All day today the rain has poured and brooding, bruised looking clouds have scudded low over the fields. There were plans for a bike ride along a valley track with my friends but by 9 o'clock the rain had come and we decided to save it for a brighter day.
Sunday stretched out ahead with lots of niggly household tasks beginning to pile up. Our new kitchen is fitted at long last, but it doesn't quite feel like home yet as there's a few things to finish (pictures very soon.) But then Woody lifted up his head and said "I thought we could go out for lunch. How about the Black Lion?"
Bingo! Woody recently got the restaurant reviewing gig for the paper which is a very exciting but we're usually restricted to places closer to the city. But he know that the pub had already been photographed during another job so brilliantly we could have our Sunday lunch on the newspaper.
Lucky us. And it was smashing. The Black Lion is a favourite pub of ours, all low ceilings, ancient faded black and white pictures covering the walls, open fire and a real range, decent grub and local ales, a serious darts league and rarely busy. Basically a proper village pub.
Today it was just the cosiest place to be while the rain hammered down. We met a lovely American family who were staying in Leek to trace their family roots back in Butterton. They were great company and we talked about local heritage and industry and how the weather where they're from (Seattle) is just like here.
Lunch was super. Good home cooking, nothing fancy, perfect.
The boys wanted to try the pool table but I was itching for a stroll around this lovely village which is the place I'd definitely choose to live if we could. It's only a few miles from home and easy enough to get to town...one day!
Luckily the rain has eased up so I had a lovely wander up and down the lanes with the dripping trees for company. There's is something about Autumn that completely captivates me. It's the textures, the colours, the scent of it. Everywhere woodsmoke curled from chimneys and hung heavy in the damp air. A week ago summer was still here but now we're firmly in my favourite season.
This is the time when I almost want time to stop, or slow right down so I can enjoy every change, every day, watch the bracken rust away, the leaves burnish and the drama build.
I love Butterton's different cottages, farms and houses. Some are new, some tiny, some rambling.
My head's full of the most lovely autumn imagery now, it should last me all week!