1. to cheerfully make something come to fruition: to buttle the kettle on
Used reflexively to describe cheerful action: we buttled ourselves a day out to the seaside
We often talk about ‘buttling’ here, and I do realise it’s not technically a word. However, it’s a word in our house. I suspect it comes from watching too much Jeeves and Wooster (and I do also realise Jeeves was a valet (and also imaginary) and not a butler – I didn’t say it was rational).
The concept of buttling is a good one, indicating cheerful activity. Making a cup of tea is cheerful; buttling a cup of tea for yourself and someone else is altogether more jolly don’t you think? Going up to bed for a nice snooze is good; buttling yourself off to bed is quite a lot more satisfying. ‘Can you make us a risotto darling?’ is a perfectly acceptable request; ‘Can you buttle a risotto darling?’ makes the whole thing more of an event. Dogs buttle themselves on walks, and occasionally into all kinds of mischief. Birds buttle themselves a nice big seed from the bird table. I’m sure you understand. Give it a try. You’ll be buttling left right and centre in no time at all.
I actually came in here to tell you all about my weekend, following a request from Fay. Fay has been pottering this weekend (also a marvellous concept, and one I frequently indulge in myself), and since I too love nosying into people’s lives, I was inspired to join her in writing about my weekend in the hope that some other people would too, and then I could go and be nosey at what they were doing. (Incidentally, Fay’s dog Peedie has a walk which is the very essence of buttling).
So… The weekend started with a flute lesson, which was rather unhelpfully full of giggling (and it’s not easy to giggle and play flute at the same time). Then off to a friend’s house to attack that pesky so-called rabbit with a pair of scissors.
Saturday mornings start relatively early round here these days. At 8.45 (bleurgh) I was walking through the park past that lovely duck pond at the top of the post, ready to start the weekly parkrun. Parkruns really are the Most Excellent thing, a free, weekly timed 5k race, held simultaneously all round the country, and run by volunteers. 261 people at ours this week! Inevitably, I run at the back, with a lovely fella who’s nearly 70 and has had a triple heart bypass. I try to keep up with him. He cajoles me into a sprint finish, then stands aside while I pass through the finish line ahead of him. A true gentleman.
After a couple of laps of the park, we go our respective ways,eagerly awaiting the email that says ‘congratulations! You were 260th out of a field of 261 runners!’ Next week he’s talked me into a 10k.
Feeling all virtuous after the run, I generally head off to the Women’s Institute cafe for tea and a well deserved bit of cake. This week was a rather delectable vanilla sponge, which, surprisingly, I didn’t take a photo of. After lunch, I spent more time poking the pesky not-quite-a-rabbit, until a friend phoned, and asked if I’d meet her in the wool shop.
I’m not entirely sure how I didn’t buy any wool. In my defence, the shop was small and there were a lot of people in it, and despite all the fabulous colours I was quite keen to be in a larger space.
Fortunately my friend and her family had buttled a couple of cakes for me (you see how cheery that word is it is??), and we sat in the sunshine while her daughter collected leaves.
After waving goodbye and dispensing some (probably entirely useless) sewing advice to another friend over the telephone, the day ended in a satisfyingly ordinary way with food, bath, and bed (none of which I have pictures of, fortunately).
I feel like today has been rather more full of activity, but having just written about all the things that happened yesterday, I’m not quite so sure! Weekends are generally pretty evenly split around here. Saturday tends to be pottering about, days out, visiting friends kind of days, whereas Sundays tend to be more staying at home, pottering about, maybe visiting friends. That does make them sound rather similar, but the two days seem to take on a different character each week, I can’t really explain it…
Anyway, this Sunday started quietly.
I’m usually first up on a Sunday, probably because I’m first up every other day and I tend to wake up earlier. I buttle myself a cup of tea, and sit in my new favourite place by the kitchen window. This seat was an accident, we moved it here temporarily while we fitted the new front door, and I absolutely love it, so for now it stays. I usually light the candle in the oil burner, and drink my tea while watching the birds and the people walking past in the street.
After an hour or so of doing not very much, I’ll put the kettle on again, and buttle us both a cup of tea to drink in bed.
It’s taken me a long time to appreciate the cosiness of getting up and then going back to bed again, but I reckon I’ve finally managed it, especially on a Sunday.
Eventually, one or the other of us will suggest that maybe we should get up properly, and inevitably the other one will suggest that perhaps it might be quite nice to go out for breakfast, or, more accurately, brunch (or let’s be honest and just call it lunch shall we?)
Our favourite cafe calls, of course, and today we spent an hour or so in there, munching, drinking tea, and watching everyone else.
It’s on the other side of town, this cafe, and while we were over there we had a little detour to a couple of antique shops.
I tend to treat antique shops kind of like museums. I’m afraid I generally don’t buy very much (other than perhaps a cake in the cafe, but not today), but I do so love poking around and looking at old things. Like I said, I’m nosey.
After all that heavy duty buttling, we arrived home like a pair of toddlers after a day at the zoo – tired, slightly cranky, and in desperate need of a sit down and a bit of Quiet Time.
Good job we put that chair by the kitchen window.
Another half an hour of idling staring out of the window and drinking (more) tea, and I was ready for a little more buttling.
Off out into the garden this time, to collect some more tomatoes that were just about turning red. These tomatoes have been an absolute miracle – they arrived in the post from Fay months ago, and I can only imagine she breathed some kind of magic fairy dust into them, because I’m pretty sure that nothing I’ve done to them since has encouraged them to survive. But there they are, there’s still plenty of green ones left too, and it’s nearly November for goodness sake! Fairy dust – the only answer.
Tomato-collecting dutifully done, I toddled round to the other side of the garden, to sort out the bench/planter thing outside the back door. I’ve had a couple of pots of ivy and some violas sitting out there for a week or two, drying up and getting pot bound, and it really was time to do something sensible with them. However, I started digging the soil, and realised the whole of the bottom the planter had fallen through! Pah! In a fit of over-enthusiasm I helped the rest of it to break up into pieces, and then it was suggested that it might be more useful if we rebuilt it, so I left that to the resident expert, and came inside to deal with my dried herbs instead.
I’ll write a separate post about these, this is the first time I’ve dried herbs and I’m really rather thrilled with the result, which we sampled in a very tasty sage and mushroom risotto this evening.
Once the planter was rebuilt, I headed back outside and was absolutely astonished to find it was nearly dark! How on earth did that happen? I was convinced I had til at least 7pm, but clearly not. I wasted at least ten minutes of the last bit of light trying (and failing) to get a decent photo of the ivy I’d just planted, and resorted instead to taking a picture through the kitchen window again – this time from the outside looking in.
So there you have it. We buttled ourselves a nicely jolly weekend, and enjoyed it immensely. I’m off to peer over Fay’s garden fence and tell her all about it.
How about you, did you get up to much?