Welcome to my the first monthly newsletter from my blog 'a-letter-from-home'

I started a blog called A-Letter-From-Home many years ago as a way of sending a round-robin letter to my children who had more or less left home and also to friends and relatives living further a-field.

I've loved keeping in touch with many people through the internet. We have shared ideas and thoughts through our various blogs. It's a sort of huge 21st Century network of pen-pals everywhere, all over the world. I suppose there's a good chance that some of the people whose blogs I 'follow' could live in the next street, others on the other sided of the world and I might never know.

Then I started wondering about people who would like to join in with this kind of sharing, but don't use the internet? So this is for you; I'm hoping that someone who knows you, and follows my blog, might print off these pages and post them to you, and that you might be entertained by being part of this online community.

Word of the Month - Liminal

which means 'occupying a space at both sides of a boundary'. I think this work exactly describes the month of October. I have still been able to have morning coffee or afternoon tea in the garden. It has been warm enough to sit outside without coat, hat, scarf and gloves and bask in the warmth of the sun. 

We are in that suspended in that golden space between Summer and Autumn; the colder mornings and evenings are a warning of what is to come, while the warm sunny mornings and afternoons hark back to the hot days of Summer.

Book - The Bullet That Missed - Richard Osman
I'm planning to read this in October; I am putting off the moment of starting, as I know that once I open the book I will be 'unavailable' as far as the rest of the world is concerned. Richard Osman might not be writing Great Literature, but I have hugely enjoyed 'The Thursday Murder Club' and 'The Man Who Died Twice'. So I am hoarding this as a pleasure to come once I have finished various other projects with rather pressing deadlines.

This month's books have been mostly gentle, non-demanding reads. However another book that I'm hoping will arrive soon is Molly Panter-Downes' book; 'One Fine Day' which I read a review of, and also the opening chapter, and it sounded like 'my kind of book'.   


For many years now a cup of tea has been my self-indulgence. Not your ordinary everyday 'teabag-in-a-mug' drink, but the proper thing.

The tea tray, with a cloth, and a teapot, matching cup and saucer - blue and white china breakfast cup and saucer for preference - milk jug and, of course, a tea strainer, because the tea will have been made with loose English Breakfast Tea. Occasionally there is cake, or biscuits, but they are not a necessary part of the 'indulgence'.

Getting all this together makes me feel as though I am about to have a special moment, when I can sit back and relax. At other times I prepare a tea tray to keep me company as I tackle a pile of over due admin paperwork. Pausing for a sip of tea helps me get everything sorted and cleared away.

Something to Make

Every year our church takes part in the 'Shoebox' appeal. We fill shoe boxes with suitable items, wrap them in Christmas gift paper, and take them to a collection point. The boxes will be delivered to families and people living in extreme poverty in Romania, Ukraine (if they can get there) Bulgaria and Moldova. This is the month that I knit or crochet hats, in every size, for men, women and children to include in the boxes. I'm wearing the jumper I made with the greeny-blue yarn at the moment!

I look for the simplest patterns I can find, and crank out as many hats as I can, using up the leftovers from anything I have been making over the year. This year I am making hats with rolled brims, so that I don't have to endure the rows of ribbing, and using circular needles so that I do them all with knit stitches as I really dislike doing rows and rows of purl.

I find 'round and round knitting' the perfect activity to accompany TV watching in the evenings, or listening to audio books. T tend to choose wool with a coloured patterns or fleck or marl, as then I get an interesting garment (and it also hide any mistakes quite well)

Out and About

We visited National Trust Gardens and Nyman's at the beginning of the month. It was one of those perfect days, all sun and blue sky and barely a breeze to disturb the air. It was several years since I had last been there, so there was a lot to see even though the season for flowers was drawing to a close.

They really are the most romantic ruins; who would guess that a whole house was built inside the windowless walls? The windows on the extreme left are blacked out, as those wall are part of one of the downstairs rooms. 

The long Summer border, for which the gardens are justly famous, was well past its best although the dahlias were making an effort to keep the show going. We walked all around the outside of the house and gardens, stopping to admire views, or just to watch the sheep steadily munching the grass or lying under the huge oak trees. The Autumn colour was only just affecting the trees, most of them were still very green. 

all text, illustrations and photographs are by the author of the blog


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