Blogtober 2023 : Day 1

A cloudy sky streaked with pink above a farmer's field

Out in the fields in Winwick

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 …

A partly knitted sock in rainbow and blue stripes with pink cuff and heel lies on a wooden coffee table next to a small amount of yarn, an orange mug and a pair of glasses

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.

A small pastry-covered cake in a gold plastic packet with a transparent window to see the decoration on the cakeA close up of the decoration on the pastry lid of a moon cake

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 …

A red and gold tin with images of rabbits and lotus flowers embossed on it.

which came in a matching bag …

A red and gold tin with images of rabbits and lotus flowers embossed on it. It is lying on a wooden table next to a gold bag with the same picture on it

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.”

A decorated pastry cake on a black and white plate. Two small slices have been cut from the cake; one of them has a egg in it

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!

An aerial view of the 2023 harvest supermoon taken above treetops and showing the moon behind the spire of Winwick Church

Source: Allan Mason



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27 Responses

  1. Susan Miller says:

    What a lovely blog!Thankyou great to read as always, really lifted my spirits as our 2nd son left home yesterday and I am feeling very sad .Sometimes it’s not good being a parent but luckily knitting helps as you can’t concentrate on 2 things at once ,keep up the good work love Sue Miller.

  2. Maxine Togneri says:

    Mmmmmmmm Im holding out on the moon cake but I am sure it will be one of those things that if you close your eyes it will taste lovely. WYS fuchsia is so nice I’ve used it on socks and on shawls. It just brightens up winter colours. Blog was great as usual. Looking forward to the month ahead and my birthday. Since I am the typical Libra female 😂

  3. Helen says:

    what a strange cake. I thought it was going to be like a biscuit – similar to Jaffa cakes that also aren’t cake, lol. It’s lovely to be included in someone’s celebration.

  4. Barbara says:

    I’ve never heard of moon cake either and I have a Chinese daughter in law. I’ll have to find out more when I see her. The decorations are beautiful. B x

  5. Jennifer G says:

    woot! a blog post every day!! love to read your blog with my coffee. that cake really looks different than any I have ever seen before. hope it tasted as good as it looks. by the way.. question..what technique do you prefer? magic loop, double points? Jennifer

    • winwickmum says:

      The cake had quite an unusual taste to it – I don’t think I’ve ever had anything quite like it before. I’m a short circular girl – a 30cm needle is my favourite although if I have to choose a second it’s usually magic loop as there’s nothing for me to drop 🙂 xx

  6. Susan Rayner says:

    I am really looking forward to Blogtober – a post every day is my idea of bliss. I would be very happy if they arrived every day – however if I have to wait for Saturdays so be it.
    Happy October every one.

    • winwickmum says:

      Thank you for the enthusiasm! I’m not sure if you’ll be quite so enthusiastic after a month of me warbling on but I appreciate you being here! 🙂 xx

  7. Jacqueline Leibfried says:

    I am looking forward to your daily posts

  8. Caz says:

    Always great to hear from you more often.
    The moon cake sounds intriguing and it’s great to try something new. The packaging is very pretty.
    It was our harvest service here today too. The church was looking so pretty.

    • winwickmum says:

      I think it was our church harvest service today as well, and then there’s a lunch afterwards in the church hall. It’s always a nice communal service, isn’t it? 🙂 xx

  9. Audrey says:

    Great blog again cake looks lovely but sadly I have to lower my cholesterol .My grandsons birthday month too .

  10. Simon says:

    I have had Moon Cake!! It was several years ago now when we had a particularly good Chinese Take-Away in town, and my Father got on very well with owners. He came home with the Saturday meal and told us that he’d been given something extra free: a piece of Moon Cake and some proper Chinese Tea to have with it! There was enough to share obviously, and it was incredibly good! Sweet as you say but not overly so, and it went very well with the tea. I had no idea that they might be something anyone could buy here, but I’m definitely going to look out for them! Yummers!

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh wow, that’s a lovely gift from the takeaway! I could imagine that it would have a different taste again with Chinese tea – English breakfast probably isn’t that traditional with moon cake! 🙂 xx

  11. Liz says:

    always good to read your weekly story so a daily treat will be great, not sure about the cake but the tin is beautiful! I shall investigate your ‘learndobecome’ could be useful not just for me but a few younger family members who always seem to be spinning too many plates and never take time for themselves 😳

    • winwickmum says:

      It’s honestly been amazing in a really short space of time. I was mostly doing all of the things that they talk about, but hadn’t quite got them all connected into a smooth system and sometimes, you just need someone outside of where you are to be able to offer a solution. Email to zero, though – that’s new to me and is an absolute revelation! 🙂 xx

  12. Annette says:

    it’s always a joy to read your blog, I always seem to learn about something new in it, like the moon cake, never heard about it before . And I just love learning about new things so thank you. look forward to reading your next post

  13. Andrea says:

    We were lucky to stop over in Singapore for a few days during our honeymoon exactly 4 years ago and our taxi driver recommended we’d try some moon cakes. And yes they are very rich and best enjoyed in small doses 🙂

  14. Joy Wilson says:

    What an interesting cake! And lovely tin and bag. I’ve never heard of a moon cake. Beautiful photo at the end.

    • winwickmum says:

      It’s a lovely photo, isn’t it? There are often amazing photos from around Winwick in our local Facebook group and luckily for me, the photographers are usually happy to let me share them! 🙂 xx

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