With the back to school fever hanging in the air, it’s time to get a bit nostalgic about returning to school when I was a kid. I love stationery. I always have. And the end of the summer holidays brought shopping for new stationery, including that elusive brand new pencil case. (Mmm…fresh box of pencils). A treat, however, which did nothing to shake off the uniform and shoe shop.
One of the first pieces of homework we would be given, was to write a diary of our summer holidays for French and Spanish. This invariably started off “pendant les vacances, je suis allé…..avec ma famille…”. However, given I was at a public school (private school, America), everyone else has much more exciting stories than me! J’ai fait du ski, je suis allé a Phuket avec ma soeur….all much more thrilling than “I spent most of the time at my family’s nursery school. We went to the zoo one day”.
This weekend, my Saturday involved a trip to Broughty Ferry to see a Ron Lawson exhibition. He is my very favourite artist and I have 3 of his prints already. I won’t bore you with the details, in case it’s not your thing, but it was a nice way to spend an hour, breathing in some culture, although I suspect he thought I was some sort of raving teen fan girl the way he was speaking to me. Next, to the most low rent wedding dress shop I’ve ever encountered. And finally off to lunch at the Ship Inn, where I enjoyed a huge bowl of Cullen Skink, loaded with smoked haddock and new potatoes. Delightful. Only to arrive at my parents’ to be dragged into fixing their broadband.
Last night, we all watched Gone Girl, which I have to admit I enjoyed, despite the ending being entirely unsatisfying, and having to go through that awkward situation of graphic sex scenes flashing up while you’re sitting with your parents.
Sunday mornings are for glorious lie ins. Waking from a dream naturally, no alarm clock and a text from my lovely fiancé to begin our exchange of things we’ve seen on Facebook whilst trying to wake up.
Then on to start the day, getting a workout done and onto preparing healthy lunches for the rest of the week. Finally some time to rest, reading in a sunbeam, before supper, ironing and off to bed ready (or not so ready) for another week, hoping to wake up to sun.
Nevertheless, weekends at the end of summer still have that melancholy feeling once you’re an adult, even though you’re at work all the days in between. No more sneaky drinks outside a bar on the way home; no more barbecues promised when it’s likely to rain, every second person in the supermarket lugging about boxes of beer and basket full of rolls; fewer and fewer colleagues talking about how difficult it will be for them to be at the airport to fly off the Spain at 2am the very next day.
Personally, I’m celebrating the last few weekends of buying piles of salads to make light summery lunches, which take hours to prepare and eat, at looking gleefully across at the mountains of paperbacks which have been abandoned in favour of “doing things” at the weekend. Bugger that! Bring on the cold, the wind and the rain. Bring on afternoons in front of a good film while the sky storms around the house. Bring on British winter misery!
The best part of autumn, for me, is the change in farm produce, from cucumbers, strawberries and lettuces, to squash and leeks and potatoes. I think the autumn is my very favourite time for cooking: giant pots of soup, hearty casseroles and pies, with the smell of the first frost in the air, but while the golden glow of autumn remains. Sundays in the kitchen in front of a bubbling pot is so much like home, and so far from chopping fresh and zesty foreign ingredients.