Sunday 1 October 2023

September Song.....

Well the title was actually appropriate when the new window display went in last week.  We have now tipped further into autumn which apparently officially started on September 23rd and I write this on October 1st.

We are enjoying a babi leto (Old Wives' Summer) here in the Czech Republic and the leaves are not yet showing much sign of flame. Other than in Small Worlds.....

I much enjoyed the delightful summer window installed by my granddaughter Annie, with the very necessary help of tall Salve, during their visit here in July, but I was beginning to feel increasingly uncomfortable with having a display that was about to become completely unseasonal. Autumn comes fast here and along with it come wonderful leaf colours and many mushrooms.  And we have supplies of those aplenty in the workrooms here, nicknamed The Stables since a hobby in Czech is a "pony". (My "pony" is definitely a horse by now....)

Butterfly was willing so we headed over to the museum to see what could be done with said supplies, many of which long time followers of the blog will have seen before.  But that was back in the mists of time - in  2013 and then again in 2015. Yes, this year saw the tenth anniversary of the opening of Small Worlds! Needless to say, even more supplies have been accumulated since then.  

We have had a very busy and successful season this year but by Friday 22nd it was quiet in Small Worlds so I headed into The Stables to find all I could that was even vaguely autumnal. In the meantime Butterfly dug around in the chest of artificial flowers at home and came up with a giant potato sack full of possibilities.

We went in before opening time on the Saturday morning, hoping too that it would stay quiet if we weren't finished by 11, which it helpfully did, and removed the previous display, leaving a blank windowsill to play with.

And this time Butterfly did nearly all of the playing, with me occasionally acting the part of a surgical assistant, handing her the necessary items as she built the scene.

In between I also restored the camp site to its previous home, following its removal from the window, and found a suitable balloonist to take the biggest of our new balloons to further heights at the other end of the room.  Oh, and added another picnic to the maxi beach display. (Yes, we also have a mini and a midi beach.....)


This is really a blogpost where the pictures more or less speak for themselves. Those who are particularly interested can head back through ancient history by following the links above and finding the previous incarnations of many of the items, but really everything looks pretty comfortable in its new venue.   Not all the gnomes made the cut this time, but those that did have a story to tell....

You will notice the preponderance of the (not entirely) deadly Amanita Muscaria, the Fly Agaric - the favoured fungus of children's drawings and fairy tales.  It actually will probably not kill you if you are foolish enough to devour it, but the Lapps living in reindeer country are rumoured to chew it in order to enjoy hallucinations of flying (no balloons perhaps?).  Here's the tale..... (well I was always told Lapps, not Siberian Shamans).

But in the Small Worlds Forest, the reason the gnomes are so busy gathering them is not for food for themselves or the hedgehogs, nor to enhance their flying capabilities (do gnomes fly actually?) but to remove them from the forest in order to save foolish humans from danger. 

All except this one that is......  

 - we suspect him of deliberately cultivating them in a far corner of the forest to serve his wicked ends of enticing those same humans into trouble.....

I find it very satisfying when we are able to reuse items to create something either completely, or somewhat, different. As I keep saying to museum visitors as they admire repurposed items such as a tooth serving as a miniature computer mouse, we never throw anything away. One example is the material acting as the necessary backdrop to the scene, needed because one cannot view from outside without one. 

The very cheap material first featured as table runners at my son's wedding way back in 2012. That was also created by Butterfly.....

I leave you with a few more photos (particularly of pet hedgehogs) and hope you have enjoyed this expedition into my favourite season as much as I have. 

And now I really leave you with, given the post title, the inevitable song to play you out.  (I have already used "If you go down in the woods today" in another blogpost, though I can't find where. Can't resist it though, straight from my childhood). 

September Song was my mother's favourite song, and it became one of mine. Until I sought it out again just now I had no idea it was written by Kurt Weill. Or that it has been covered by so many people, among them Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Perry Como, Liberace, Ute Lemper and Anjelica Huston. She is the granddaughter of the only person I can truly associate with the song, Walter Huston, for whom it was actually written in the 1930s. It always makes me cry but I don't love it the less for that...... 

My thanks to Butterfly for lending me her window-dressing/story-telling skills.   I wish you precious, golden autumn days and hope to see you again before Christmas. 


  1. what a beautiful window display! I love autumn days too.

    1. Good to see you Helen. You are such a faithful (and superfast!) follower x

  2. Splendid colours! There really is gno place like gnome 🍄
    Andrea xx

  3. What a great window display. I too love Autumn colours, and ours are very half-hearted so far this year.

  4. A very enjoyable visit and another wonderfully artistic window display! Thank you. x

  5. Butterfly did a great job, I knew that beforehand. I think some packaging material also features in the window (from a bigshot die machine?). And now waiting for the winter one.

    1. Certainly packaging material though not sure where from. You can use it for wonderful things. We save a lot of it! I too am looking forward to the winter window. We discussed it before I set off for the UK but it's very much in Butterfly's hands (wings?)