Well it would have been 5 on Friday, then moved to 6 on Saturday; 6 on Sunday. And still I hadn’t finished writing. I have now. It may not alliterate but at least it’s finished.
Because heaven knows in this quagmire of climate emergency, Brexit, and toxic politics we are all in need of celebrating the good things.
- A trip to London
While oldest son and partner were away we stayed in their flat. So much can be packed into just three days.
Day one: meet up with old close friends at Tate Britain, catch up over lunch (then tea), with William Blake exhibition in between. Walk along the river through Parliament Square to South Bank Centre where I enjoyed a bookshop browse (several books added to my library list) and several knitting stops. The best being the Roof Garden above the Heywood Gallery..
Day 2: revisit part of the Capital Ring walk – East Finchley to Stoke Newington, taking in Cherry Tree Woods, Highgate Wood, Queens Wood, railway path, Finsbury Park, New River, East and West Reservoirs (wetlands) at Woodbury Down, Clissold Park and Abney Cemetery. Don’t tell me cities can’t be green – this walk gives the lie to that idea. Then bus (top deck, front seat – the only ones worth having!) to Waterloo Bridge and another walk along South Bank, this time to London Bridge. Walked 15 miles in all, most of them through parks, woods or along water.
Day 3: in torrential rain, to Stepney City Farm, where apart from a brief wander around we spent several hours in the dry and warm, eating, drinking and enjoying good company. Then walk to Brick Lane to stock up on some culinary essentials that can’t be bought at home. Tube to meet a friend at the Wellcome Collection – a beautiful, fascinating and (in half term week!) very busy place, for more sitting knitting and chatting. Walk to Paddington Station for train home.
2. Days looking after granddaughter
Each one a joy. Each one an opportunity to marvel at the changes in just a few days. She’s always delighted to see us, and we’re making the most of her still living close by before she and her parents move a little further away (less than 2 hours drive away, but too far to just ‘pop over’ without prior planning. But there will be gains as well as losses).
3. Going to a conference in Bath about cities, design, and wellbeing
….and then following up several interesting contacts. Going to one-day conferences every few months (only one or two a year) feeds my hunger for extending my knowledge about subjects that interest me. Over the past two years I have been to two food conferences, both fascinating and thought provoking, and now this one on cities. All three provided stark reminders if such were needed of the gross and growing inequalities in the UK (even in a city like Bath, where the inequalities tend to be more hidden away). All three sent me away with lots of new ideas and actions to follow up.
4. Knitting with leftovers
Just as I finished another sock yarn pram blanket (made from leftover yarn) I was given a bag full of lovely leftovers. They will enable me to make some more small things to sell in the Farm shop. I’ve developed a selection of knitting patterns using a range of weights of sock wool, so I can weigh each small ball and decide what to make. This time it will be a a few more pram blankets, because they’re easy to do out and about and when I don’t have a lot of time.
5. Autumn allotment (and planning for next year)
My new (old) greenhouse is now fully installed and glazed, and already I have seeds germinating. I’ve gradually been increasing the range of seeds I save to reuse the following year – so far it’s just climbing beans (2 varieties) and broad beans, and the broad beans will be ready to plant out before too long. I hope to increase my range every year. I’ve planted out onion sets to overwinter, and the garlic will be next. I’m going to try some micro-greens in the greenhouse (and next year will be able to sow winter salads to eat through the coldest months). I’m harvesting kale (black, and curly) and chard in abundance, as well as plentiful eggs. I bought a supermarket pot of growing parsley, split it into 8 plants and planted them into a sheltered window box, where they’re growing well – not bad for £1.25. I’ve sorted through my seeds (and cleared out their box) and am ready to put together my seed order for next year. Building on the success of the apple trees I planted earlier this year, I’m also about to order some more bare-r00ted maidens to extend my top fruit cordon. It’s time to spread muck on the beds, and also to tidy the plot and make some adjustments to the layout. So much to do, and lots of hope and expectation for the coming growing year.
6. A birthday coming up (mine)
I’ve not yet decided how I want us to spend the day. Much will depend on the weather. The thought of a whole day with no ‘shoulds’ or ‘musts’ appeals greatly! [that was last week. I had a lovely day – a favourite local walk, delicious lunch out at a local pub, some quiet time knitting, and my best man by my side]