September Sketchbook & Journal
from heatwave to pink Harvest Moon, dreamless nights, and the pages from my lovely day out sketching at Glentress
I’m deeply distrustful of any September that dares to start with a heatwave. Wtf. September marks the much-anticipated reunion with the knitwear drawer, the dusting off of the boots, perhaps even the tentative first wear of a warmer coat. Instead, we had boiling hot sunshine. Yes, it was nice for the kids to have one more crack at paddling pools, playing with the hose, eating all their meals in the garden (especially after such a wet summer). And serendipitously, Auntie Ruth was staying, and she loves warm weather and wild swimming so that distracted from how grumpy I was about the heat. She took them (and me) paddling/swimming in the Tweed and the Leader. It was strange to be walking through the woods, bag of everyone’s swimmers in my hand, a bit too hot, slathered in sun-cream, with early signs of autumn all around: chestnut leaves curling at the edges, golden yellow light through the canopy, toadstools. Is seasonal dysphoria a thing?
Anyway, thankfully that didn’t last, and it started raining again.
September has been extremely exhausting but very joyful. I genuinely didn’t think it would be possible for my second baby to sleep as poorly as my first. They are so different in character in so many ways, and yet, they are united in their distaste for sleeping in longer than 45 minute chunks. I have developed quite a high broken-sleep tolerance in the past 4.5 years but September has challenged me. Trix is 18 months old and making herself some molars. Molars make her sad. I am pooped. The ‘it’s a phase’ reassurance isn’t even that reassuring as my eldest didn’t start regularly sleeping through until he was 4. So another two-and-a-half years away for Trix. Even now, most mornings, I wake up with one child on each side, snoring away. Gorgeous grunting pillow stealers. Please don’t tell me that I’ll miss it when they are all grown up – I know that, and I’d still like to complain in the meantime.
The night times don’t seem real in the daytime. Surely it wasn’t that bad!? It is impossible to be grumpy with Trix. She’s such a comic, so peaceful and funny and adventurous. She tries new words every hour, climbs on everything, can’t help but dance, tries on everyone’s shoes, and attempts to do everything her big brother does. You can keep me awake, my darling, I don’t mind too much.
Trix & I went to the allotment this morning to pick some onions and do some weeding. The air has definitely changed. We could even see our breath hanging slightly in it. A perfect V of geese passed noisily overhead. September is becoming Octoberish. There was a very pretty green and black caterpillar munching a brocolli plant – the sixth one it has munched its way through. I let it be. There’s also lots of tiny, tiny snails. I let them be, too. I might not be a very good gardener.
September has been:
- brambling, to make an apple and bramble cake
- Piglet learning to peddle his bike
- heavy rain, bright raincoats on grey days
- a sketching day out with my friend Cherith Harrison at Glentress – gossiping and drawing in the woods. Glorious.
- green acorns
- a purply pink full Harvest Moon, still bright in the sky at 8am
- closing curtains in the evenings, lighting fires
- still surprisingly butterfly-full – especially Red Admirals in the front garden
- a willow warbler flew into my bedroom (and back out again)
- the last of the tadpoles leaving our makeshift pond
- lots of hazelnuts at Drygrange – was it a particularly good here for hazels?
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