Monday, 19 September 2016


September comes round again and routine has returned after the long summer of lazy and, for us this summer, not so lazy days. It's back to work and a new timetable for me which is fairly demanding but at least gives me Mondays off.  I'm up early nevertheless today and have made breakfast and sandwiches for my daughter who is struggling a bit with her new routine which involves her leaving the house at 7.10 to catch a bus to college.  She's now started on her A level courses, and has chosen among others English Literature and French, still using me as a kind of in-house personal tutor.  I don't mind really as I quite enjoyed reading 'Othello' with her last night and it's good to dig out that French vocab from the dark recesses of my brain.

We've settled into our new house and are making some progress in getting it sorted out.  I'm having some built-in bookcases made for my 'reading room' and we have arranged the gas fire which doesn't work to be removed and replaced by an open fire.  We're also having a woodburner in the main lounge. This will, I hope, make things cosy when the weather cools down.  Now we just need to get curtains - I've made many trips to John Lewis and Dunelm Mill, ordered swatches and have been generally indecisive about the whole business.  Having made curtain errors in the past - I once ordered made-to-measure which ended an inch above the window sill - I'm a bit wary.  If only I had the skill and patience to make them myself, something I did once with my mother's help. She always made her own curtains.

We had a housewarming party at the beginning of September for old friends and also invited new neighbours, discovering that two doors down from our new house is a young woman from Dungannon in Northern Ireland.  We had the usual kind of exchange NI expats have on these occasions, uncovering possible mutual acquaintances. I enjoyed chatting to her and other neighbours - this street does seem like a friendly place to live.

At the end of August before returning to school we had a few days in Northern Ireland, staying with my sister in Dromore and then a night in Portrush.  The weather was beautiful - a rare occurrence on our NI trips.  So we had a couple of days out as well as catching up with family.  On the sunny Saturday of the Bank Holiday weekend we went to Bangor - the NI one, not in Wales.  We walked the dog round the harbour and then I explored Bangor Castle Walled Garden, getting inspiration for my own walled garden. It was brilliant - absolutely gorgeous and free to enter.  I'd never heard of it before and neither had any of my relatives in NI. A hidden gem it seems. I was on my own as we had the dog with us and we didn't think he'd be welcome in the garden though there were no signs saying so.  I'd have stayed longer otherwise.  I wonder if my parents ever visited there? They have loved it as there were vegetable beds and fruit trees as well as flowers.  It certainly gave me some ideas for my garden though I have a long way to go with it.  At least we can see the walls now that the hedges have been cut back.  Anyway a few pictures of Bangor Walled Garden to sign off.  Blog posting not happening much these days, but I'm still reading others and will try to check in here once a month at least.


  1. Hey Doris,
    So glad yo hear that you are settling in to your new home. I love the sound of your reading room. I'd love to have a little room of my own where I could shut the door on the boys and curl up with a book. September is a busy month, and it always seems to fly by. We are waiting for our wood burner to be installed. The chimney is being swept this weekend, and then it's all systems go. I am beyond excited. Thank you for your kind comment on my blog post. It does mean a lot when people write such kind and lovely things.
    Have a good week.
    Leanne xx

  2. I love the idea of a reading room! Making curtains is really boring, I've made a few for the kids rooms. Our living room is still curtain free (12 years later), just cheap blinds from Ikea until I can make up my mind..... I hope your daughter is soon settling into her new routine. How lucky to have her own personal in house tutor :-) Sam's Higher's subjects are all beyond my skills/knowledge level but I doubt he'd like me to help him. Nice neighbours are so important, glad your street is friendly. x

  3. I lived with 5 years without curtains in my living room and then I had some blinds mades which I'm sorry to say I rather regret. I think John Lewis will come out and measure for you if you are having blinds/curtains made by them. With regards to NI gardens Glenarm Castle garden is stunning and the castle grounds in Antrim have also been restored and are now really interesting place to visit.