A bitty day

Today started with a very VERY long snooze! Nine hours and fifty one minutes to be precise.

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You can see from my Fitbit why I needed to catch up. For some people, I know, this is perfectly enough sleep, but I think I must’ve been a cat or a sloth in a former life, and anything less than eight hours isn’t enough for me. Couple that with the dark mornings, and it doesn’t make for a very happy Green Girl Gardener! I think I must be the only person in the world who actually likes the clock change at the end of October. Of course I don’t like the fact that it’s dark before I leave work, however, first of all, we get an extra hour in bed, and most importantly, it’s lighter in the mornings for a couple of weeks and that makes me feel sooooo much better.

Along with lots of people, I suffer from the effects of SAD when the days get darker. I’ve had my SAD light on every morning for the last week, which just about keeps the edge off it. Before I bought the light, I spent most of the time from late October to the beginning of March like the proverbial bear with a sore head, and a tired one at that. I mostly just wanted someone to put me out of my misery! That might sound melodramatic, but that’s really what SAD makes you feel like. The SAD light I have is this one.

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I’d highly recommend it for anyone needing a boost in the winter.

After my epic sleep I started the day in typical autumnal fashion.

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Snuggly dressing gown and teddy bear blanket, crumpets (Warburtons, the king of crumpets!) with lashings of butter and the teeniest scrape of marmite (I’m convinced that marmite haters are just those who have put too much marmite on their preferred choice of carbohydrate) and some mindless Candy Crushing.

I had a hair appointment booked today. This is exciting for two reasons. Firstly, because I love getting my hair done. It always feels like such a luxury to be coiffured by a professional, and I hate drying my hair so I love getting my hair washed and dried by my hairdresser. Secondly, because when I booked this appointment for today, it was with our holiday in mind, so this means it’s finally nearly here!

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Holiday hair in process! Never an attractive look, but worth it for the end result.

Never one to miss up an opportunity to crochet, I made full use of the time while my hair was ‘cooking’.

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Ive cracked the waistcoat stitch now so I’m zooming on with my September Little Box of Crochet. I’m determined to finish it before our holiday (thirteen days and counting!) so that I can take the October box with me.

We left one member of the family at the hairdresser’s.

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This is Bella. I can’t remember if I’ve talked to you about Bella before. I won her a few months ago in a ‘guess the name’ competition run by the Animal House, a wonderful charity based in South Birmingham who do amazing work for animals. Do check out their web page. When I won Bella, I didn’t realise quite how big she was! It’s hard to see the scale in the photo, but that sofa is designed for three people! My hairdresser is Blowers which is owned and run by my brother in law, and when I mentioned Bella to him and how we really couldn’t keep her because of her size, but that I wanted her to go to a good home, he said he knew someone who worked for a charity and suggested that we donate her. So that’s what we’ve done. I feel quite sad that she’s gone, and the dining room looks bare, but I’m pleased that she’ll make even more money for good causes.

Last weekend we bought eight sleepers with which to make our raised beds so that we can grow our own fruit and veg next year.

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The sleepers are 1.2 metres long, so they’re only going to be small raised beds, but I figure for my first foray into fruit and veg growing, they’ll be fine. There’s plenty of space in our garden if we decide we need more beds.

Unfortunately the weather didn’t behave and, as well as being freezing cold, it decided to rain on us, so we only managed to get one put together before we admitted defeat and retreated inside to the radiator!

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I’m a little bit in love with it! I’m so excited for the spring when I can plant it. First things first though. I need to clear and level the area that it will live in, and decide if I want slabs around it. Some fun garden designing to get on with. Hopefully I’ll be able to get out and put the second one together tomorrow.

On the subject of the garden: a couple of our fence panels had been on their last legs for some time, and Storm Callum proved to be the final straw and they gave in, so we had them replaced yesterday. Oh my goodness it looks good now!

After our garden exploits were foiled, I decided to have a clear out of my dressing room. I realise that sounds really posh! I’m not the Queen honestly, I just commandeered our little third bedroom when we moved in and stuck my wardrobe in it!

Does anyone else have a bit of an obsession with boxes?

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I found this one in my wardrobe that was given to me as a gift with a mug in it. The mug is in regular use, but I hadn’t found a use for the lovely box. I put it in the pile of rubbish to go to the tip and took it out twice because I couldn’t bear to let it go. I couldn’t find a use for it in my dressing room, so I’ve put it to work in the kitchen.

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It’s definitely been a bitty kind of a day today! I feel like this post has jumped around all over the place – sorry if you get a headache from the bouncing!

An Autumnal Realisation

I wasn’t strictly planning to post today, but I find myself in a sticky situation and unable to get up to go and plant the container for which I’ve just bought multi purpose compost and horticultural grit!

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You see I have a snoozing Tinkerbell on my lap and I hate to move her! She’s all snuggled on my new Teddy Bear throw that I bought yesterday because I’m fed up with being cold!

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Genuine Teddy Bear. We all know how I feel about Teddy Bears (or if you don’t, check this post out) so I seriously hope no teddy bears were harmed in the making of this throw!

I went to the gym this morning, and as I was driving there gasping at the beauty of some of the trees as they change to their autumnal colours, I pondered on some of the blog posts I’ve read recently whose authors have been extolling the virtues of Autumn and declaring their love for this season in which we find ourselves.

I’ve found myself wondering, as I’ve read these posts, why all these people so love Autumn when my heart slowly fills with melancholy as the days draw in and the bright pinks, yellows and purples of the Summer garden are replaced by bronzes, coppers and burnt oranges.

It occurred to me that whilst I’m fully aware that there are four seasons in a year, I actually think of us as only having two proper seasons, Summer and Winter, with Spring and Autumn merely turning up as the warm up acts (or should that be cool down act in the case of Autumn?)

I asked myself, if Summer came after Autumn would I still dislike Autumn? I thought about all the things that I like about Autumn. Stunning trees with bright red leaves that take your breath away with their vividness. This one is up our road and the photo doesn’t do it justice.

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Shuffling through fallen leaves.

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Cool enough weather to wear hoodies but not so cold that you have to struggle into fifteen layers before it’s safe to leave the house.

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Being able to sleep in past 5am because the sun gets up later, but it not being so dark that I’m tired all. the. time (SAD anyone?)

Woah! Breaking news, turns out it’s not Autumn I dislike, it’s the fact that Autumn means Winter’s coming and it’s only going to get colder, darker and soul destroyingly miserable. I was not designed for the Winter months. I hate getting up in the pitch black and coming home from work in the pitch black! I hate hate hate being cold (hence the acquisition of the Teddy Bear throw) but I begrudge having to pay unscrupulous utility companies more and more each year (seriously, when are the price rises going to slow down?) just to keep at a reasonable temperature, I hate snow. Absolutely don’t understand anyone other than kids who may get the day off school getting excited about it. Yes it’s pretty until it’s been trudged through, but it’s cold, it’s slippy, it’s disruptive, it’s potentially dangerous. I digress.

I’m going to try to see Autumn as its own distinct season from now on, and maybe we’ll become happier bed fellows.

The Gousto delivery driver knocked the door as I was writing this and scared Tinkerbell off so I got to plant my container after all. I planted allium giganteum, normal alliums, tulip and snowdrop bulbs and on top I added a Calluna Vulgaris (one from the sale table at Notcutts) and some Cyclamen which were reduced in Homebase. Roll on Spring when they’ll delight us with their colour (sorry, I might have realised Autumn’s not as bad as I thought, but it’s still not a patch on Summer, and Spring means Summer’s nearly here!)

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A splendid Saturday

I have to say, I had low expectations for today weather-wise, but although it was raining early doors and it was chillier than I would like, it actually turned out quite nice. Of course, when the content of your day is good, the weather is largely irrelevant, and today I had a good day.

We started with a joint effort in the kitchen as we cooked a (healthy, lower fat) full English breakfast to set us up for the day. I stocked up on the ingredients missing from our kitchen yesterday when I popped to M&S to get my lunch.

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Skinny bacon medallions, Branston beans (soooo much tastier than Heinz), sausages (veggie ones for me) and check out the eggs.

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Free roaming hens. Good! The yolks were much more orange than eggs from non free roaming hens and they tasted sooooo good. Plus they were reduced!

I always heat baked beans in the microwave, can’t be doing with having to wash a saucepan.

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The look on Pooh’s face is exactly what my face does when the beans won’t get out of the can into the mug!

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My best friend, Kate, arrived early afternoon to pick me up for an afternoon out to catch up after my birthday. We’ve known each other considerably longer than we haven’t known each other. We met at school as a couple of twelve year olds about a hundred years ago and we’ve been friends ever since. We both have busy lives so we don’t get to meet up as often as we’d like, but how ever long it’s been, we just slip into the old routine straight away. She’s more than a friend, she’s family.

She took me here ….

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I didn’t even know this place existed, which is a travesty and a tragedy, because it couldn’t have been more up my alley. There’s a yarn shop called the Knittting Corner where I bought this yarn which is to make a little something for my soon to be born second niece.

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As well as a delicious shop called the Cheese, Gin and Ale Barn where I bought these Alice in Wonderland style flavoured gin baubles.

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The red one is Sibling Cranberry and Clementine and the clear one’s Aber Falls Orange and Marmalade. Double yum!

And, joy of joys, there’s a garden centre!

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And even better, it had a sale table, very aptly called Casualty Bay.

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Obviously I couldn’t resist!

On the left is Erica Cindy and on the right is a Scarlet Patio rose. The Erica Cindy was 50p! Let’s hope I can nurse them both back to full health.

I really need to think about what I’m going to do with the rest of our garden! There’s plenty of room for all the plants I have in the waiting bay (and then some) but it needs some major organisation! Must get on it!

Oh yes, probably shouldn’t admit to this given my last post, but there’s a cafe! Mabel’s Tearoom! It’s such a welcoming cafe.

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Kate treated me for my birthday.

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Whoops (but yum). Healthy eating starts again tomorrow then!

What a lovely lovely day, and there’s still a bit of it left so I’m going to leave you to enjoy your evening.

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Cheers!