Thursday, 1 September 2011

September beginnings

I don't know what it is about the start of September, but I always feel nostalgia for the 18 years of new school shoes, new pencil tins, sharpened pencils and new notebooks and homework diaries, along with starting new courses and returning to other activities. The start of Autumnal mornings (and it never fails to surprise me how when the calendar clicks round they without question become misty) makes me think about new beginnings and making plans for things that I want to do, in a way that the start of the calendar year never does. It's partly because since leaving school and university, I have worked continuously in academic libraries: September tends to be both busy and quiet. Quiet because the summer visitors are departing, but busy as we get the reading rooms ready for the new students and plan the induction sessions to welcome them and show them how things work. It is absolutely my favourite time of year, when, after summer holidays, I feel revitalised towards work and look forward to getting on with things. This year, my role changes slightly as I start supervising

Anyway, I wasn't intending to write a blog post about my job, more about my love of September beginnings, and about my plans for the Autumn.
The eagle eyed amongst you who aren't reading this post in Google Reader or via email but on the actual site may have spotted a new box on the side-bar listing things that I want to bake.
Readingwise, I want to continue with my Virago Venture; I have a stack of VMCs waiting for me but it feels like such a chore. I have read 379 now, so about 180 to go (although more being added every year :-o!). I might be able to clear my current stacks if I read them at the rate of 2 a week, which might also see me end the challenge by the end of 2012. Wouldn't that be good? Otherwise, I want to allow myself reservations again at the library (they cost 95p a pop!) so that I have a good selection of reading material at my disposal which will encourage me to keep reading.
It seems like a long time since I did any cross stitch; crafting is really an activity for a lady of leisure, or at the very least not one who works AND does house improvement. But I'd like to make time to spend an hour or so stitching a week, or, if that does not appeal, have a go at my knitted wild animals. I do find craftwork very relaxing, and I have found my tolerance to getting stressed out rather limited recently, so I might have to try to make more time for it.
There's not too long until Christmas, so I shall also spend some time making plans for the first Christmas in our new home. Christmas chutney will be made in a couple of weeks time so that it has long enough to mature, and I need to come up with a cheap and easy Christmas card design. I might feed this into the crafting time, and look for some easy projects to do.
In the house, we are very lucky to have a man coming to put the dining room/study into decorative order at some point in October. That will leave us free to concentrate on making the hall beautiful. I would love to have the chance to sort my books out properly, but I intend to leave that task for after Christmas when we have had time to decorate the third bedroom that will be my library.
Finally, once the swimming season is over in a couple of weeks time, I am contemplating taking up running and doing the Couch to 5k programme. I will still spend time in the pool each week, but maybe only averaging 15km a week rather than 25! As I will be trying to cycle to work (4.3 miles each way), maybe it is time to think about a triathlon....

It's exciting starting to make plans for the Autumn isn't it? I think I may also buy a new notebook, even if it is just for my shopping lists! Does anyone else have any plans?


  1. New pencils in a new pencil case! And brand new folders and exercise books not written in.

    Like you September is a busy time as we gear up to big events in October and then head straight long to Christmas but that is work wise and I need to focus on non work.

    Go for some crafts Verity, I am poking about making all sorts of little bits at the moment, and enjoying it! Helps so much with the stress levels. A lot of folks this year will have made Christmas cards and/or gifts.

    I want to get into some more baking, and love the idea of the Earl Grey cupcakes, so will look out for that one. However a few more pounds lost need to be achieved before I get the flour out! I will stick to my swimming for a bit longer, and swim up and down for a measly 2km a week and think about David Walliams swimming the Thames!

  2. Echoing Jo & the Earl Grey cupcakes. I had an Earl Greyshortbread at Bea's yesterday. Excited to hear about your house plans. Our next bit of decorating has been put on hold until the plaster dries. Happy September Mrs W.

  3. I see the back to school spirit caught you! I love this time of year, it's almost more inspiring to me than the actual New Year. You certainly have a lot going on!

  4. Wait a minute, you're going to have a library? A LIBRARY??? I'm so jealous.

  5. Love this post! The smell of school supplies is right up there with the smell of new books for me. :) And yes, I do find myself thinking about goals at this time of year. I would like to do some additional craft projects myself, but find it harder to squeeze in. I think I'm going to borrow your idea of "at least an hour a week." Surely, that should be attainable. I'm also toying with the couch to 5K program. I was just given the green light this week to run after not being able to for the last several years. Doc apparently thinks I've made enough progress to give it a whirl without damaging anything, so this fall may find me a little more "on the move." Of course, we are praying for the temperature to drop a little more before I venture out. Such an inspiring post! Thanks for sharing with us!

  6. I recognise the feeling of September. For years now, or rather always, I have felt that September is more like a new year than January, and I often think in school years instead of 2010, or something. I feel like starting new, but I think it needs to wait until I finish my thesis for that feeling to kick in.

    Also, would you consider a triathlon? That is so tough :| And your swimming is already so tough.. Anyway, curious to hear how the running turns out.

  7. Hi Jo - I did manage some crafts yesterday, nearly completed a tiny cross stitch! Was very pleased with myself!

    Hi Rachel - I shall make earl grey cupcakes in honour of Emily's anniversary in October; I feel inundated with choice of earl grey recipes this year!

    Laura - yes, I definitely feel inspired!

    Yvann - you've now seen a picture of the library, it's not very impressive, but I can't wait til we decorate it and I put up butning.

    Susan - lovely to hear from you. I managed my first couch to 5k run yesterday and it was fine (I guess I have residual fitness from the swimming); there are great podcasts provided by our health service which helped. Thank you for commenting also about the "one hour"; when that comment came in it reminded me that I needed to carve out some time and I did manage that yesterday!

    Hi Iris - I am sort of wondering about a triathlon...ho hum... How much longer have you got to go on your thesis?

  8. I don't know how you manage to fit everything in. Mind you I used to do when I was younger, work full time, cook, bake, knit, sew, read, look after my son, paint and decorate etc.

    I think however as the years pass although you have more time, because you don't have work commitments, you're sort of making the most of actually not having to go out at certain time and then come in, so you do tend to take life a little more laid back. That's my reason for it. I'm not admitting I'm OLD!

    As I've had a really bad summer because of a trapped nerve in thigh, still got it, I'm going to try to get my cycling back on track. I've entered the Cycletta North event on 2nd October, run from Tatton Park. It's a 40k event with graded groups. The fastest can race but most others will be seeing it as a social event for girls who want to cycle together can have the opportunity. Victoria Pendleton is riding but she says she's not racing and wants to mingle with the groups. I wonder if she'll go so far back as mingle with the people who don't want to overstretch themselves. I'd better get out there and push pedals. Good luck with your running training.


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