Puttery Treats For Autumn

By Alison September 21, 2023 3 Comments 7 Min Read

Even when the little ones are all grown up, the instinctive regiment of school-impose routine brings brisk new efficiency to our domestic affairs, in September and I cannot help but feel a little wanting. Do you get that, a gnawing ache for sweet satisfaction somewhere? Weird  frustration in your fingertips? Need a teeny tiny thrill or two to see you through the day? Feel the urge for something a little more scrumptious than jam on your cranberry toast?  Like you might find yourself running around the house screaming like a pinny wearing hyena if something doesn’t spark your imagination? Me too.

So when the novelty of crisp new school uniforms has worn off, and the laundry basket has been attacked with the vengeance of a women wronged by fabric conditioner stinky enough to make her cry,  and when even the thrill of an imminent evening’s dalliance  with Paul Hollywood ain’t enough to make her happy,  (Roll on GBBO 2023!), this Vintage Housekeeper needs a puttery treat or six to get her through the night. Which is, I think a better choice than gin. Though I wouldn’t say no to that either.

Ready? Take your puttery pick.

*  Set the table in sumptuous style before you go to bed tonight and throw yourself a little cornflake party in the morning.

* Feed the birds. Fill up birdfeeders, buy a diddy little bird house, make fat cakes, and provide our feathered little friends with a daily  saucer of fresh water. Nothing is more enchanting than watching little birds dance around your garden.

* Clear away the last vestiges of summer in the garden. Be kind to your trusty tools by giving them a thorough cleaning and oiling (Use wd40 for the metal parts and boiled linseed oil for the wooden parts) and then reward yourself by going shopping for daffodil, narcissi, hydrangea, crocus and amaryllis bulbs.

* Bundle rose bush cuttings and apple tree branches together and  put them in a basket by the fireplace for sweet scented  kindling.

* Turn vintage tray cloths into lavender scented envelopes for matching underwear sets. Pile them prettily in your underwear drawer.

* Make Ratatouille Chutney and eat with blue cheese jacket potatoes and cider in the garden. Blankets optional.

* Spend a day filling the freezer with chilli’s, stew, casseroles and soups ready for cosy afternoons spent snuggling instead of slaving at the stove. Search Etsy in search of happy freezer labels to help you identify what’s what.

* Thread laurel leaves onto string, add lavender and rosemary branches and swing the garland across the fireplace. Break them off as required and add to real fires for fragranced warmth.

* Stuff the housework. Spray your pillow with a blend of  orange blossom water, vodka, mandarin and bergamot essences and take an afternoon nap. Life is for living. And daydreaming.

* Choose a big, old, nubbly cardigan and hang it near the back door ready for early morning dashes to the laundry line.

* Now I know this might seem a teeny bit extra, but emptying out your pantry and doing a stock take will make you feel dementedly organised and the likelihood of you doubling up on stock cubes will simmer down to nil.

* Though I’m sure it isn’t good library etiquette, go to the library regardless and stock up on as many library books as they will let you take out (20 here)  and stack them by your bed. Reserve Cold Comfort Farm, Graham Greene novels, all the Elizabeth Berg you haven’t read. Nothing compares to literary abundance for when chilly Autumn evenings are drawing in.

* Order a compost bin. Now is as good a time as any to start reducing the amount of waste your household creates. Remember (green) virtue is a grace.

* It’s that time of year again. Take yourself on a creative excursion in search of a notebook that makes your heart sing: it’s nearly time to start planning the Christmas to end all Christmases.

* Create a proper old fashioned utility cupboard. Stock up on household candles and tealights, a huge roll of string, replacement bulbs and fuses, glue, parcel/masking tape, drawing pins, wd40, salt for frozen paths, car de-icer, etc, etc.

* Turn the heating up and get naked. Scrub yourself silly with a dry brush then dive into the shower and drown yourself in something milky. Drag a scrumptiously starched white Victorian nightie over your head, add woolly silly socks and get into bed. Going to bed stupidly early at least one evening a week will change your life.  Lights out by 9pm please. (I do 8pm sometimes, but if that seems a tad mental 9pm will do!)

*  Spray glue a really pretty piece of fabric across the base of your snuggly jumper drawer. You’ll be going in there a lot over the next few months, so why not make it a sight for sore eyes?

* Get a notepad, sit down somewhere quiet and write down what your ideal day looks  like. Not the one from your dreams, but the one you’ve got, but better.  What do you eat for breakfast? What time do you go to bed? How much housework do you do? Do you find time for your art? Tv? What are you wearing? Do you iron your knickers in paradise?? Write it all down and resolve to do  your best to shape your world  the way you really wish it was.

Happy Autumn.x

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  1. Callista says:

    Oooh so cozy! Quick question… how does one “Turn vintage tray cloths into lavender scented envelopes for matching underwear sets.”?

    1. Alison says:

      Lay them out flat and fold them into an envelope of sorts (fold one end two thirds of the way up) and then stich up the sides. Et voila, a happy little embroidered envelope in which to store your smalls…x

      1. Suzanne says:

        I made a few of those lingerie envelopes years ago using lace, crocheted items, and pieces of cut work made by women in my family decades before I was born. Most of them live in my weekend travel bag, already packed with lacy lingerie, thigh high hosiery, and ultra soft socks, so I can grab it and add a couple of dresses and sweaters and head out the door in a moment for any adventure.

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