Blogtober 2021 : Day 31

And here we are, Hallowe’en, the last day of October and the last day of Blogtober 2021.  Oh what a month it has been!  Thank you so much if you’ve stuck with me for the whole 31 days!  The posts have been a joy to write (not hard work at all!) and it’s been wonderful to have your company in the comments.

I thought that I would do a bit of a roundup of the month in today’s post, along with some obligatory pumpkin photos given the day that it is.  Both of my girls have been out to Hallowe’en parties this weekend and had a fabulous time dressed up in costumes and being with their friends (me, I’m grateful that the days of traipsing around dark streets with a bag full of sweeties are over), but I prefer to spend Hallowe’en a bit more quietly.  I’ve written before about how this time of year always feels a little closer to the “other side” and I certainly feel that way when I’m in the garden where I often would be with my Dad.

Not so small daughter was very keen that she and big daughter should carve their pumpkins together this afternoon, and I bought these large ones the other week when I went up to Skipton to see Lucy.  Pumpkin carving is quite a different affair to years ago when my brother and I used to hack out the insides of swedes (now that was definitely a calorie-burning event and you never forget the smell of singed swede!) and you can find all kinds of templates for fabulous shapes on the internet if you’re not feeling the urge to create a face for yourself.

Two large orange pumpkins sitting on a stone step, waiting to be carved.

Two carved pumpkins lit up in the dark.

No templates were required here!  The face on the right is No-Face from Spirited Away … I bet you can guess who carved that one!  Big daughter went for a cheeky grin this year, and even that is very different to the toothy grimaces that my brother and I managed to eventually cut into the swedes – a far happier face indeed!

It’s raining tonight.  This month, it has rained A LOT (in fact, that’s probably a bit of understatement, it feels like it’s rained All The Time), but in between there have been some wonderful sunrises …

The sun is rising above the trees, turning the clouds shades of pink and orange.

and sunsets (hooray for having a dog that needs walking, I’d miss these otherwise!).

The sun is setting behind the trees, turning the clouds pink and orange against a grey sky.

There was the most beautiful full Hunter’s moon, so bright that it lit up the sky for the whole night and into the morning, and the occasional blue sky which felt like the most wonderful gift.

A blue sky layered with wispy white clouds. There is vegetation in the foreground. A daytime moon is in the centre of the photo.

It’s been a month of conkers …

The ground is littered with conkers and leaves.

but not so much in the way of leaf colour …

Leaves of shades and brown and yellow littered on the floor. A pair of brown boots are at the bottom of the photo for context,

and just to show you the difference, this photo was taken in October four years ago …

Autumn leaves in many shades. Christine's boots are at the bottom of the photo for context.

Also, not at all relevant to Autumn but because I was rootling about in four year old photos, look what else I found!  The cat had brought it into the house and it was stunned but otherwise unharmed.  It’s a tree creeper; I’d never seen them before we moved to this house but there are a few in the garden.  A few minutes later, it treated us to a cheeky upside down display on the honeysuckle and then was gone.

A tiny brown and white bird with a curved beak sits on Christine's hand. She's wearing green gardening gloves.

The leaves might not have changed colour much but there was plenty of colour in the garden, thanks to the mild temperatures during October and probably all the rain too.  No danger of any plants drying out!

A collage of nine squares featuring colourful plants from the garden, mostly in shades of yellow, orange and pink. In the centre square is a bowl of tomatoes.

We ate the last of our tomatoes out of the green house and I was finally able to get a photo of the teeny tiny pink Fuchsia microphylla flowers which are still blooming at this time of year.  I grew this plant from a cutting at the very first gardening class that I ever went to, years and years ago when I decided that I wanted to become a gardener and needed some qualifications.  You might not even recognise it as a Fuchsia unless you knew that was what it was, although the leaves do give it away.

Tiny pink Fuschia flowers against green leaves.

Also this month, I started knitting my Changing Staircases shawl using a Shetland knitting belt.  I wanted to try out the technique and see if it was actually possible for me to knit something other than a pair of socks within a month – and it was!   I ran out of pattern way before I ran out of yarn and added another four blocks of pattern in to use all of the yarn up.  I finished the shawl last night and you’ll see from the very last photo in the collage that there wasn’t much yarn left at all!   In case you’re wondering I used a yarnless bind off  so that I wouldn’t run out whilst working the last row.  It’s a little tight so I might end up taking it out and re-doing it but I’ll see how it goes.  The main thing is that I finished the shawl in October!

A collage of nine photos showing the progress of a purple shawl.

A purple shawl curled around itself on a wooden table. The shawl needs blocking to stretch it out.

And after blocking (no fancy blocking equipment in this house – a sports towel and some sewing pins!) …

A purple shawl with rows of knit and a lattice stitch is pinned out on a blue and white sports towel.

now that it’s dry, here it is!  Ta dah!

A purple shawl is arranged on a wooden table. One end of the shawl is draped over a pumpkin.

I’m very pleased with it and I’m thinking that I might try wearing it as scarf with my coat over the Winter if it doesn’t feel too bulky.  The yarn is Heartspun by Woolly Chic and is an eco yarn, so no nylon but Tencel to give it strength (and it was originally going to be socks!).  It’s beautifully soft and has a lovely sheen to it, I’ve really enjoyed knitting with it.

There has also been progress on the Emergency Sock, which unfortunately tells you what the traffic has been like whilst I’ve been out and about this month.  Between the traffic and the rain, I’ve not fancied going out very much at all!

A half-knitted sock on a table next to a bag containing the yarn and a pumpkin.

That’s probably just as well as the Horrible Cough has hung around all month.  I had an e-consultation with a doctor earlier in the week and have been prescribed antibiotics – it looks like I have bronchitis which isn’t shifting on its own so although I really would rather avoid antibiotics, sometimes needs must.  I’m taking extra probiotics to try to counteract the effects of all the bacteria in my body being affected (good and bad) and hopefully after the five days of tablets are up then I’ll be able to stop buying Jakemans cough sweets as if they’re going out of fashion!


And I think that’s about it.  Thank you so much for coming out on dog walks with me, reading my ramblings and letting me peep into your own lives too.  It’s been a good month, hasn’t it?

See you in November! xx


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