And so, dear friends, we enter October.
We were very sorry to hear that our visitors, for whom we had been preparing, would not be able to come and stay as one of them was unwell, but this was, in a way, providential as I wasn’t well myself at the weekend and am not quite well again, although much better. We will re-arrange, possibly for the spring when the weather should be better than it has been of late.
And so, not being particularly well, I’ve been doing a lot of sitting, reading, sipping water and also doing gentle housewifely things (and I use this term – housewifely – in its most general sense) such as a bit of light dusting, and even bringing in some leaves from the garden, and placing them in a dark brown earthenware jug on the kitchen table.
Yesterday, Monday, I felt slightly better than I had at the weekend, and enjoyed some breakfast rather than just a cup of tea. I had half a grapefruit (it was quite sweet, not too acidic) while husband had prunes, and then he had porridge while I had bran flakes with a few sultanas on top, and cups of tea.
As I’d defrosted some pork loin steaks I needed to use them, and therefore cut the four steaks in half into eight smaller pieces and made a pork casserole (with onions, shallots, leeks, a sweet apple, and a stick of celery, all cut into bite-size pieces, plus cider, veggie stock and some dried sage and a couple of dried bay leaves.)
This photo is when the casserole with all the ingredients is just coming to simmering point on the hob, and then it’s removed, covered, and placed in the oven
This cooked in the oven for 1 hr on about 160C (fan assisted oven) and then I switched off the oven and allowed the casserole to cool and we had a portion (re-heated) for our supper last night with some new potatoes. The rest of the casserole has been divided into two portions (each for two people) and popped into the freezer.
Yesterday was beautifully sunny and the white gladioli in the sitting room, which I thought were never going to come into bloom (they were in tight bud when I bought them) have opened and look lovely.
And on a nearby table (the largest of a ‘nest’ of tables) the alstromeria have also bloomed (they were also in tight bud when I bought them.)
Indeed, the sunshine in the sitting room yesterday was more like a summer’s day and the room was flooded with bright light.
In the hall, I have a small lusterware jug and in that I have placed some cream-edged-with-pink carnations, but these have yet to open fully. When they do (if they do!) they will fill the jug, but if they fail to open I shall add some leaves to fill in the gaps.
And our sitting room at dusk, just before the curtains are drawn but with the lamps switched on. For once it is tidy! I need to expect guests more often to get the housewife in me motivated!
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Today, Tuesday, has been equally relaxing. Husband had gone to do some work at our younger son’s house, and so I decided to walk to the local shops about 1/2 mile away, for bread. It was a fine sunny morning and I thought the exercise would Do Me Good. Not too far to be strenuous but far enough to get a breath of fresh air. On my return I made coffee and had it with a Danish pastry while reading the paper and looking at one of my many interiors books (and an appropriate one for early autumn, when our thoughts turn to the comforts of home.)
I admit I’ve not done much else today, but once I’d had my coffee and Danish, I decided it was time to tidy the airing cupboard, so that was done and some items are now ready for the charity shop. It won’t stay tidy for long, believe me, but at least it is for now! And no, you don’t need to see a photo of piles of sheets, duvet covers, and spare loo rolls!
I then had lunch, just a salmon and cucumber sandwich, crusts removed, the sandwich cut into three ‘finger’ slices.
And with the sandwich, just a glass of chilled tap water (it tastes better from cut glass rather than a lumpen supermarket tumbler – this is one of my favourite 2nd hand chubby glasses, bought earlier in the year from Topsham’s Quay Antiques Centre – it’s now my favourite glass to drink from.)
And just as I sat down, the doorbell rang. It was my latest book, about Robert Adam.
I think the work of Robert Adam is a bit like Marmite – love it or hate it. I love it. Some dismiss his Neo-Classicism as “wedding cake” architecture, but I’d certainly like a slice of this wedding cake in my home.
And the wonderful hall at Kedleston, in Derbyshire, with its Corinthian alabaster columns (the back cover of this book.)
And to end this post, just two more of the books I’m browsing through at the moment. I have had them in the summer house for a couple of years, so about time they came in from the cold, at least for the autumn and winter.
I hope to be 100% again soon (or as near to 100% as the ancient bod can be!) and then cracking on with planting the spring bulbs, which I’ve been informed are on their way as we speak.
Until next time.