In the High Peaks

Saturday, September 5, 2020

September is My Favorite Month

And I love the first half of October equally.
But  we had dreary, dark days for the first three days of September, and limited sun yesterday and today. Oh, we've been out hiking about, but I can't wait for a truly sunny day.
All the bugs have gone away--tra la! Except for the hornets and yellow jackets and spiders, that is.

I have lots of nature plans for September--hiking, studying nature, and then writing. But the mid-late afternoons are reserved for my knitting endeavors and audiobooks. I've been knitting up a storm, and most recently working on a cable pattern that was so complicated, I could only work ten rows in an hour. It's been interesting, for sure, and it composes just one ten-inch square block for a throw I've been working on for quite a while. I can't wait until I gather all the squares, each one of them a different pattern, block them, and then sew them up. That will feel good. That will be my winter reading and knitting throw, which I will toss over my hips and legs whenever the reading and knitting mood hits.  I hope that will be often!

I'm listening to 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand, her most recent Nantucket Island novel. It has been wonderful to see Hilderbrand grow in her depth and her handling of complicated, character-driven plots that are a joy to read.  I'm reading Jenny Colgan's new novel 500 Miles from You, which is set in a remote Highland town in Scotland AND in London simultaneously. I'm finding it pleasurable reading, although I would not call this one among my favorites of Colgan. It is good enough, however, that I would not think of abandoning it, as I have other reads this summer.

As summer turns to fall, I do hope our grocery situation improves. It has been barely tolerable all summer, probably because the region has had so many visitors this year. Vacationers have flocked here because we have had very low rates of stupid Covid, but the grocery stores have in no way been able to keep up with demand. I am so sick of going to the store and getting very little in return for the effort. My ONE complaint. How I wish I could go to the store and get even half to three-quarters of what we need!

Do tell how life is going for you in your neck of the woods these days.



  1. I finished 28 Summers - print and loved it as well. Have you read The Vanishing Half Judith? It made my week! Sorry you have had such a hard time finding basics at the grocery store. We are still doing home delivery and, it's unpredictable (always a few things missing - like fully cooked bacon, certain kinds of breads, some baking supplies and sometimes even frozen shrimp but, all in all we are lucky.

    Hope things improve for you after Labor Day.

    1. Hi Diane,
      I have just now borrowed The Vanishing Half from NYPL as an ebook. I may not be able to finish it in 14 days, but I'll put myself on the hold list if need be to get it back. Thanks for the recommendation! I'm loving 28 Summers so much.
      It's interesting you're having some unpredictable "vacancies" in the food dept. That's how I experience it, too. Why are the stores wiped out of canned tomatoes?? That kind of thing.

  2. I absolutely adore September and October as well. Nice to hear how it is in NY state but am sorry to hear about your grocery situation. One of the things I loved most about being over there was shopping for picnic lunches in various stores both big and small. Chatting to other customers or checkout ladies, seeing what was different to the UK foodwise. Before that trip I'd not seen onions ready prepared in a plastic container in the salad aisle (I know that sounds crazy) and they were so 'sweet', we bought them to make a salad in the car, delicious.

    It continues to be quiet here. My main preoccupation at the moment is doing something with our produce so this morning I made 15lbs of apple, tomato and pepper chutney, loads of onions in it as well, everything from the garden. It'll take a couple of months to mature so I'll have to be patient to try it with some mature cheese or rough paté.

    Reading a lot too, a book of sci-fi short stories about time travel and Sandi Toksvig's autobiography written around a regular bus journey she takes in London. So it's the history of that part of London, anecdotes from her life as a comedian, feminist and gay woman, and cogitations on life in general. It's utterly wonderful.

    Enjoy your September, Judith!

    1. Oh, Cath! What a labor of love with the chutney. 15 pounds--whew! But you will enjoy its goodness all winter long. So interesting about Sandi Toksvig's book! And that "rough pate" sounds excellent.
      And I am so interested to hear about your picnic lunches in NYS! Must have been Vidalia onions, which are a summertime sweet onion. Delicious indeed.

  3. September is also my favourite month. We've had lovely bright autumnal weather and the air smells so fresh. I'm also knitting - baby stuff. Your throw sounds lovely. The supermarkets here are almost back to normal here although some fruit and veggies are scarce, but eggs and flour are no problem now. After weeks of very low Covid rates it is taking off again, but isn't out of control as it seems to be in the US. Stay safe and well. I must try Jenny Colgan!

    1. Hi Katrina,
      I'm so glad that September is also your favorite month.
      And your knitting--of course, baby stuff! When I was a teen I was forever knitting baby blankets for my horde of older cousins, married with children. Loved doing that.
      I'm so glad to hear that flour and eggs are well available for you now. That flour scarcity must have been so hard to take. And eggs? I can't imagine.
      We made it through the summer with low Covid rates. And I thank the example set by New Yorkers for all of the (stupid!) people visiting from Texas, the Carolinas, Georgia, and other HOT spots. People here are more compliant with mask wearing than ever, which is very different from the Midwest and West. I think that's what saved us this touristy summer. Thank goodness. Most of our tourists were from New York and New Jersey overall, so that helped as they were compliant. But really, between you and me, I am downhearted lots of times due to the sorry state of our leadership. So depressing! I do my best to keep going, but...

  4. I'd like to be able to knit something complicated - I love yarn but can't do anything more complicated than a scarf. Post a picture when you're done!

    I thought of you immediately when I read this book. See if your library can get you this audiobook:

    1. Library knitting books, knitting magazines, and especially YouTube has helped me do the knitting projects of my dreams. And I still have knitting dreams as yet to be fulfilled.
      And, thanks so much, I will look for A Borrowing of Bones right away!

  5. September, October, and even parts of November can be very hot in Santa Barbara, so not usually my favorite part of the year. I am sure you have heard about the horrible wildfires in California. We are not close to any of them but even so, we have a yellow to orangish tinge in the overcast skies and the air quality is so bad I would not want to be outside. My eyes are burning, my nose and throat are irritated. It must be much worse close to the fire.

    I am reading three books right now but today it is hard to concentrate on anything. The books are a mystery by Gladys Mitchell, Laurels are Poison; a biography of Ross Macdonald (very good); and The Arms Maker of Berlin by Dan Fesperman, espionage fiction connected to World War II.

    1. Hi Tracy,
      I'm so terribly sad and sorry that California is suffering terribly right now. As if the other crises we've had have not been enough to bear, yet you have THIS to manage. Ken and I have been horrified by maps showing the incredible extent and range of the wildfires in California.
      I can understand how dreadful it must be to be forced to stay indoors to be even halfway comfortable breathing. And this is the kind of thing that makes one feel absolutely powerless, which is one of the worst feelings of all.
      Frankly, I don't think we get anywhere near enough news coverage of California's precedent-breaking fires, which angers me. The news is always so full of Trump and matters concerning the election.
      Thank goodness you have some books. I'm intrigued by The Arms Maker of Berlin. I think Ken would love this. He's really into spy fiction a la WWII!
      Please do take care of yourself. I will be thinking about you.

    2. Oh, Tracy, by the way, do you have a favorite month in Santa Barbara?