I've been thoroughly enjoying the unexpectedly warm, sunny days but the fallen leaves and the nip in the air this morning reminded me that we are now very definitely into October.
I went shopping with my daughter Ivy yesterday. I do enjoy buying new things but there is a very insistent voice in my head that holds tightly to the purse strings and convinces me that I don't really need the majority of the items that catch my eye. Luckily for my retail therapy (less luckily for my bank balance) Ivy's voice is louder and with her encouragement I came home with far more bags than I expected! I went a little bit mad in the underwear department and now own as many pretty, cleavage enhancing bras as I do shapeless sports ones designed to hold everything as flat and motionless as possible. My girlie side has been indulged.
With it being October, the influence of Hallowe'en is evident in the shops (alongside the expanding Christmas ranges). In Primark, I continued an annual tradition of buying Hallowe'en socks and found a must-have glow in the dark T shirt depicting the iconic Mickey Mouse silhouette constructed from three spider's webs. The Hallowe'en range in Asda was fun too. I loaded my basket with skull tableware, candles and the best thing EVER - a brain jelly mould. If my girlie nature was indulged by lingerie, my gothic side was leaping for joy with these few acquisitions.
The start of a new month also brought to mind my resolution to make 12 small changes for the better throughout the year. It has been far more effective than the traditional New Year's Resolution approach that rarely lasts beyond January. Here we are rapidly approaching Christmas and I am still going strong.
My September change was simply to Read More Books which tied in beautifully with my mum discovering a new charity shop with extensive stocks of paperbacks and hardbacks for sale at 4 for £1. She freely admits that it has become something of an obsession to pop in, choose four books and add them to the pile that grows far quicker than she can ever hope to read them. Dad is a little despairing by the disparity between bookshelf space and books but mum keeps him sweet by going to the charity shop and searching out the books about trains or World War II for him. He can't complain then, can he she says, knowingly!
Every time my mum finishes a book, she passes it on to me, usually with the glowing review that it was the best story she's ever read. She was taking a long time to read a particularly thick novel by Jilly Cooper. Rather than keep me waiting, she went to the charity shop and bought an identical copy for me (along with three more titles to qualify for the 4 for a £1 deal). You can almost hear my dad sighing with resigned defeat. As well as the books she has finished reading, she also brings me books I might like. I really am spoilt for choice and enjoying stories that I would never have picked for myself.
Once I finish a book, I give it back to mum to return to the charity shop... and while she's there it would be wrong not to look through and see if there are four more she could buy for a pound (cue dad's exasperated eye rolling).
I love my never ending supply of 'lucky dip' reading material courtesy of mum's obsession but I do have to balance it against my own backlog of books that I want to make time for. It is not unusual any more for me to be part way through three books at any one time (four or five if you include non fiction). Right now I am reading: Overheard in a Dream by Torey Hayden (one mum thought I would like), the brilliant Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin (my choice on the Kindle) and The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh (recommended by my daughter Taylor).
I can think of nothing nicer as the October evenings close in than to snuggle up (halloween socks keeping my feet warm) with a good book (and possibly a brain shaped jelly!)