Monday, 5 October 2009

Autumnal colours and comforts, some a bit racy, be warned!!!

Despite the leaves falling from the trees, the distinct chill in the air early mornings and late evenings, still the passion flower blooms. I am mesmerised when I look at it closely, by the fine eyelashes that start out as almost black, then there is a stripe of white, then lilacy blue, perfect all the way around, another reminder of how clever is Mother Nature.
Elsewhere in the garden, the changing of the seasons is more evident, such as with the peony above, and the climber over the arch below.

Definitely a time for snugglies, like this hand-knitted one I made years ago, heavily fringed at either end, just right for grabbing and wrapping around myself as I sit in the summerhouse on a very slightly chilly morning with a cup of cappucino. Soon it will be too cold to sit out there, so on a morning when the sun is out, even with that nip in the air, I like to spend ten minutes or so just sitting quietly and letting my mind wander from one thing to another.
Below, a beautifully soft angora scarf which when wrapped around the neck helps keep the chill out when in the garden, doing some deadheading, and it will soon be time for the hottie cover to come into its own, another very soft and cuddlesome thing, adding to the comfort that a warm hot water bottle brings, whether it's to ease an upset tum, or just because you feel in the need of a warm cuddle.

Ah, now we come to the racy bit.... I know a certain gentleman who might need to take a cold shower when he sees these, be still my beating heart he will be saying, hunched over his computer at his desk in the middle of a governmental department office, populated by others in similar position, all 'working' of course.

These, in case you can't tell, are 'over the knee socks'. I am not a tights woman, hate them and find them uncomfortable and unhygienic in hot weather, when I go bare legged at home all the time. Not an option in winter, to go bare legged, and so I wear posh lacy topped hold-ups in sheer black or the usual tannish colour (told you this bit was a bit racy) when I go out, but at home... well, I wanted something more FUN than knee length socks. And I GOOGLED the words 'knee high socks' and got this fab site with loads of them, all reasonably priced, so I could get four pairs at once. Two 'Winnie the Pooh' characters, a stripy pair with a mad cat and some more sensible (?) tartany ones. I love them, though goodness knows what Himself will say when he sees them. Actually, I DO know what he will say... he will shake his head and say 'There's no hope', which is what he ALWAYS says when I revert to ditziness.
Of course, books aren't just an autumn comfort, though is there anything better than sitting in front of a fire snuggled in a comfy chair with a good book, or wrapped in a soft throw whilst you read? Lately I have been revisiting some of my favourite books on the shelves.

I have read these two twice, and know I will read them again. The ANNE FINE one is a story of four sisters, and when three discover something unpleasant, a rumour about the man the fourth one is about to marry, they have the dilemma of not knowing whether to tell her or not, and if so, who does the telling? The ANNE BARTLETT book is about Sandra, an academic whose husband dies suddenly. To cope, she throws herself into her work and never grieves properly. But as many will know, grief will find a way out in time; sometimes it needs help, and help for Sandra comes in the form of Martha, a talented knitter, who she meets by accident. Both were really good reads for me.. obviously, otherwise I wouldn't have read them twice!

The above are two books waiting to be read. The Barbara Taylor Bradford was won in a giveaway after I took part in a survey by the publishers. I used to read her a lot when she first did her WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE books, but sort of lost the taste for her style of writing, so it will be interesting to see if I enjoy her still, decades down the line. Mr T isn't to everyone's taste I know, but I have all his books, fiction and otherwise. When he was writing his first novel, I was in the throes of writing mine, and there the similarity ends! As many will know, he went on to write seven novels, and I am lucky that three of mine have personal letters from him inside. When I have read a brilliant book I make a point, usually, of writing to the author, c/o the publishers, to tell them so and thank them for it. Loosely calling myself a 'writer' I know the hours of work it takes to write, and the discipline needed to do so, which I sadly lack nowadays which is why I don't do much of it any more, apart from blogs, journals and the odd foray into short story competitions. And I know from my limited experience, ie winning a national short story competition, how gratifying it is when someone writes and tells you how much they enjoyed reading your work. That is why I write to authors sometimes, and why I have three letters from Mr. Titchmarsh. (It's not that I didn't enjoy the four next ones, but I ran out of things to say and didn't want to be one of these people who continually write to 'someone famous' for whatever reasons they do so.) I have to say he was very encouraging about my own writing, and I appreciated the time he took to write a proper letter, as opposed to a pre-printed one. When Colin Dexter announced the last Morse book, I found out how to get in touch with him direct as opposed to via his publisher, and wrote asking him if he would send me a card signed by him, so I could put it in a copy of the book to give Himself, who has all of them. Mr Dexter actually wrote a letter addressed to Alvin, which is now tucked inside the book. I have all Maeve Binchy books with cards from her, and many others too. They won't mean anything to whoever gets them when I am no longer here, but they mean something to me, which is what counts.
A bit like my blogs... not everyone will enjoy them or find anything of interest in them, but for the few who do and who leave comments, well... as I said to someone else on their blog comments, I enjoy the writing of the blog and the comments are the icing on the cake.. but I can eat plain cake too, it's just not as nice!
Enjoy your week, and thanks, as ever, for dropping in.


Mark said...

I bought a second hand book - on dragonflies of all things - and inside the cover I found all manner of treasures. First was letter from the author to the prvious owner of the book; and then lists and lists of dragonflies the owner had recorded in Wiltshire, including the location, time of year etc. The records went back years - a fascinating and worthwhile study which I like more than the book.

pinkfairygran said...

That's one of the things I like most about looking for old books to buy, finding those which have something personal inside them adds to the attraction. It might only be one of those fancy labels saying the book had been awarded to someone at some school for their work, or special achievements, newspaper cuttings that make you wonder why it was kept, so I understand why you would find those lists more appealing than the book.

Elizabethd said...

My garden is changing colour, gradually and it looks attractive in a different way from the Summer colours.
I love hunting for interesting second hand books, when in UK, not here!
I have sent you a PM, by the way.

ChrisH said...

Lots, as ever, to dip into here - I was very interested to read about your correspondence with writers. I've a comment from A S Byatt which I treasure.

Jenny said...

Everyone's thoughts seem to be turning to winter comforts but those long socks, don't think they will be on my knitting list. I admire you for taking the time to contact writers you enjoy, I'm sure they really appreciate this. In a similar albeit smaller way comments on our blogs are so satisfying and encouraging.

The Fairy Glade said...

It is definately scarf weather here at the moment, day 3 of rain. Not that I am complaining, I love the rain. Wore your green scarf that you m ade me as part of Mel's cosy swap. Had lots of nice comments, but had to confess that you made it and not me. What a great idea to write to book authors. I wrote to Susan Hill many years ago and never received a reply and that put me off. I just assumed that they are too busy to reply to things personally. Maybe I will give it another go. Dev x

Calico Kate said...

Oh a btilliant blog - love the socks and boggled at the stockings!
I do think that writing your appreciation for a book is a lovely idea and I do like Mr T.
As for that throw I am mad green with envy at your skills with the needles. It must have been cosy in the making too.

A Bun Can Dance said...

Dear PFG
I know I said I was off to prepare for my hols, but your other posts caught my eye and so I'm still here !!!
Like you, I love long socks and by far prefer them to tights - yours are great fun!
I love that you wrote to those authors and that they took the trouble to write back - this is so truly amazing! You are inspired to have taken the step in writing to them in the first place. The fact that Mr T and Maeve have both written to you on numerous occasions is wonderful. It makes my heart sing.
Some months ago I wrote to The Duchy of Cornwall to ask for a letter of recognition for my Dad's 52 years working on a Duchy farm which is managed by tenant farmers. To my dismay (I did cry a great deal actually) when I eventually spoke by phone to the Duchy offices in London, (having had no reply to my letter of 7 months prior!!) I was told by some snooty Secretary that it was unthinkable that a letter would be sent to my Dad because he wasn't a Duchy employee.... she pointed out that had he been the tenant farmer he would have received ample recognition......!?@@&!>!!!! (That's me exclaiming in rude words!)
Anyway, I've wittered on and on - but your great success in receiving PERSONALISED letters from these extremely famous people, compared with the mean-spirited response I got from the DoC to my request for a STANDARDISED letter, just amazes me.
I feel like writing to Mr T and Maeve just to tell them how kind they have been!
Now, I really must go 'pack' for hols......
Sending you Happy Weekend Wishes
Denise x

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darkhung said...

I am glad oyu enjoyed yourself at the convention. I am sorry your Bavarians was handled so roughly their first time on a table. However as a side joke of the story when the unit was rode down they where placed by the registration table. There was at least ten people that asked if they where for sale after that. The Bavarians really look nice.
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buy red wines to buy, finding those which have something personal inside them adds to the attraction. It might only be one of those fancy labels saying the book had been awarded to someone at some school for their work, or special achievemen