This month started in Sicily, where we spent a week after the dissertation was handed in. Since we returned home it is almost unfathomable how much has happened, now I sit and think of it. Shortly after our return The Husband's grandfather passed away. It was not unexpected, but perhaps sooner than anticipated. It was only a few days later, following an assessment in London, that The Husband was told he was now fully qualified in his profession, following fifteen exams and three years of studying, whilst also working. The celebrations were understandably a little bittersweet, coming as they did so soon after such a loss.
In September we have also started taking Italian lessons, the second of which was tonight. It has been good to be back in the classroom, and as the classes are held at a local school, I mean that literally as well as figuratively. As The Husband and I met in school, it has been quite funny to sit next to him in "lessons" again, and it's nice to have something planned together each week.
We have also begun puppy obedience classes, although we haven't been back yet as we didn't feel Millie had learnt enough since the first class to go back. Next Saturday is the day! Millie is keeping us, and the wider family, busy! She is incredibly beautiful but certainly has a strong personality. We are making some progress with puppy training and she has definitely settled right in. We took her to the beach recently and she thoroughly enjoyed the sand, but wasn't so sure of the sea.
As well as my dissertation viva, I have started back at work full time, and we are slowly getting accustomed to the new pace of things. We have also had a number of birthdays, including The Husband's, to celebrate. I have been trying to make more of an effort to cook more on a daily basis, so I have also been trying to meal plan and shop for specific recipes. So far it is working well and we are having a much greater variety of meals, rather than the same few old faithfuls on rotation.
In the last week I have seen a NTLive screening of Othello at the local cinema which was fabulous. We are booked to watch the repeat screening of Frankenstein at Halloween too, which I am very excited about! I studied both texts at A-Level, but have never seen either performed, and it made me want to search out my old essays and re-read them all. I also saw an incredible production of All My Sons at The Royal Exchange. This was the other extreme, as it was a play I had never read, never seen and knew very little about. It was a phenomenal performance with a really strong cast, and made for a great night out with my lovely mum. A few weeks ago we also saw Daniel Kitson's new production "Tree" at the Royal Exchange. This had quite a different feel from his solo work, as it was a two part production, but it was no less brilliant than we expected. We have seen a few of Daniel Kitson's pieces over the years, having first seen him at Latitude Festival in 2010, and he never disappoints. My mum and stepdad went to watch on another night, and I was nervous as it was on our recommendation. I needn't have been, they loved it.
Actually, now I think of it, it isn't surprising that September has gone so fast, being as full as it was. I love this time of year and the gradual transition from new term optimism, to festive excitement, all with the promise of a new year just beyond. It is so easy to pass through the days, months and years and feel that time is rushing by. One of the unexpected joys of having a dog is the fact that it forces me to be outside more than I would, and in doing so I feel much more aware of time passing, weather changing and nature shifting seasons. It punctuates the days, ensuring a chance to notice, and appreciate, life.