Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Farewell To Summer... A Big Fat List of Good Things

Farewell to Summer
A Big Fat List of Good Things
There's a mustard stain on my white linen shirt,
a hole in the toe of my espadrilles.  
The jewel tones of the garden have been bleached to pastel 
and all of the robins have flown.  
 Yesterday I bought a candle that smells like autumn.   I’ve loosened my hair from its three month knot and I’ve opened up all of the windows.  Edward has that familiar autumnal spring in his step once more.  We are saying farewell to summer.

Here’s a list for the transition of summer to fall.
Such an invigorating time of year, don’t you agree?

1.  Arthur and George
While watching Poldark this summer I chanced to see a preview of the upcoming BBC production of Arthur and George.  An adaptation of the novel by Julian Barnes, Arthur and George was quite a sensation when it was published in 2006.  Trouble is, I missed it.  So I grabbed it up and took it to the beach with me earlier this month and could not put it down.  Do yourself a favour…. if you’ve not read Arthur and George, do it now!  Before it shows up on Masterpiece Theatre later this fall.  Martin Clunes is going to be pitch perfect as Arthur.
Find the book HERE.  
If you're lucky enough to find a hardback, it has a gorgeous cover.
Also, for an eerie, spooky, midnight read... try THIS BOOK.
And for a delightful love story... try THIS ONE.

2.  Brioche Knitting
Late in the spring I happened to come across this pattern and my heart did a back flip.  I had to learn to make this.  Little did I know at the time, I was looking at a two-colour brioche scarf, a knitting technique of which I knew nothing.  So I set about learning. I sat by the beach (see the photo at the top....the perfect place to learn)  and knitted and ripped, knitted and ripped.   Two Colour brioche is a complicated stitch, there’s no denying, and I probably invented some brand new bad words during my learning phase.  But when the penny drops, so to speak, it’s fairly simple and really a lot of fun to do.  I’ve completed four Brioche scarves this summer.  
Here’s Edward modeling the second one!
The best book on Brioche is THIS ONE.
Try it!
3.  Beans!
Everyone knows that beans are good. 
 High in protein, something that’s essential for energy and good health.
 And a tasty, welcome alternative to meat.
  I came across this recipe this summer and tried it. 
 And it smells so good while it’s cooking. 
 The perfect dish for fall.
Find the recipe HERE.
Note:  I only used fresh beans here.  Fresh garlic, instead of powdered, too. And not as much bacon as the recipe calls for. 

4.  The Picture of August.
I couldn’t resist posting this photograph.
  Taken during the Dog Days of August when it was so sweltering outside,
 afternoon walks were excruciating.  
Edward dozing on my foot.  
Lazy, contented, and daydreaming of snow.  
The very picture of August.
5.  London Scarf
For those of us who love London…
this scarf seems perfect for every single day of autumn.
Find it HERE
6.  Birthdays
So many of my friends have birthdays in summer.
This video is for them.
Words to remember because life is so short.
7.  Skirt
I’m kinda crazy for this skirt.
With a black sweater?
It satisfies by Bloomsbury longings a bit.
Find it HERE
8.  Back to School
Despite the fact that I believe that school should begin promptly on September 1st, just like it does at Hogwarts, the children in my neighbourhood have been back in school for a month now.  No matter, my longing for school supplies never kicks in till September, but when it does… pencils and pens, notebooks and journals… I’m a sucker for all of these.  
Love these little notebooks for a bit of whimsy on an ordinary day….
Find them HERE
and love these gorgeous pencils….
Find them HERE.
9.  The Poetry of Trees
Edward and I are so fortunate to live beneath these tall trees.  I fill the house with fresh flowers every week but I can never match the beauty they provide every day, just outside my windows.  The myriad of greens of springtime, the emeralds of summer.  The elegant minimalism of winter.  And soon, very soon, the dazzling colours of fall.  Alive, always changing, they are old friends who surround us with beauty.  Their branches hold songbirds and owls, the wind plays symphonies when it rushes through their leaves.  On a dark, windy night last week, when a full fat moon painted fingers of shadow on the floor of my screened porch, I read this poem.  And understood.

The Country of the Trees 
by Mary Oliver
 from her book Blue Horses

There is no king in their country
and there is no queen
and there are no princes vying for power, 
inventing corruption.
Just as with us many children are born
and some will live and some will die and the country
will continue.

The weather will always be important.

And there will always be room for the weak, the violets
and the bloodroot.
When it is cold they will be given blankets of leaves.
When it is hot they will be given shade.
And not out of guilt, neither for a year-end deduction
but maybe for the cheer of their colors, their
small flower faces.

They are not like us.

Some will perish to become houses or barns, 
fences and bridges.
Others will endure past the counting of years.
And none will ever speak a single word of complaint, 
as though language, after all, 
did not work well enough, was only an early stage.
Neither do they ever have any questions to the gods -
which one is the real one, and what is the plan.
As though they have been told everything already, 
and are content.

10.  Another Journey
I’m heading back to my favorite place on the planet.
Follow the journey on Instagram, HERE
I’ll be in touch!


  1. May you have a wonderful adventure, returning to the land you love!

  2. OMG you are such a talented knitress and Edward looks very dapper in his scarf. What a ham. Can't wait to hear about the journey, but I hope to here as I don't do instagram.

  3. Another great list, Pamela! Have a wonderful journey!

  4. Another great list, Pamela! Have a wonderful journey!

  5. Must remember to watch for Arthur & George ..... I also thought the book was marvelous. Since I read it many moons ago, and many other books read since then, I will have to refresh my memory on the details. Have a great trip! We will all be waiting to hear about your latest adventure across the Big Pond.

  6. That last photograph can only be Scotland Pamela. Enjoy!

  7. This list is my dream list. It's everything I love. I will be ordering that skirt, Pamela. Wishing you the most magical trip to Scotland. I cannot wait to follow it on instagram!
    xxoo Sunday

  8. Pamela I always feel so good when I come over to visit you and Edward! Thank you for all of the wonderful suggestions!!

    The Arts by Karena
    Featuring Sharon Santoni

  9. Oh, I mean well. Really. Being happy for you on your upcoming trip. Really. I genuinely do hope you have a glorious time. But, I have to confess that at this moment my face has become a very selfish and unbecoming shade of green. How I envy you! Thank you so much for taking us all along with you- it does help with that hideous shade of green. Can't WAIT to see your pics, read your beautiful words, and have a vicarious experience! I can't imagine a better tour guide! God bless and be safe-Kimberly

  10. Great article about house of edward..

  11. Your post is a nice way of welcoming autumn. I will check into Arthur and George, I prefer to read the book before a tv or movie version. Have a delightful trip to the land that you love.

  12. Martin Clunes is back in a new series of Doc Martin on Monday …… beautiful vistas of the Cornish coastline and Autumn also brings the last series of ' Downton' !! …… then series 2 of 'Poldark ' !! …. just too much good tele !!!
    Have a wonderful holiday Pamela. XXXX

  13. know how I love your lists Pamela! I have been back to read this one several times. I watched the preview for Arthur and George and it looks great. How could one not love Martin Clunes. I enjoyed your travels around Scotland...always a pleasure! Thank you for all the bits and pieces of inspiration here...and for Mary Oliver's wonderful 'Poetry of Trees'. Reminds me of 'The Sound of Trees' Robert Frost. Love poetry and trees.. xx

    Why do we wish to bear
    Forever the noise of these
    More than another noise
    So close to our dwelling place?
    We suffer them by the day
    Till we lose all measure of pace,
    And fixity in our joys,
    And acquire a listening air.
    They are that that talks of going
    But never gets away;
    And that talks no less for knowing,
    As it grows wiser and older,
    That now it means to stay.
    My feet tug at the floor
    And my head sways to my shoulder
    Sometimes when I watch trees sway,
    From the window or the door.
    I shall set forth for somewhere,
    I shall make the reckless choice
    Some day when they are in voice
    And tossing so as to scare
    The white clouds over them on.
    I shall have less to say,
    But I shall be gone.


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