October has been a healing month. For me at least. I had my operation mid September and I’ve been trying to heal physically as well as mentally. I’ve had to reassess my life because I believe that doing too much and being a bit resentful of all the things I do was what put me in hospital in the first place. I’m a firm believer in the fact that you get what you ask for, and I was asking for a rest. Woah did I get it! Not being able to walk, being laid up in hospital in the worst pain of my life (including having four babies without pain relief) and then recovery gave me a good long rest. Just not the kind of rest I wanted! (Must remember to be more specific next time!) On an emotional level it has made me feel very vulnerable and I feel every day of my 39 years! But it was the poor treatment whilst I was in hospital has made me feel really fragile. Just mentioning my stay there makes me cry. I need to work on that!
Early October saw me under the blankets watching all three seasons of Orange is the New Black on Netflix whilst I hid from the world until eventually something changed in me and I somehow felt able to come back.
Paul had done a good job of looking after the kids and the house, but of course the house hasn’t had me organising it for about six months really, so I’ve been attacking it with gusto! I bought The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever by Marie Kondo
which is a brilliantly inspirational tidying-up book…mostly it’s a chucking out book but it was very cathartic to start getting rid of junk around the house and clothes that I don’t ‘feel joy’ when I wear. Paul was very amused when I told him he should go through his sock drawer, really feeling the socks and asking himself if each pair truly brought him joy! But no man needs fifty pairs of socks! So far I’ve chucked out a car full of things and I don’t remember what was in any of the bags! About two thirds of my clothes have gone and I actually feel like I have got more clothes, but that’s because I can see the ones I like when I open the wardrobe doors!
Anyway I can feel your eyes glazing over so I will stop with my obsessive tidying theme!
On a brighter note, October brought with it darker nights, which means fewer eggs from our lovely chickens but better sleep from the children and cosy nights in with the curtains closed and the lamps on in the living room. I’m still thinking of decorating, but I just need to settle on colours. I am torn because we want to move house so the decorating I would do if we were staying might have to wait for the new house…my colour choices are not exactly ‘neutral’ tones. It might have to be magnolia again!
We do Halloween in quite a big way here, since the children’s Grandma loves everything Halloween. She gets her decorations out at the beginning of the month and the children love going to her house to see them all! They beg me each year to buy more stuff and now our house looks like a scary Halloween grotto! I can’t believe that Oona isn’t bothered! This year we had a life-sized witch hanging from the banister rail and if you brushed past her she cackled very convincingly and Oona didn’t turn a hair! She’s had one bad dream in the last few weeks and it was about a cheeky fox that got in her bed! She’s a tough cookie but since I used to be afraid of Scooby Doo I know I prefer my kids to be a bit tougher than I was!
We went on the East Lancashire Railway’s Halloween Train on Halloween Night, mostly to avoid the trick-or treaters. I don’t like my kids going Trick or Treating because they are allergic to various things and I can’t read the packets of sweets they are given so I don’t know if they can eat them or not…and then my kids get put to bed and of course the door continues to be knocked upon, keeping them awake and making for a rubbish evening for us. We thought if we just went out things would be easier.
It was loads of fun! The children all dressed up and had been planning and talking about their outfits for weeks but every time they asked me if I was dressing up I said no, I wasn’t. On the night though, I helped them all get ready and painted their faces and then got dressed up myself, came down and surprised them!
There you go! A slightly out of focus, scary Mel.
Here’s a selfie we did before we set off:
We bought all the children’s outfits in Sainsbury’s. They were really lovely quality and I was really pleased with the fit. All the velcro fastenings worked in that they didn’t pop open whenever the kids moved.
Imogen’s outfit came with a mask and so did Leon’s but they both asked me to paint their faces. Leon’s mask was a Dracula one and of course the hairline was black so I painted his eyebrows and widow’s peak in ginger paint so that he looked like a convincing ginger vampire rather than a Dracula character meanwhile Imogen wanted her face to be a green and white skeleton to match her skeleton outfit.
I’m sorry my photographs are so blurry, the light was really bad. It wasn’t just dark, there were smoke machines and flashing lights… perhaps I should get myself on a photography course! I hope you get the idea and the atmosphere of the night, anyway!
I would recommend the Halloween train wholeheartedly! This was our first time, but we will now be going every year. The staff and volunteers at ELR are so kind and so enthusiastic. One thing I would say though is to take a rucksack for all the clothes you take off…we didn’t expect it to be so warm!
Lastly I must give credit to Nickie O’Hara at Typecast for inspiring me to do a monthly round-up post. Hers was so good I was desperate to do my version! So here it is! Look out for November Abridged. I promise to work on my photography skills.