Red acer Copper beech France in the distance

Watching… His Dark Materials on Sunday evenings on tv. I read Philip Pullman’s trilogy about 15 years ago and was enthralled by his fictional world where humans have daemons, their alter-egos in animal form, and where there are warrior polar bears and witches. This BBC adaptation is fabulous.

Ignoring… for now, the rather large festive season fast approaching. I’ve booked annual leave for a few days, so we can all spend a decent amount of time together as a family, and I’ve pencilled in a couple of Saturdays in December for shopping. I probably should do a little more planning.

Toasting… my toes by the wood-burning stove. We’ve been lighting the stove for a few weeks now, partly to warm up the living room and partly because it gets dark so early now (around 4pm) and a glowing stove cheers everyone up.

Resisting… too many Lidl’s lebkuchen – ridiculously cheap and dangerously addictive 🙂

Listening… to anything that isn’t to do with the General Election or B***it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for being informed and will definitely be voting, but I can only take so much of the propaganda. Local authority employees are encouraged to help out at election time and I attended a training session in the week to learn about our duties. The processes are incredibly well organised and secure (as you’d hope!). I’ll be helping out at the village polling station from 6am to 11pm on 12th December, one of thousands of people country-wide making sure everyone can exercise their precious democratic right to vote.

Missing… my eldest child. He was 20 on Tuesday. 20!!! It amazes me that I have such a fully grown adult child. David and I met him in London and took him for lunch and to see the Anthony Gormley exhibition at the Royal Academy. It was wonderful to see him and we sent him back with his cards from home, gifts and a birthday cake to share with his housemates. It takes some getting used to, this parting of ways. I’m sure it’ll get easier but the next child is already lining up to start on his road to independence and it’s unsettling. Ollie has completed his university application for 2020 and has received offers, so come next September with a fair wind and the results he needs, he will also be off. Then it will be David, me and Harriet and she is not relishing the prospect of being in the full glare of our attention. I am not looking any further into the future…

ReadingTombland by C J Samson. Actually, I finished it this afternoon. I’ve read all seven of this author’s wonderfully rich and evocative historical novels about the fictional character Matthew Shardlake set in the Tudor era and loved each one.

Hoping… that all the allium and tulip bulbs I shoved into the soil a couple of weekends ago will not be discovered by squirrels or badgers and will survive to flower beautifully in spring. I’m not spending nearly enough time in the garden – there is no time in the week and the weather has been rubbish most weekends.

Anticipating… a delicious kedgeree for dinner cooked by David. I know it’s more usually eaten for breakfast or brunch but we often cook it when it’s just the two of us and this evening we’re on our own. Ollie has gone to a party and Harriet is at a friend’s birthday dinner. We are too tired to go out.

Forgetting… anything I don’t write down. Lists are the menopausal woman’s friend.

Wishing… I could be more disciplined with my free time. There are many bloggers who work full time and manage to write regularly. Hopefully, I’ll settle in to a routine at some point.

Trusting… this finds you well and happy.

10 thoughts on “November-ing

  1. I absolutely love His Dark Materials, but I haven’t watched any screen versions yet, I shall look forward to seeing the BBC one at some stage. I am ignoring the festive season except for the lebkuchen. I keep them in the fridge (I like chocolate to be nice and cold and hard) and eat one every time I open it… I am in a panic as my eldest is 16 now and we went to the sixth form open evening and had to think about A levels and degrees and The Rest Of His Life. I am finding myself thinking about the fact that he will be going in a couple of years or so. I really can’t articulate my thoughts, but I am sure you know how it goes. Also lists here, along with extreme irritability. It’s not my fault everyone and everything is so annoying. And I am also ignoring political news. I have listened to it for most of my life, but they have finally broken me and I have switched to podcasts. God help our local MP if I open my front door and find him standing there. Have a lovely Sunday Sam. CJ xx


  2. I always enjoy these catch-up posts of yours Sam. I too will be manning the elections, as I have on all but 2 years since 1977 (should be quite proficient at it now!) – do take loads of stuff to do when it is quiet, as it will be, more than you think you might need, as well as enough sustenance. And do get up and walk round regularly – some chairs can feel very hard well before the end of the day 😉


  3. What is a kedgeree? Things here are much more wintery than they are over there. In my experience the rodents usually leave alliums alone. Tulips are another story, which is why I place chicken wire and other things over the ground where they are planted, weighed down with bricks. I empathize with that empty nest feeling when your kids leave home. Both of ours are long gone, though they are coming home for Thanksgiving tomorrow.


  4. Love a kedgeree for dinner! I am not sure I could eat it for breakfast actually. We celebrated Sam’s birthday yesterday, 19. I do miss having him around but we are lucky, he lives locally and we can still catch up for coffee and chats. Unstructured free time is the best, no need to be disciplined with it me thinks. There is enough of that at work. As for the political news, I am with CJ, podcasts all the way. But there is a lot of voting talk in our house… my daughter is cross she is too young to vote, I am cross because as immigrant I don’t get a vote, the men are discussing tactical voting vs voting with the heart. Have a lovely week x


  5. I’m impressed that you find any time to blog! I hope your job is going well–it sounds as if you are managing to juggle it with your home life. Stay warm and happy.


  6. Lovely to have a post from you. With you on avoiding GE and the B-thing, tho I keep in touch with both and all other news via the French media which keeps up my French and connects me with events tho at one remove from craziness here (and through very interesting French spin, which makes me realise how much spin our own news has).
    It is a very strange experience going to see your adult child and then saying goodbye. Not sure I’m used to it yet, and mine are 29 and 25. Daughter moved to London for work in the autumn and we’ll hopefully get down there in the spring, but it’s a long way from the north of Scotland.
    I’m with you on the garden hiatus – rubbish weather, hard frosts switching to constant rain. Similar tulip-bunging-in and hoping for the best.
    I may be the only person in the country not to have warmed to His Dark Materials books, so haven’t seen the TV version. I do however love the Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve.
    Enjoy your toasty stove!


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