The boys seem to have settled into a new routine with relative calm, thankfully. Tiredness stalks the house and the sound of reality hitting home too with much talk "no more playing mummy! We have to do lessons all the time." Oh dear, bless. Our littlest chap is surprisingly happy to wear his brand new uniform and so far there have been no tears of distress which is the hugest of reliefs.My early morning peer down the valley each morning reveals the slide into a new season more and more every day. Rising mists above the river, shot through with pale, golden sunshine and the occasional curlew or skein of geese heading over the hills.
For two weeks now the weather here has been truly beautiful. Not hot enough for a true Indian summer but still and warm with hardly a breath of wind or a drop of rain. Change will come though, there's a sense of waiting in the air as the valley prepares for the thrashing gales that will probably herald the arrival of the equinox next week. We sit in a harsh frost pocket here and before long the morning view will sparkle with hoar.
So I'm getting myself ready, cupboards have been cleared, old/unwanted broken toys, long read books and too small/too old clothes delivered to the relevant recycling place. The freezer is stocked with stock plus summer fruits for autumn crumbles and requests made for a regular Sunday lunchtime roast by he who does not usually give a fig for food (Woody).
Outside the sun still shines but eiderdowns are back on the beds and winter curtains up at the windows. I adore this feeling of preparation, burrowing in and waiting. Susan Hill sums up the beginning of Autumn beautifully in "Through The Kitchen Window", a little gem of a book with gorgeous illustrations that for fill me with joy whatever the season.
Autumn cooking is for storing, squirreling and hoarding, in larder and cupboard, attic and cellar and freezer.
In mornings, a mist rises and wreathes in and out between the tree trunks. On the damp ground lie windfall apples and pears, burrowed into by late wasps. By noon, the sun is high, and it is warm.
The leaves are beginning to yellow and curl. Runner bean flowers are shrivelling at the tops of their poles. Fruits hang thickly clustered from their stems, over-ripe, ready to fall, plums and damsons, apples and pears, rowan and elderberries and dark succulent brambles.
But I'm a little bit odd because its the bit that comes next I love the most, late autumn, dark afternoons, fog, bare trees, fireworks, pumpkins, toffee apples, cosy firesides and the roll down hill to festiveness. But for now...I can wait.