October. It’s a lot of things, isn’t it?
Spooky season. The kick-off of cosy season, usually. It has been and remains strangely mild here in Wiltshire so not so much of that. It’s the month of changing clocks, changing landscapes and grumbling about the Christmas aisle being up already in Tesco.
As well as all of that, my October involved…
Everywhere at this time of year. Pumpkin patches, pumpkin spiced everything and pumpkins of every size and variety imaginable. Never one to let a bandwagon pass me by, I bought some.
Standard orange round ones for the kids, a beautiful white ghost pumpkin for me and even a little baby pumpkin/squash thing for The Wolf. Can’t leave him out, he’s one of us.
I don’t carve my pumpkins. Too messy, too smelly and the result usually far from what I’d envisioned. I might paint one, or doodle something folksy with sharpies. This year I just went minimalist- a ghost pumpkin and a nice candle. A spot of tranquil, seasonal loveliness.
Walking, Time Outdoors & Florence Nightingale
It’s been a good month for getting out and about. A happy side effect of the unseasonable weather. I’ve been out on the Wiltshire countryside, ventured into Surrey and spent a sunny afternoon wandering Romsey. Whilst there, I popped into Romsey Abbey to see the Florence Nightingale window. It’s a beauty, but hard to photograph on a sunny day. Get a better look here. It’s a beauty.
Netflixing & A Farewell.
I watched a lot of Netflix this month. Partly because Mr THL has been away much of the month soldiering, and partly because I knew I was saying goodbye to Netflix. Had to pack a few things in.
Started the month with Dahmer. I’d heard of the Jeffery Dahmer story before I watched it. I knew he was a serial killer, but not much more than that. So much about the whole story left me gob smacked.
Evan Peters is disturbingly convincing as Dahmer, while Molly Ringwald portrays Shari Dahmer, Jeffrey Dahmer’s stepmother, beautifully. Not comfortable viewing, but worth a watch.
Next up, a long-awaited watch: Barbarians S2.
Picking up a year after the Battle of Teutoburg during which the Germanic tribes united to defeat the Romans, S2 reunites childhood friends Arminius, Thusnelda and Folkwin. Don’t expect a straightforward, happy reunion. Barbarians S2 is a six-episode roller coaster ride of secrets, betrayals, battles and divided loyalties.
A brilliant watch with the bold and beautiful Thusnelda played to perfection once again by Jeanne Goursaud. I fell in love with both her performance and the story of the real Thusnelda after watching S1. Read about that here.
I’d love to be able to say I lightened the tone after two seasons of mayhem and murder. I didn’t. Last but not least, based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I, All Quiet on the Western Front. It’s gripping and unrelenting. Thought provoking too, especially given current events.
The storyline introduces Paul Baumer as a fresh-faced schoolboy, willing to forge his his father’s signature to enlist with his friends. The journey from buoyant recruit to a foot soldier traumatized by the brutality of the battlefield is captured perfectly by Felix Kammerer as Baumer.
The cinematography and soundtrack are captivating. There are moments of horror and moments of warmth. Not a movie that is completely loyal to the original but a fantastic watch, nonetheless.
I’ve been thinking about and researching WW1 quite a bit this month, and this time it’s for a more personal reason. These lovely things have recently found their way to me.
The medal was granted to my husband’s grandfather for his service with the Durham Light Infantry. The brooch attached to it would have been kept by his wife and known as a ‘sweetheart brooch’. I’ve seen such things made with regimental crests before, but not so much with portraits.
With me,they’ve found a place where they’ll be treasured. I’d like them somehow mouted or nicely boxed, but the brooch has been linked to the medal to keep them as a pair and I don’t really want to undo them. Connections are important, aren’t they?
And this one, too lovely not to share.