Well how wrong can you be...

And then, just like that it was September...

Hello again everyone, sorry to have gone off piste during August - we were suddenly in a position to take a holiday (something that had previously seemed unlikely to happen) so it was all change and a rapid packing of bags and camping equipment before we set off north to explore some gorgeous parts of North Yorkshire and Northumberland.

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The plus side is that I now have enough photos from visits to a whole list of spectacular heritage sites to sink the proverbial battleship (except of course these days they're just digital soup) - and I promise to write about and share the best of the pictures over coming weeks.

The downside is that we can't currently walk through the hall due to the vast amount of post-holiday ironing that is stacked up in every laundry basket and flat surface we have. I should really be out there now tackling the mountain, but well, it's not going away and I don't expect to be the woman on her death-bed wishing she'd spent more time ironing...

So, what have you been up to while I've been gallivanting all over the place? I hope everyone in the Northern Hemisphere has had a lovely summer and those still working to the rhythm of the academic year are feeling refreshed and ready to go. This is the last year I'll have a child in school - how did that happen! We went out shopping for stationery this week - admit it, you still like a new pen and a pristine pad of lined A4 paper.

I succumbed to a new mechanical pencil, a pair of bright green reading glasses (in Tiger of all places) and ahem, a pair of Doc Marten boots. Ok, I accept the boots can't really be classified as stationery, but I've wanted a pair for about as long as I can remember. There was no way I'd have got away with them when I was young but over the years I've occasionally had a flash of an image of me wearing a pair and yesterday as I walked past the shoe shop I swear they sang out to me to go in and rescue them.

I'd expected them to be a bit stiff and painful to put on, but the goddess of shoes was watching and found me the comfiest pair imaginable and quite frankly after that resistance would have been futile.

So now you're sitting there thinking ahhh, poor Anny, she's finally having her mid-life crisis and to be honest you may be right, but at the same time I'd have to say that if I am I'm feeling pretty good on it. If it's alright for blokes to buy themselves a Harley-Davidson or a little convertible sports job I don't think a pair of chunky functional leather boots is going too far and part of me feels very Granny Weatherwax* in them which is no bad thing. (There's a brief history of the Dr Marten boot if you click here).

In other news, I'm way off on my reading list, but I have totally fallen in love with the writing of Max Adams having taken In The Land Of Giants away camping with me and discovering that he had written about exactly the same places I was visiting on a several occasions. (Mainly Hadrian's Wall and I'll write about that separately very soon). So entirely have I been enthralled by his book that since we returned home I have also bought two other books by him - The King In The North (about the seventh century king Oswald of Northumbria) and The Wisdom of Trees - and being totally confessional I've also pre-ordered his new book Aelfred's Britain which is published in November. Do you think this qualifies me for fan-girl status?

Inevitably all the time away has curtailed stitchy activities in August (bitter experience has taught me not to bother trying to stitch while camping), but actually I was ready for a break and now I'm feeling completely re-energised. There is a lot to tell you about on the arty front but that too will have to wait just a little longer, suffice to say I'm going to be very busy for the next few months. But at least this time I trust I have things better organised so (and I'm typing this with my fingers-crossed) no random absences.

Right, I've rambled on enough for now, I'm off to sift through the clothes pile. It's lovely to be back. Please do leave a comment, tell me what you've been up to, what are you reading, how has/did/will your mid-life crisis manifest?

I'll leave you with a glimpse of where we went on holiday...

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* Granny Weatherwax is a character created by the late and much missed Sir Terry Pratchett. If you've read the Discworld books you'll know exactly what I mean and if you haven't, stop what you're doing now and go and read them immediately...

Until next time, happy stitching x