A little list

It's November, one of my two least favourite months, the other being February. It is dark by five, and going to be darker. The leaves are whirling and there are all those things queueing up in the garden which I haven't done yet, including planting ludicrous numbers of tulip bulbs. Last month it was warm and inviting outside. Now it is colder and wetter and I am feeling like a very fair weather gardener. Eventually I will be able to persuade myself into looking forward to Christmas, but I need to wind myself up to it so I am not yet ready to go into a wonderwoman, organisational whirl to distract myself from the beginning of winter.

So I am going to indulge myself with a list: ten things that make me smile.

  1. Michael McIntyre. I don't know quite what it is about him. He makes me smile before he has even opened his mouth, a useful quality in a comedian you'd think.
  2. My three year old grandson in the park, "Grandma, lets go in the woods and have an adventure". We did, we saw a squirrel. He was so excited he clamped himself to my leg. "That squirrel's not going to hurt me."
  3. Derek Brockway, weather forecaster for BBC Wales, the loveliest, smiliest, campest forecaster in the business.
  4. Younger daughter's friend A trying to do accents. I have no talent for this at all but even mine don't segue quite so seamlessly from Welsh to Pakistani to Irish. Still not sure what he was trying to do, Brazilian perhaps.
  5. The sound of a cork coming out of a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. I don't know if this sounds any different from a cork coming out of a bottle of red, but if it doesn't, it should.
  6. My chickens racing up from the henhouse like road runner on a good day to try to get to the cat's food before she has finished it.
  7. Many of the male members of my family: my son, my brother, my husband, my father, my stepson. It isn't that the female members aren't funny, they are, quick and witty and wry and unpredictable. But somehow female humour is my humour and I am in the thick of it, contributing as well as listening. Male humour is different, other, surprising me, making me laugh at things that wouldn't have sparked laughter without them. Actually I have just realised it is all of my funny family so
  8. girls too.
  9. Andrew Marr. I like him. I think he is clever, insightful, incisive but his ears always make me smile, shallow creature that I am.
  10. The look on my husband's face when our elderly cat farts. I can't see it for very long because we both need to run for cover.

Maybe next week I will have something more profound to say.


  1. Oh I don't know that was profound enough, especially cat farting.Hmmm, makes me think about my list.

  2. I have noticed folks responding on the comments back and forth that is good. I liked that idea of just putting down what came to your mind. I have the whole month of November worked out. It is my birthday month and thanksgiving month so I am trying to juggle two things. I am doing a highlight on two of my followers a day, also.

  3. LOL at your cat! Thanks for the laugh!

  4. Interesting list, there, Elizabethm. Many of those things would make me smile too - and run (the last one!)

  5. What a lovely way to get beyond the bleak days of oncoming November. I like your list, though I don't know the people you mention. I'm going to think about I would write....

  6. Love the sound of your camp weather forecaster. Another shallow Andrew Marr fan, too - don't know quite what it is, the cleverness, the ears, the slightly wonky smile or the way he always looks as though he's enjoying himself, but he definitely has something. Am slightly partial to Jeremy Paxman, too, who I think of as a kind of darker, more bossy version of AM.

    Hmmm. Quite like November, though. You often get some stunningly beautiful crisp mornings, like today, for instance, but you do need to ensure you're wearing the right kind of clothes. At least February has the advantage of being fairly short, I suppose. Otherwise agree - not much to recommend it.

    And yes, that photo at the top is absolutely stunning.

  7. I can usually just about cope with November, but February is truly difficult. Colder, darker and wetter. Yuk. We have a mound of tulips waiting here too and the garden is so sodden that i can see it not happening; my usual moaning in spring at the lack of tulips will, of course, take place. fair weather indeed x

  8. I am not really into counting my blessings, I always feel that thing must be dire indeed before I am reduced to that; but thinking of things that make me smile is a brilliant ides, how about starting a round robin?
    I see already that I'll have to think about.

  9. Sometimes the little things speak volumes : )

  10. hooray for No. 5! (and others--the chickens, the family...)

    november is a very difficult month. the enroaching drak dark dark. december is dark, too, but lit up with snow and lights.

    march is hard, too. all that ice.

    here's to getting through to late april, and spring.

  11. Lovely list, but I prefer Andrew Marr to Michael McIntyre who makes me squirm and switch off.

  12. no to november & february too. loved cat farting [in our case dogs]and popping cork.

  13. Your header photo is breathtaking.

    And loved your list.. the honesty of it... especially the comical parts.

    I feel about July and August as you do about Nov. and Feb. It's so hot and humid here you sweat just standing still outside. Ick. So for me the winter months are my absolute favorite... there's time for baking, knitting, watching movies while snuggled under a blanket (with the cats of course), and all the other stuff that's hard to find time for when everything is growing and needs attention.

  14. Perhaps not profound but great fun, thanks.

  15. Your ten things all made me smile too elizabeth. Not a bad thing to do when the weather's awful and you feel at a loose end.
    Interesting that you hate February - I always like it mainly because it is such a short month and when it ends Spring isn't far away.

  16. I am definitely a fair weather gardener, but my garden would be a lot better if I could bring myself to do some serious work between October and March! November is third worst for me, after January and February!

    Pomona x

  17. Lovely and very pprofound in its own way.

  18. Well your list makes me smile, although Derek the Weather Man scares the bejeesus out of me!

  19. Knock profundity (profundity?) on the head. You're right 'November-needs-laughs'! And I'm chuckling here as the men thing, the cat thing and the accent thing resonate!

  20. It's the chickens or is it the cat or just the fact that your husband has a special look for it!

  21. I like your list; quite a lot of those things would make me smile, too. And thank you for visiting my blog!

  22. I'm completely with you on November and February Elizabeth. I dread them. November because it's the No month as perfectly described by Thomas Hood's poem 'November'. February because it seems that spring will never ever arrive. At least it has the decency to be a short month. Your list has bought a smile to my face as I sit here drying out and warming up after venturing out to shop in some foul weather. Roll on May !

  23. KN - hi and welcome. the cat does fart very profoundly I am afraid.
    QMM - if November is your birthday month it is bound to me more enjoyable!
    Dimple - you're welcome.
    Pondside - running is good.
    Kari - good to see you and how lovely your blog is.
    Lindsay - thank you!
    LBB - agree with you about Paxman too.
    Pipany - yes, February is worse than November, because I have been waiting so long for spring by then.
    Friko - will be interested to read what makes you smile if you decide to have a go.

  24. Leonora - yes indeed, or smell volumes.
    Laurie - Oh don't like the idea of ice in March! Not quite that bad here.
    Fennie - You don't like MM? How about Dara O Briain (sp?)?
    muddyboots - wonder if your dogs can possibly be as bad as our cat.
    Teresa - that is a great attitude to winter. I think I will try to acquire it. I love the idea of a time for the things which get pushed out in summer by growing things.
    SS - thank you. Glad you like it.
    Weaver - I am learning some new ways to handle my old prejudices here. Perhaps I can reframe my response to February instead of thinking that being short is the only good thing about it!

  25. Great post! I'd share many of the things on your list but would exchange the cat farts for dog ones. My elderly golden non-retriever could clear a room in seconds. Found you through ExmoorJane. Look forward to reading some more of your blog.

  26. This post made me laugh. I like your blog.

  27. I just left a comment on your leaving or left post about your life being so completely opposite, and how I read your postings as almost like a book. :<) Well, here again - I love November and February. Those months together with late June, early July are my favorite times of the year. I think it must be because I like being inside, in a chair reading. I love the early evenings, the way the darkness comes so soon. It somehow makes me feel safe and cozy. Then the first month of summer is the perfect balance. By the end of July though, I'm waiting for the cool, darker days.

  28. "Grandma, lets go in the woods and have an adventure" - Who could say no to an offer like that! Fantastic.


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