It’s end of what has felt like a long week – endless for my husband who can’t wait for it to be Saturday tomorrow so that he can ignore his emails for two whole days, but just long enough for me to feel as if I’ve started to catch up with myself.  Do you ever have weeks like that when you feel like you’re running just to keep still?  That’s been me over the last few weeks but finally I’ve been able to stop rushing from one job to another and just breathe.

A small coffee table in front of an open fire. There is a cake of pink yarn, a knitted sock cuff on a circular needle and an orange mug containing tea on the table.

I’ve not felt guilty at all about lighting the fire in the afternoon and sitting with my knitting, knowing that I am entirely justified in doing this because these are the socks for my commission pattern and they need knitting!

I’ve also been able to take the time to catch up with Lucy’s blog.  She took part in Blogtober this year which is where bloggers post every day of the month and it was lovely to read about what she was up to every day.  She’s still posting really regularly (although not every day – that really took some commitment and you’ll have noticed that I didn’t sign up for it!) and as I’ve not been able to go and see her recently, it’s been nice to read about some of the things we might have chatted about if we’d met up.  It has made me think about how often I’m posting on my blog, though, and I’ve realised that I’ve been quite hit and miss for a while instead of writing regularly twice a week as I try to do.  The downside of this for you is that you get epic posts that need strong tea and probably several slices of toast or perhaps a small cake to see you through them, so I am going to try to write a bit less but a bit more often so that you don’t get the War and Peace-length updates! 😀

So since I wrote on Wednesday and have already told you about our new arrivals (who seem to be settling in very well, haven’t laid any more eggs and we’re not even sure if they’re eating anything, but as they haven’t keeled over yet so they must be OK), then instead I’ll tell you that I’ve planted my onions to overwinter in the veg box.  I think I’m probably a bit late (I’m not even going to tell you how many flower bulbs are in the garage still to be planted) and I’m not sure if it’s the right time of year to plant garlic at all (I never have any luck growing garlic, this could be why!), but it’s not been particularly cold lately and I’m hoping they’ll be snug enough under the green garden fabric.  Big daughter’s ginormous sunflowers have reached the end of their life so I’ve left the heads on the soil for the birds and presumably other wildlife to pick at – there are empty seed cases all over that right hand box so the seeds must taste good!

Two wooden boxes for growing vegetables - the one on the left is covered with green garden fabric and the one on the right still needs clearing

The weather’s been miserable today, the dog and I squelched around on our walk (he said he’s not being in any more photos just now, one is enough for the week!) and when I came home, I decided that lighting the fire was in order.  And – and this is quite a big “and” for me – I made a start on wrapping my Christmas presents!  As someone who has a bit of a mental block about doing anything Christmassy before the 1st of December, this is quite a departure from my usual run of things, but given that the definition of madness is to keep doing the same things and expecting a different outcome, I decided that this year, the only way to be organised was to actually do something different!  There may have been a cheesy Christmas film on TV (oh, I LOVE cheesy Christmas films!) but as it’s not the 1st of December and I’m already fighting a losing battle with small daughter about playing Christmas music, I couldn’t possibly admit to that!

Christmas presents ready to be wrapped in front of an open fire

School run time has been officially declared “gifted knitting time” and I try my best to get there earlier than I need to so that I can squeeze an extra few minutes of knitting into my day.  You might have spotted that the first photo shows the sock a bit further on than this one and the reason for that is that I took this photo first but thought the other one would be better to see first than my legs!  I’ll have more to show you on these socks soon!

Christine's legs as she sits in the car waiting for small daughter after school. She is wearing her jeans, the car interior is black and there is a cake of pink yarn and a double pointed needle with cast on stitches resting on her legs

Small daughter and I went to the farm shop after school to pick up some bags of smokeless coal and I couldn’t resist one of the pots of hyacinths.  I don’t keep my hyacinth bulbs from year to year, I just put them out in the garden, so it’s nice to have some that are just coming into flower.  According to the pot, they’re going to be pink so I’ll look forward to seeing them bloom!

A pot of hyacinth bulbs on a wooden mantelpiece. To the left and right are three small bell-jar-type ornaments containing a house, some trees and a reindeer, and some pine trees and a polar bear. They are all lit up

What do you think of my little lights?  They’re cute, aren’t they?  I got those from Asda the other week and although we don’t usually put our Christmas decorations up until December, I haven’t put them away out of sight …

In another attempt to be organised, I’ve been setting up a click and collect shopping order to pick up on the way back from small daughter’s piano class – well, that’s what I was doing before this second lockdown and now the spaces are very often full so I’m hoping that the vulnerable people who shouldn’t be going into the supermarket are the ones booking their collections.  I’d got into the habit of buying us cinnamon swirls as a shopping day treat – I have neither the time nor the inclination to try to make my own flaky pastry – but just recently, we have noticed that the swirls seem to have got smaller (no, this is not my hands getting bigger, as is the excuse for Cadbury’s Creme Eggs being smaller!) and there’s a lot of plastic packaging too, so I decided to try out the Jus-rol bake at home variety.  Well, these have been a hit!  Not only are they warm out of the oven (note to self, allow to cool before putting the icing on) which makes them doubly delicious, but there is enough dough for six which means that we get one and a half each … definitely a treat and I can highly recommend slipping a tube of the dough into your shopping trolley too!

A plate of six cinnamon swirls

And that’s me for today.  I promised there would be less rambling and I think there is – marginally! Have a lovely weekend, I’ll see you soon! xx

Four small bell-jar ornaments - the three that were shown previously plus one extra with two reindeer in it

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7 Responses

  1. Susan Rayner says:

    Have a happy weekend! I love the mini Christmas lights and the Hyacinths – must look to see if I can find any locally! We used to use that dough in a tube baking in America when I was a tenager. I had forgotten it existed – the Cinnamon Swirls look really delicious!I have finished writing my mother's Christmas cards (at 95 she finds it too much) and am facing my own list!!! Could be a long week as I am determiined to finish before the 1st December! Thank you for another lovely blog – I don't mind how often or not they come – just enjoy them when they do!!

  2. Unknown says:

    Love your blog and really loving the lights.x

  3. Chris Knowler says:

    I love the Christmas lights too! I wonder how I can sneak some into the house without hubby noticing………. Must put a reminder on my phone to go to Asda………
    I often buy Hyacinth bulbs as I love the fragrance. I usually then put them in pots in the garden. I also buy the tete a tete daffodils too. I found two cardboard 'cups' of them in the shed that were beginning to sprout so have planted them in a pot by our wildlife pond then I will get some spring colour from the conservatory window.

  4. Jennyff says:

    We usually put up our minimal decorations on Christmas Eve but I think this year, especially if we are still in Italy, a little sparkle wouldn’t go amiss. However we only have a few decs here and my limited food shopping trips haven’t revealed anything I want to buy. Candles and greenery with a gifted nativity scene will will elk out the few baubles i think and fortunately the outdoor solar lights are still going strong. Hope you get some sunshine next week, keep safe.

  5. Pollyt says:

    Love your Christmas lights!! I'm normally a 'christmas doesn't start until advent' person but this year I've been off work waiting for some treatment for an ongoing condition which was delayed by the covid impact so I've been watching cheesy Christmas films too! I'm saving the good ones for the week before Christmas 😄 Hope you have a lovely cosy weekend!

  6. Carol Fieldhouse says:

    Christine, I’m in Macclesfield and usually have great success with growing garlic! My tips are…. put them in the most open, sunny spot in your garden, away from anything that will shade them too much…. buy bulbs from a decent dealer, rather than using ones from the shop – not sure what you do!- and get the varieties that are bred for -ahem!- cooler, wetter climates!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Ah, the bulbs I've planted are a named variety and the place that I've put them is open and sunny so fingers crossed they'll grow this year! Thank you! xx

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