alive as they changed colours, deepened and intensified.
I cooked and we ate in virtual silence except for the occasional intake of breath at the beauty or a whispered comment to each other as we took photos or just witnessed the sunset.
As the sun vanished below the horizon, the temperature dropped rapidly. We put away our plates, tidied the back of the van and climbed into the cab. Moss had been fast asleep and watched us through bleary dog eyes as we buckled up and set off. We took the long way round - I think I smiled for most of it.

Thank you everyone for joining or commenting on or even just reading our posts of September's Scavenger Photo Hunt. October's words will pop up soon so definitely keep an eye out for them.

Until then - I hope the sunsets where you are, are as heart breathtakingly beautiful - blessings be xxx


September's link up party

 Welcome to September's Scavenger Photo hunt!

Hello hello hello!

September and autumn seemed to have landed together, so, let's mark their arrival by sharing our photos and stories with this month's Scavenger Photo Hunt!

Just follow the link to add your post for  September and if you fancy joining it next month - it is really easy, just follow the list of words supplied at the beginning of each month adding a photo and a few accompanying words. Enjoy!

The link up party will stay live until midnight Sunday when it will then close.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

September's words and pictures


A huge bunch of large haws - perfect for hurling at the husband when he least expects it ..... mhwahahaha.

Favourite seat/place to sit

This, when I typed out the prompt at the beginning of the month, was not what I had in mind .... however, briefly on Thursday afternoon there was a small flash of sunshine. Bathing my sidekick in the most wonderfully warm light. 
In the attic, where I am at the moment, there is a 2CV back seat which is used as a 'settee' when I get visitors while I am sewing. However, the most frequent user of this rather comfortable seat ..... is Moss.... so her favourite comfort-blankie (thank you Daisy) is draped for added snuggle.


A few years ago a dear friend gifted to me her salt lamp. It has cheerfully given out it's happy and holistic vibes ever since. In the time it has been mine, both boy's girlfriends have fallen under the spell of the pink glow and now are owners of their own. They are a comforting warming light - perfect for dark evenings and dank days.


I know I have shared this story with you before - I was so captivated by this brief moment of magic that it remains with me and makes me smile.

Micro/mini/teeny tiny

Some time over the summer we spent a wild weekend away in the van, we stopped at the coast for Moss and I, me to fill my eyes and my soul with the coastal light and Moss to swim and play. As we sat on the stones to dip out of the breeze, Himself noticed the tiniest of feathers on a piece of drift wood.

My own choice

Umm. An image is better than a thousand words..............

Hope you've enjoyed my offering for September, now I am off to check out the other photo-hunters posts - have a good weekend xxxxx



Today is autumn equinox - Mabon in the old ways - where the heady days of summer officially turn into the more mellow ones of autumn. 

It is a time of rest and celebration after the harvest and look back over the year. A good time to complete projects and clear away anything no longer needed - making space for reflection and peace during winter.

It is also a good time to plant bulbs and make plans and to gently celebrate being outside with walking and by baking using some of nature's wild abundance. So far jams and fruit cakes have been made, picked sloes are in the freezer, awaiting the next free day I have, to be made into sloe and apple jam and grapes (in the greenhouse) waiting to be picked, washed and made into grape jelly (a pale and crisp clear jam - perfect on toast).

Branches of variegated holly, leycesteria formosa - weighed down by berries, cotoneaster, fronds of grasses and ferns have been picked and fill my favourite hawthorn jug.

The neighbouring hens have suddenly produced a flush of autumnal eggs and a tray appeared at our back door - cucumbers, pumpkins, spaghetti squash and tomatoes are on the cusp of being ready - so yes - it is definitely harvest time.

Later, I will make a Mabon cake - a bit like a large scone scored into eight sections and when Himself and I are home later tonight after work, we'll break it open and have it with blackberry jam and look back and look forward.

There is, despite what is going on, good things which have happened and good things still to come. The trick is to notice them, enjoy them and celebrate those precious moments.

Blessings Be xxxxxxxxxxx


38 of 52 *

 Another week in 2020 has slipped by, a gentle mix of busy and quiet, sorrow and joy, sunshine and rain.

Monday while I worked up in the moorland garden I was surrounded by the sounds of a warm and gentle autumnal breeze rustling through the hedge leaves with the occasional distant lowing of a dairy shorthorn checking on her calf. The herd were high up on the hill and had left all their young asleep in the sun against the garden wall. Over the course of ten minutes or so, the calves awoke, stood up, stretched and bawled back at their mothers. I unintentionally startled them and as one they cantered off in an untidy wobbly blob up to the main herd. Each calf finding their dam, latching on and suckling.

Moss was with me, watching my every move with intense brown eyes. She is good company.

Tuesday was volunteering-at-the-community-shop day and I was fully aware that we would be understaffed - we are usually a group of three but today we were only the two. My volunteering buddy and I worked out a strategy and hoped it worked... and it did - we had a lovely day and enjoyed the 'busy-ness' of it. The afternoon was filled with mask making and slow-sow stitching whilst listening to the rain on the window and drinking coffee.

Wednesday brought hot tears - I worked in a lovely mature garden higher up the village. It is tucked behind an beautiful old farm house and is a multi-layered space completely enclosed by mature hedges and trees. I already knew that the cat ,who usually 'supervises' me as I work in 'her' garden, had died unexpectedly the night before so was expecting a saddened owner, and she was. We shed a tear with a mutual friend, who had been on hand helping with vets and heartbreak the night before, arrived to bury the cat. A special place was selected in the garden - one the cat liked to rest in during the warmth of a summer's day - and a hole duly dug. We were all affected by the loss of one rather small and fat furry cat. The garden seemed thinner that day.
Thursday was rather more joyous. I was part of a small (and correctly numbered and socially distanced) group who walked from a picturesque village over rolling fields, lead by a community outreach officer (a walk leader/ranger in old terms.... why do they change titles??). 
We ended up at a newly acquired space the outreach group had obtained complete with wonderfully old and beautifully maintained barns and shippon and a huge blank space with the remains of a walled garden and raised beds. The long term plan is to have the gardens up and running giving the outreach group a safe space to share with groups of folk who need help with mental and physical health, gently guiding and helping to reintegrate with people, learn new skills and find a place where they can feel safe. There is a long way to go, the site is raw and has been neglected for a long time but with a bit of hard work (ok - a lot) and the right sort of leadership and guidance - I think it could be an amazing place in the future.

While we were there, a dear friend of mine (he introduced me to this group and invited me on their walks) reached a phenomianal milestone.... at the grand old age of 81 years young and post major cancer surgery and a stroke .... had reached his goal of #walk1000miles in 2020 and had beaten me by 150 miles (I am still plodding on ha!) So, I presented him with a specially designed medal and the rest of the group cheered and took photos. He was delighted and kept his medal on for the rest of the day :)

The gardens must have been some one's pride and joy once as the soil is good, the construction strong and the layout well designed and the thick layer of moss and nettle roots has prevented the soil from drying out while the shear quantity of earthworms was fantastic.  

We worked in the garden for most of the day and managed clear one bed completely and made serious inroads in another two. It was most gratifying to plant up the bed with native wildflower plug-plants before we left - a job well done. This space, if taken forward with the enthusiasm that was shared yesterday - will be a lovely one to be in.
Moss was invited too - of course, she makes so many friends as she goes along and as they day warmed up she found her own way to cool off.  Then, at the end of the day, we walked back through the fields and sat on the village green with locally made ice cream cones and just appreciated the day, the weather, friendship and silly wet dogs......

Now, today being Friday - is the 'start' of the weekend. Himself will be home by lunch and the sun is shining with a blue sky and softly grey pink clouds scudding through. It is definitely feeling and tasting like autumn and I am most definitely trying to see the beauty of it. 

Last days of summer .... holding on .... letting go .... cool days and chilly evenings.

Have a lovely weekend where ever you are - hope you find precious moments in your day despite what's going on around us.  xxx

*and the 38 of 52? it is the number of this week..... the 38th week of 2020. Not so many left - wonder how things will turn?


this and that sow and sew

I've been unintentionally a little quiet over the last week or so as my laptop decided that it was time to literally come apart at the seams.
I had just messaged Eldest to ask him what version this particular laptop was (there is no insignia apart from two large initials) and as I was waiting for his reply, the screen slowly slipped backwards and fell apart....... which, considering it was a second hand, university surviving, well used machine - it had served it's time.

So, now I have a new smaller version (perfect for laps, sitting on the work-desk, going in the van) but it does mean learning to 'drive' a whole new layout..... 
I do have stories to share, anecdotes to tell and photos to show however, until my new laptop and I are familiar and bond with each other - they will have to wait. 
Autumn is certainly enjoying centre stage at the moment, colours have changed from summer shades to softer tones. I am trying to apreciate them - as yes, they are beautiful, but I find them melancholic .... signifying the end of the year. Ok ok so 2020 has been a year on its own however, wishing it away wont help the situation as I suspect that we will still be living with the new normal for a long time yet.

Something I am still enjoying - slow-sew. I keep adding more stitches to my jeans' leg, it is satisfying seeing folk noticing the new patterning as it forms. There are other wips being created but they are still under wraps - won't share until they have been gifted to the folk they are being made for.

Any hoo - things to do, places to be so I will stop waffling here, with apologies for a bit of a meandering directionless post, I needed to practice with my new laptop and to try and get to grips with the new blogger layout - not keen I have to say. I am unable to set the photos where I want them and it seems clunky and old-fashioned; and I keep losing the entire post and have to re-open it and start again - not good.
Have a good Tuesday xxxx

ps. those last three photos are the cats 'helping' in the greenhouse over the weekend - they took turns in keeping my jacket from 'floating off the seat' and Pepper does insist on sliding around on the top and looking through the glass whilst I was sowing seeds.


Chasing adventure

On a whim, we went out, we had planned to stay home this weekend, do a few chores, bit of gardening, keep the cats and the house company. But the cats went out, the garden promised to wait and Zeb was calling.
We packed light, only intending it to be a day's walking, taking food and warm clothing and (on a just-in-case basis) I slipped our toothbrushes and a change of clothing into the van. If the evening turned out to be beautiful and wild, we may just linger longer and find somewhere to stay.
The forecast had it for sunny all day with the very occasional and probably miles away showers. So we just jumped into the cab and pointed Zeb to the hills, following his nose and stopping where he took us. There was light rain on the windscreen, but it did not matter, we were off on a micro-adventure with a bit of a devil may care feel in the air!
As we parked up, the heavy clouds massing slowly above our heads could no longer hold their load. We only just managed to close the door behind us as a sharp shower thundered down. It did not matter - we had the kettle on, we were warm and dry and while we curled our fingers around far too hot mugs, we watched as the view slowly began to clear.
Boots and coats, hats and scarves firmly attached, we stepped out of a dripping wet van into the most sublime lemon yellow light with scudding grey and white clouds. Moss could not be more excited, leaning forward into her lead, nose forward and ears alert.
Our trail, one we have walked for years, brings back so many memories. The one that is the most vivid is of a walk before Youngest was born although he was there with us. Eldest was barely two and a half and we'd not been living in the uk for long.  I was sorely missing my African home and very uncomfortably and heavily pregnant. We walked up the drovers track, into the woodland and through the small but beautiful wildflower meadow. A small Eldest ran ahead, his face beaming and his blonde hair ruffling in the breeze. We sat, the three (four) of us, Eldest sharing an orange with me as we looked over the view. Seems such a long time ago - yet with a blink it was only yesterday.
 Our present walk took us through the  same woodland, we had been watching the horizon with one eye as the sky was darkening and seemed to be rolling towards us again. We sheltered in the trees, listening to the rain dashing against the leaves while we were just lightly spattered. It was a rather special feeling, listening to the deluge around us, watching through the branches as the sky changed colour, hearing the wind tearing through the leaves whilst we were dry and protected.
Then, as quickly as it arrived, the rain left and for one glorious moment or two, a rich flash of sunshine. The rainbow, fleeting, was beautiful as was it's softer pastel shaded second bow.
Our return to the van was a mix of gentle sun slipping through the heavy grey wash of clouds, the colours muted with spots of brilliance. Stripping off the wet coats and boots, rubbing Moss dry and feeding her we decided that as much as we would love to stay, the call of the house, a warm and crackling fire with the cats was greater. So we jumped into the cab, drove Zeb to another spot with a far reaching view and ate whilst we watched shower after shower race across the distant valley and surrounding hills before setting off for home.
Often the not planned-plans are the best. The simple pleasure of walking, good company, a dilly dog and the delight of returning to the van, putting on the kettle and wrapping chilled hands around a steaming mug - bliss.
Sunday will be the day for gardening and the cats - I promise!