An A to Z of September

Time to reflect…..

Gerard the Goat looking for grazing on the Promenade

A is for ASHBURTON. A lovely little Devonshire town with a proper green sloping down to the river, a lovely secondhand bookshop and where we finally found the source of the wire animals that my mother coveted. There were two wire sheep on the mantelpiece of our holiday cottage and my mother so wanted us to find one she could take home. the sheep were out of stock, but she was pleased as punch with her wire goat.

B is for BORDER TERRIER, and indeed for BRIAR. There’s nothing like a dog for reminding you what’s really important in life and for reminding you how unnecessarily complicated we make the world sometimes.

C is for CHARITY, Most of the time I love working for a charity. The rewards are huge, but when time are tough they are really tough and it’s not easy to walk away. We’ll come through but it’s going to take time, toil and tears.

D is for DEVON where we had a lovely holiday. For the river DART where we walked and Briar had a few swims.  And for DUCKS on the river and in the village too.

E is for EVE THE APPLE OF MY EYE. My fiance and I have a habit of making lists along a particular theme in dull moments on journeys. A couple of Sunday ago driving home from a walk up the hill and around the woods at Trencrom we did songs with fruit in the title. I came up with this one and it stuck in my head for a long time afterwards.

Lovely Flamboyance Yarn

F is for FLAMBOYANCE.  Lovely yarn. I’ve knitted one skein into a hat and acquired a couple more.

G is for GREYLADIES. I read my first Greyladies title on holiday: Murder at the Flood By Mabel Esther Allen. It was lovely and I hope to have the chance to read some more.

H is for HATS. The best knitting project for time of stress. They’re small and portable. There’s a fabulous range of patterns available. And results are pretty quick.  I’ve knitted several (plus a scarf) over the last few months and I suspect they’ll be getting a post of their own before too long.

I is for IRISES. The lovely little wild pink irises that we saw growing on the banks of the River Dart.

J is for JANE. Fiance, daughter, friend, professional, canine lifestyle manager… But I need to find time to be just me as well. I lost it for a while but I found it again in September.

K is for KENNETH GRAHAME. A lovely book containing The Golden Age and Dream Days, the two books that made the author’s name. I had to bring it home from Devon.

L is for LEMON TREE. Back to the list of songs with fruit in the title. I was missing a song for lemon and I was sure that there must be something out there. I cheated, found this and fell in love.

M is for MAGGIE O’FARRELL. The Hand That First Held Mine was waiting for me on the library reservations shelf on my first post-holiday visit. My expectations were high: I’ve loved her earlier books and I’ve heard great things about this book. My expectations were met!

N is for NIGHTINGALE WOOD. I’ve started reading this before and not being hooked.I suspected that it might be a book that would benefit from being read slowly on holiday and I was right. I loved it and now I am going to have to track down more of Stella Gibbons’ books.

My One Mitten

O is for ONE MITTEN DOWN AND ONE TO GO. It’s years since I knitted mittens but I needed some and so I matched some yarn left over from a bigger project with a free pattern. The first looks lovely, it’s a perfect fit and it’s wonderfully warm. Now I just need to motivate myself to knit the second before winter sets in!

P is for PRINCETOWN. My fiance spent several years of his childhood in Princetown when his late father was a prison officer at Dartmoor prison. He hadn’t been back for more than thirty years and so when we passed through the area on holiday we made a small detour so that he could look around. It was an emotional return as both his parents and his sister have died since then, but many happy memories of his family and boyhood friends came to the surface and that was definitely a good thing.

Q is for QUIZZES. I could say this any month but Q is not the easiest letter. We do the quizzes from my mother’s Saturday and Sunday Telegraphs and my fiance’s Saturday Guardian every single weekend.

R is for REUBEN SACHS. Amy Levy’s book was high on my Persephone wishlist. So imagine my delight when I found a copy, complete with bookmark, in a temporary shop at the top of town!

S is for STITCH MARKERS. For many years I didn’t use them. Like my mother and my grandmother I counted stitches and read my knitting. But as I found more pattern knitted in the round I began to see the sense of a marker at the beginning of the round. And that maybe markers in other places would make life so much easier, Soon I was completely converted, thanks in no small part to the wonderful Fripperies and Bibelots.

T is for TENNIS. We have taken it up and I am afraid to say that we are equally terrible. But we are having fun!

U is for UTTER QUIET. I love where I live but there is always a certain level of noise. Traffic. People. And at the moment we are in the midst of our first autumn storm and I can hear the sea hitting the sea wall. But in an inland village in Devon it was completely quiet when the day ended.

3 VMCs join the collection

V is for VIRAGO MODERN CLASSICS. I’ve been collecting for years now so additions to my library are rare. But this month there were three. The Sheltered Life by Ellen Glasgow turned up locally. So did The Matriarch by G B Stern. I already have the sequel and I’ve been hoping this one would turn up for ages. And then I snagged a copy of That Lady by Kate O’Brien on Green Metropolis. I read a library copy but I really wanted one of my own. A very lucky month!

W is for WINDS OF HEAVEN. I was a little disappointed when I discovered that this would be one of two Persephone books this autumn. I love Monica Dickens and the book was already in my collection. I read it on holiday and I pleased to say that it is most definitely worthy of a dove grey cover. And I can see a direction for the endpapers.

Briar: playing legally in the dunes

X is for eXCLUSION. How do you explain to a border terrier that she isn’t allowed on the beach just outside the front door during the summer? We were counting down the days to the beginning of October when she became legal again!

Y is for WHY AREN’T THERE MORE HOURS IN THE DAY. I could really use then right now!

Z is for ZZZZZ

Thank you JoAnn for inspiration!

6 responses

  1. Hi Fleur! So glad to see you back again. I hope your mother is feeling better. Your post is lovely and inspiring and I’m glad that you found ‘it’ again 🙂 I love ‘Lemon Tree’ and the title made me think of another ‘Lemon Tree’ – by Fool’s Garden… takes me back.
    Thank you for sharing and brightening up my evening. Briar is adorable!

  2. Briar looks so happy to be back on her beach…the windswept look really suits her! And happy to hear your recommendation for the Dickens book, I was wondering…

  3. I love this “ABC Book” (that’s what we call them in my elementary school) of September! Such a charming idea to use for a blog post, and such a sweet vignette of your life in that month. You have a beautiful blog, very lovely to read through, and I thank you for visiting me today.

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