Autumn Days

scarecrows in the streets
This is the longest stretch that I have spent at home since I retired four years ago. As cooler, shorter days draw near, I find myself spending a lot more time reading and sorting through cupboards and drawers. I have resisted buying much this year and there is another blue bag in the trunk of the car. The charity shop will benefit from my clearouts.

I love literary festivals!
This is my second year as a volunteer at the Writers' Festival. I really enjoy learning about books and authors. This year, I volunteered at some French-Canadian writers' presentations to school groups and  at a panel discussion about the Italian author, Elena Ferrante. I just started MY BRILLIANT FRIEND, the first book in the Neapolitan series.

So far the description of the childhood relationship of two girls growing up in 1950's Naples is fascinating. Ferrante captures the rivalries, ambivalence and love of the two girls as they grow from preschoolers to young adults. I'm looking forward to the next book.

We've had a lot of lovely autumn days.
I attended another book discussion group in my neighbourhood. It was my first time so I had not read the book ahead of time. THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature last year and is now on my "to-read" list. It sounds a little "gritty" but I will borrow it from the library and make the effort to read it.

autumn colours 
A few weeks ago, La Duchesse wrote about her friends' methods of weight maintenance. I have not been very careful since returning from Mexico and have found myself rather curvier than I wish to be. I tracked using My Fitness Pal for a week and found that I was eating about 500 calories too many a day. It is not magic but once I am aware weight management becomes easier. But the very wise Duchesse also wrote a blog about "Dressing a Weight Gain." It is so important to dress well and to love ourselves as we are at this moment rather than to wait until we reach the "magical size."

at home with us
Our summer/autumn project has been our puppy. I have never chosen a puppy and raised it. Monsieur does not really want to travel much but my daughter has assured me that she will be a willing foster parent should M. and I travel together sometime. We live on the third floor of an apartment building so housetraining is crucial. Our puppy is now 5 months old and is learning to live with us. She is fearful and barks when she meets strangers outside of the apartment but she is starting classes this month and I am sure that she will become more sociable. 

Daylight Savings ends next weekend and  Los Muertos and Hallowe'en mark the steady progress towards the long days of winter. The leaves are almost gone and the skies are grey but my pile of books is growing.


  1. Madame your pup looks so sweet! We have always had rescues so our eight year old Shoodle is the first dog that we've raised from puppyhood, he's a delight! No emotional baggage, robust, confident and obedient.

    1. It is quite different to start with a newly-weaned puppy because there is not the emotional baggage to overcome. Is a Shoodle a Shi-tzu and poodle cross? He must be very cute!

  2. You're staying busy this autumn without travel. Weight maintenance seems to require constant vigilance as I age. Those pounds creep up without much effort.
    I don't like the time change. I wish we would stay with one or the other.

    1. It is so easy to gain those pounds and takes such determination to lose them! The change at this time of year always seems hard to take.

  3. So nice to hear from you again. I enjoy reading your words.

  4. So nice to hear from you again. I enjoy reading your words.

  5. I don't know how I missed this post (somehow, though, I've got 85 unread posts in my aggregator!!)
    Are you loving the Ferrante novel? I have the 4th volume coming in the mail this week, and I can't wait!! I'm sure you'll love The Goldfinch although it's true that there's at least one tough section . . .
    Your puppy! So sweet!! I'll admit to a bit of envy. . .

  6. I'm really savouring the Ferrante novel. I think back on a close friendship that I had during my teens and how it was really a very complex relationship. Not all sweetness and light...The book club members found the drug passages in The Goldfinch a bit uncomfortable. I'm developing a pile of reading and we are getting our Netflix habit back on these grey days. The puppy is really like a little child with us. She loves to cuddle as we read or watch and she behaves well in the apartment. I think that it is now the right time for us to be pet owners.


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