New beginnings

Bee in Goldenrod flower

Since D and I don’t have children (apart from the furry kind, of course), September doesn’t necessarily mean back to school for us. And yet the lengthening nights, the cooler air and the autumnal changes in the garden still bring a sense of new beginnings, new possibilities, just as it felt at the start of each new school year all those years ago.

It was September three years ago that D and I embarked on the adventure of our new relationship. Last September, almost a whole year ago, we completed on the purchase of the house and started putting into motion the move to Yorkshire that would lead to our new simple life beginning together. This September feels almost as momentous, at least for me, as it marks the start of my new journey and literally a new school term. I have enrolled on a diploma in curtain-making and soft furnishings and next week I am heading off to Nottingham for the first of two residential weeks which form part of the course. I am excited and terrified in equal measure. The online part of the course has already started and I am learning about colour theory, about different fabrics and where and how they can be used and about different periods and styles. It has been years since I have undertaken any formal learning that required more output from me than multiple choice exams, so writing essays and reports and preparing presentation boards of samples and ideas is daunting, to say the least and I am worried that I will not be able to keep up. However, D is supporting me all the way in his usual practical, unswervingly committed manner and the cats, of course, are desperate to help. I am just as keen to keep my precious fabrics and boards away from their mucky paws and the fur that floats in the air, especially during this season change, when they are moulting in preparation for their winter coats.

The bee fabric feels very appropriate
I just loved this printed design
Fabric samples on card
My first sample board

Aside from starting to study, this week has continued the march into Autumn for us. One minute, the weather is beautiful and I am watching bees getting drunk on the beautiful Goldenrods that are fully living up to their name in the garden (as you can see in the photo at the top of the post) and the next we are lighting our first fire since Spring. Since moving here and starting to learn about the garden, I find I have been much more conscious of the seasons. Perhaps that is partly because Yorkshire has all four, unlike Aberdeen, which either jumps straight from spring or summer to snow or, if the four seasons are on show, they all seem to happen in the same day.

Grey and white cat on rug by an open fire
Calamity basks in the warmth of the fire

The cats are also staying much closer to home than earlier in the summer. The Calamity Cat can usually be found lounging in a sunny spot in the garden and even the Princess is spending more time with us, the hedgerow and its wildlife appearing to have lost some of its appeal. Mind you, that may be less down to the weather and more to do with whatever mishap befell her last week, when she came home so filthy I had no choice but to sponge her down with a damp flannel. I keep telling myself it was probably only mud, but I can’t shake the feeling that she got a little too close to a cow with a dodgy stomach – yuk!

Grey and white cat on hind legs by hedgerow
“Now where are those cows … ?”

We are still picking tomatoes faster than we can eat them – a bolognaise made with fresh tomatoes was a revelation, I can tell you – such a different colour, flavour and texture than using tinned. The summer house is rapidly filling with the stored apples and we keep meaning to take a walk down the lane to see what we can find in the hedgerow ourselves to bring home to go with them, although we are thinking more of blackberries than the mice and shrews the Princess has been snacking on! After next weekend, we will finally have work surfaces and a sink, so it should be easier to be more creative in the kitchen. By the end of September, the room will be tiled and then all that will remain is blinds at the windows. Hmm, now what I need is a trained curtain and blind-maker …

There won’t be a blog next week – I will be knee-deep in curtain samples and all my creative energy will be going into the sewing. I am looking forward to sharing the experience with you all the week after though. If you can’t wait that long to see how I am getting on, check out my Facebook profile or follow me on Twitter (@watsonlisa2002) as I will be popping in there daily with a quick update.


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