Orange and Rust

There are so many orange and rusty burnished tones around right now. I know it is said often, but it is a beautiful time of year and it never gets old for me. We have delved into autumn here with enthusiasm. Emily carved a pumpkin after school on all Hallow’s Eve, and I made pumpkin pie. We’ve never had pumpkin pie before, it is just not a thing in the UK and you’d be hard pushed to find a can of pumpkin purée in a supermarket around here. I made my own in the blender and the pie turned out better than expected for the novice pie-maker that I am. I used ‘this’ recipe. Not too sweet and set perfectly. The rest of the pumpkin purée was used up nicely in a vegetable curry and the seeds in this recipe.

Hanging the washing out on the line today was a risky business – will I be racing out in half an hour to bring it all back in? The skies are grey, but a slip of blue is seen momentarily. I don’t want wet school uniform, tablecloths and towels strewn about the house. So I say a little no-rain prayer, and do a little no-rain dance.

I pick a handful of spinach for  lunch and rinse off the dirt and a tiny grey slug washes down the drain.

The butterfly I saw yesterday, may be the last of the year. It looked black under the leaden skies. I think it may have been a red admiral, and I just caught its underside. It was bittersweet to see this symbol of another dying year.

Today we have leftovers of mushroom, lentil and ale pie that I made yesterday from this recipe. So delicious it was too. I used the rest of the pastry for a quick blackberry and apple tart. The kind of autumnal fare that defines the season.

I am still getting used to the evenings. The darkness falling so early now, it feels like midnight at half past five in the afternoon. Maybe I’ll never get used to the speed at which this happens. I enjoy the dark evenings though. My library books are overdue so I will catch up with them this evening. I am reading Neil Gaiman’s short stories ‘Trigger Warning’ right now. He is a perfect writer for this time of year. What are you reading on these dark autumn evenings?

Catching Up

Sorry for my absence from blogland, dear readers. My computer died and I have been learning to find my way around a brand new one… it’s super fast and purple… I like it!

What have we been up to? Well, enjoying the grand entrance of Autumn in all its glory. The crisp leaves and crisper temperatures (although today is quite balmy). The scent of bonfires on the breeze, and a garden full of rotting plants, overgrown bushes, and dry stems that need cutting back and clearing up. I have been studying hard, trying to get a little ahead with my course in anticipation of Christmas. Emily carved the pumpkins pictured above. And on Saturday, we had a little Halloween tea, and listened to a creepy-classics playlist.

Over tea, we had a long discussion about horror films and fear. Emily loves to watch scary movies (though she doesn’t watch 18-rated films). I do not much like to watch horror films at all. I used to watch them when I was younger – the likes of The Shining, Salem’s Lot and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Back then I enjoyed the rush of adrenalin, the dark subject matter, and all-round spooky creepiness. But the films were never really realistic enough to truly scare.

Later films were not so enjoyable for me to watch though. Occasionally, after watching one of these films, images would haunt me for months. Take Se7en for example – there are scenes which I simply could not get out of my head. It was as if they were burned into my brain in full technicolour.

These days, in order to keep my sanity, I find I need to stick to subjects that mostly bring a positive state of mind. I am so thankful for the space to be less afraid and more aware of what is going on around me, rather than having all those imaginary fears whirling inside my head. So, boring though it may be, I am more than happy to stick to pleasant uplifting music and films these days.

I have much blog-reading to catch up on and I’m looking forward to reading what you’ve all been up to lately. I also just wanted to end today by thanking you for visiting my blog and to say I really do appreciate all your lovely, kind and interesting comments. Now I have my new zippy purple laptop I hope to be blogging more regularly.

Wishing you all a great week!