Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Summer lingers

Bright blue skies and balmy afternoons have treated us to a very easy start to the new term. No matter how old I am, early September always heralds a new year and a fresh start for me.
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.

28 comments:

HanneC said...

Oh no you´re not odd at all... I feel the same way and november is my favourite month of the year :-)

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Oh I do agree the woods are suddenly all mysterious again, I love that.

Glad the new term has started smoothly,

Love Sarah x

Serenata said...

I'm afraid I don't like the winter one little bit, especially the dark nights, I suffer from SAD so it will be time to get my light box out soon.
I loved your post though it did sound lovely and cosy.

Tabiboo said...

What a lovely posting. You've said it all and more with exactly the way I'm feeling at the moment and the pictures are absolutely perfect - thank you.

Have a lovely snuggly evening,

Nina x

Pomona said...

It has certainly turned chilly here this week - I don't like the dark evenings much, but I do love the thought of sitting in by the fire!

Pomona x

Hen said...

Lovely post, Steph, glad to hear all is going well in your part of the world. We've had torrential rain here today and it's been so dark, v miserable. Am finding it very hard to embrace the new season, I'm a real fair weather girl. That said, I have just ordered a tonne of coal (literally) because firetime is just round the corner, it seems.
Hen x

*Ulrike* said...

I love fall and really enjoyed reading what Susan Hill said about it. Truly it is a time to make sure you ae stocked up for we never know what winter will bring. Although here we usually stay mild during the winter and a few snow flurries makes everyone go ga ga!!!!

LittleGem said...

Oh I feel the exact same way, bonfires and dark afternoons mean christmas is getting closer :) beautiful photos in this post, is this your scrap/inspiration book? Its lovely! X Gem

Emily said...

I have "Through the Kitchen Window" on order - I love the section you quoted and can't wait to read it! I agree with your feelings about late autumn... such a delicious time of year :)

Fiona said...

Oh what an absolutely lovely and descriptive post. I love this time of year too and your wonderful list of what comes next filled me with excitement reading it. I too love those late autumn things. For me I can't wait for the autumn to arrive properly.

Karen said...

I am feeling just the same as you Steph as I love this time of year although those around me mourn the end of summer. I have replaced our basket of caps, sunglasses and beach stuff with cosy scarves and gloves and our wood pile is enormous. I agree with Woody - Sunday roasts will be on our menu again. Glad all is well with your lovely boys and school. Karenx

Faye 'Country Chic' said...

Hi Steph,
We too are settling into the new season here. We are currently in the process of starting the bathroom project and then onto the lounge... I cant wait to have an open fire in there. Sat reading by the fire is one of my favourite pleasures. I get excited when a new season begins and love to embrace it.
xFaye

The Curious Cat said...

I completely agree with you - I love autumn! I was actually thinking I am going to actively seek out lots of gorgeous autumn photos and do some sketches, make some soup and be sure to take lots of walks in the leaves!!! xxx

Gigi said...

Oh no, I don't think you're odd at all. I love autumn -- especially after our long hot summers. It's such a relief when the rains and cooler weather come. And I love the shorter days too. The long days of summer are tiresome somehow -- time for all to rest now, I think ;-).
Blessings,
G

Sara said...

Oh, how whole-heartedly i agree with this post! The words especially make me feel snuggly and autumnal. I'm excited for the twilight season!

Mountain Mom (Rachel) said...

You are a good writer. I'm telling you, Oprah needs to have you over to visit on her show. I'm sure tons of women everywhere would identify with you and enjoy your perspective and appreciation of meaningful, nice things. It is an exciting season coming for certain. The first leaves are changing here but I still can't quite feel that which you describe. Soon, soon. So happy all is well with you and best wishes always. It must be funny to get comments from regular readers whom you don't know but each time I check in, I enjoy your posts very much. Thanks.

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

Such a wonderful Autmn post...
It made me feel all cozy and warm!

ENJOY LIFE`S SIMPLE TREASURES,
DEBBIE MOSS

Mummy Boo Bear said...

Hi I am new to your blog, but had to comment on this post.

Its strange for years all I have ever heard from most people round and about, is how they love summer and heat etc. I have never been that way really. Summer (real summer) is my least favourite month. I hate being over hot.

My DH thinks I am quite mad when I get excited about the prospect of autumn then early winter. I love the dark afternoons/evenings. The smell of woodsmoke in the air the promise of halloween (I have to say not keen on bonfire night - too much of a wuss) then the count down to christmas. To emerge mid January with a hankering for Spring.

You have really struck a cord with me there.

Thank you for such a lovely post.


MBBx

periwinkle said...

I don't think I'm ready for the summer to go just yet .... but I love that picture of the sitting room, it really does look so cosy

Cottage45 said...

I don't at all think you're odd for loving the late autumn days. Fall and winter are my favorite times of the year.

Helen said...

Gorgeous post . . . . . Thank you I loved it!!

Hi! My name is erica. Would you be my friend? said...

I've always loved fall! We don't get the spectacular color on the trees here, but the sunlight has such a cozy glow and the air smells somehow different. I even welcome the darkness and rain (for about a month and then I'm ready for it to leave! lol)

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

What a lovely post. I too love the arrival of autumn. I especially like it on a crisp sunny day when the colours are changing and the trees are full of berries.
The fireplace is going to be used soon and the blankets are ready for those cooler evenings ahead.
The book that you mention sounds lovely, I wouldn't mind reading more of it.
Isabelle x

Leigh Shepherd said...

I think you have summed up my favourite season beautifully!
Lovely blog by the way:)

Lucey said...

I too love the arrival of autumn all those lovely rich colours. That picture looks like a page of my own journal full of autumnal pictures to savour.
, love Lucey x

funkymonkey said...

Hi Steph, pop over to my blog....I've got something for you.

Tracey

funkymonkey said...

Hi Steph,

sorry to hear you've been poorly. I hope you are soon on the mend. Yes please - could you let me have your details. You can leave it via my comments if you wish - as they are not published or I can let you have my e-mail address. I'll get your pressie in the post to you by the weekend. Hope you enjoy it. I'm sorry it took me so long to picking a name.

Take care

Tracey

Tinuviel Kruse said...

Curlew Country is sooo beautiful!
If you ever want to house-swap for an hour north of San Francisco?...

Thanks for giving a peek into your lovely home & town!