Blogtober 2023 : Day 1
Hello, hello to you … October has arrived which means that it’s Blogtober!
I’ve taken part in Blogtober, a daily blogging challenge throughout October, for the last two years and I’ve really enjoyed it so I’m back to do it all again in 2023! It’ll mean a daily post from me every day in October and it’ll be lovely to have you along with me if you’d like to read them. You can find all my previous Blogtober posts here. I don’t use daily prompts or follow a prescripted list like some bloggers do through October (if you do an internet search, you’ll find LOADS of blogs to read – it’s a great time to find new blogs!), I’ve discovered that I’m much more likely to keep up if I just ramble on about the usual stuff so you can expect dog walks, cups of tea, socks, what’s going on in the garden and anything else that comes up during the month that I can write about 🙂
I won’t be sending daily emails out so don’t worry if you’re on the mailing list that you’ll get bombarded – I’ll send a weekly round-up one out on a Saturday (the Saturday blog post has been a bit, well, erratic recently and I’m hoping this will help me get back on track!) and you can catch up then if you want to. If you’re not already on the Winwick Mum newsletter list and you’d like to be (you get a free Kitchener Stitch download!), you can sign up by clicking here.
For the last couple of years, I’ve had definite projects to work on during Blogtober. In 2021, I learnt how to use a Shetland knitting belt and knitted a shawl, and last year I had a few projects that I wanted to finish off, plus I updated my Split Mittens pattern to include more sizes. I’m not quite so sure what I’m going to work on this year.
I’m going to continue working on the Yarn Badger socks that were for my husband but are now for me …
There’s not much yarn left but I’m almost at the toes so if I’m short by a couple of rounds then I’ll just work those in the contrast toe colour and nobody will notice. The yarn is Marine Blue by The Yarn Badger with the contrast worked in West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Fuchsia. You might have seen the sock in its previous incarnation when it was for my husband and it had a Fish Lips Kiss heel, but I like wearing a heel flap heel and it’ll also mean that I won’t get the socks mixed up on wash day!
Apart from these socks, I’m not quite sure what else I’m going to be focussing on this month just yet. I’m still working my way through the STEP program from LearnDoBecome which is helping me be more organised – I get plenty done and I have always considered myself to be quite an organised person but I know that I could be better, especially in terms of planning what comes next. The program is based on the Getting Things Done method which I have used previously, but it goes a bit further in helping you not only work out the “next action” for everything you want to do, but also prioritising the 50 million next actions that seem to end up on my to-do list, and I am already feeling the benefit. The good news is that as I slowly get used to working in this system, I’ll have more time for creating and I am so looking forward to that. I’ve already been able to start “clocking off” at a reasonable time which has given me a few more hours to knit in the evening … I am always at my happiest when I can be creative and when I have things that I can share with you on the blog, so this is definitely a step in the right direction!
Before I sign off for today, I want to show you something that is technically from September, but I’ve saved until today as it is very early in October 🙂 My friend gave me a cake the other day, and whilst there’s nothing unusual about that, I didn’t even know that this sort of cake existed until now.
Isn’t it beautiful? That’s pastry on the top and the decoration includes the name of the bakery where it’s come from.
It’s a moon cake, and it’s traditionally shared with family and friends during the Mid-Autumn Festival in September each year. The Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, is one of China’s biggest holidays and is also celebrated in Japan, Hong Kong and other countries across Asia, and across the world in Asian communities. The Festival falls at the time of the full moon in September and celebrates the end of the harvest season. It’s a time of reunions, parades, lanterns – and moon cake.
I must admit that I had never heard of the Moon Festival or moon cake before, and I was really delighted that my friend wanted to share her cake with me. They are sold in tins of four cakes and the tins are always beautifully decorated with symbols of the moon, flowers, vines or rabbits. Here’s my friend’s tin …
which came in a matching bag …
She told me that there are all kinds of moon cake and various qualities and prices too, going from not so expensive to ridiculously expensive depending on where you buy them from or what is in them.
This cake is the type that her family have always bought – inside the pastry case is a filling of lotus seed paste and double egg yolk. “The paste is mixed with the egg yolk?” I asked. “No,” she said, “they’re preserved eggs and they’re baked into the cake.” Then she looked a bit worried. “You might not have had anything quite like this before. It’s best to only have a tiny slice as it’s quite rich.”
Well, no doubt if you’re like me and you’ve never seen a moon cake, then you’re wondering what it tastes like!
I thought it was really nice! Not too sweet – at first I thought my friend had been over-cautious when she said to only have a tiny piece, but when I’d finished it, it had felt like enough. I had the piece with the egg in and I did wonder if it would taste startlingly different, but it just added to the flavour. It did feel lovely to be included in the Moon Festival celebration this year, even just a tiny bit, by my friend sharing her celebration cake with me.
I’m going to leave you for today with this photo of the Harvest super moon rising behind the spire of Winwick Church. Not my photo, but we do have some very talented photographers in Winwick and I’m glad they will share their photos so I can show you!
I’ll see you tomorrow!