Sunday, September 30, 2018

Successful Scones and Other Autumn Things

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.
   This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
   To love that well which thou must leave ere long. 
   -- Sonnet 73, William Shakespeare 

Last week was one of those strange weeks you have when you're fighting jet lag while trying to get back into your normal routine. I will admit wholeheartedly that there are a few hours of my workday that I can not account for, but everything seems to have added up properly and nothing seems to be lost... at least, not at the moment. We'll see what Monday brings.

We had some lovely weather this week, almost summer temperatures some days. I was totally dressed incorrectly for a couple of them. I was so excited to wear boots and long sleeves that I almost gave myself heatstroke one day. Such are the pitfalls of the "Indian summer."

We awoke today to the sound rain on the roof. I was glad to hear it because I put some plant food down for one of the flowering shrubs yesterday, and I really needed it to get watered in. It's also a very, very good excuse to fire up the oven. Today, I made some glorious lemon and blueberry scones. They're possibly the tallest scones I've ever managed to make, and they're light and fluffy to boot. The secret? Dumb luck... and maybe an extra teaspoon of baking soda:


I spent some time thumbing through these two books today, which I got from the second-hand bookstore in town. We have a running credit with that shop these days... it's practically a library for us, as we keep bringing in books to sell and coming home with new ones to own.


I wanted a copy of Shakespeare's sonnets, because I watched a documentary with Judi Dench where she recited a couple and I fell so much in love with the sound of it that I knew I needed to have a copy. Dame Dench should be sent around to all the schools to inspire the dreamers into studying Shakespeare. If there was anyone truly suited to the task, it would be her.

The other book is one by my favourite storyteller, Stuart McLean. When I laid eyes on it, I knew I wanted to take it home, as it is full of stories about people from small towns. These days, I feel hungry for people's stories, to get to know people rather than make assumptions about them, as most of the world seems to be doing these days. Reading them feels like a necessary gulp of fresh air in a room full of the hot air of people's opinions.

The rain today and the temperatures outside signal the first day for us to try out our new fireplace. We have gathered up bits and pieces from the garden to burn:


Added Mr. Seymour for scale. I hope he enjoys it:


Lately though, Seymour seems more inclined to seek out the comfort of my lap than to sit on his own. It's interesting because he was never so cuddly before. Indeed, when we first brought him home, my heart ached a bit because he wasn't all that keen to be near us. Since we've returned from our vacation, he just seems to need contact with us all the time. It seems that absence does actually make the heart grow fonder...

... or maybe he's just cold:


I spent a good amount of time today working on this shawl. It's coming along rather well. I'm really loving the colour of it:


And I'm also loving the texture of the cables and dropped stitches. This high twist yarn really sets them off well:


I am enjoying knitting it much more since I finally wised up and changed needles. I had started off with some run-of-the-mill bamboo circulars, but all those twisted stitches were just too difficult to catch with the blunt tips. I think I must have chosen them because I was taking them along with me on the plane, and I'm still never sure if security will confiscate any metal needles. It's been much easier with the Nova Platina Needles below. It's so much easier to catch the stitches and the stitches slide along them much better as well. I'm going to have to get more of those sometime:



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