Monday, 4 August 2014

Late summer


We've been doing a lot of walking lately (we always do, of course. It's Our Thing). And I know I blog about being an autumnophile. New word? Apparently not: I just Googled it. Seems it's the autumnal equivalent of this. We've visited that topic a few times too.

So, today. After a weekend of crazily changeable weather, Joe and I went out in the August sunshine for several hours' worth of fresh air, a running commentary (me) and a lot of excited chatter (him). It was warm and balmy but when the wind blew, there was just something. The merest suggestion of the seasons changing.


Yes, there are still roses (but they go on flowering - in some cases - right through into the winter, don't they?) and the leaves aren't turning quite yet. But it was as though something was there amongst the trees. Hiding, waiting. 


Regular visitors to my little corner of the internet will also be aware of my list-making tendencies, and that I did say I'd write down what I love about autumn. The things which, as we reach late summer, I start to get excited about. Little rituals I look forward to.


So here's my list. It will no doubt be added to (in my notebook) as the weeks go on and autumn gets ever closer. My favourite things about the summer waning and the softer season creeping in*:

Parkin ~ Blackberry picking ~ Crumble making ~ Fungi spotting ~ Birds gathering to migrate ~ Pumpkins, gourds and squash ~ Woolly jumpers ~ Leaves turning ~ Warm bedding and extra blankets ~ Bonfires ~ Hot baths ~ Apple season ~ Halloween ~ Treacle toffee ~ Conkers ~ Thermals ~ Chrysanthemums ~ Scarves, hats and gloves ~ Storm watching ~ Cheese on toast ~ The smell of damp earth and leaf mould ~ September new starts ~ Mulled wine (I'm starting early) ~ Woolly tights and socks ~ Haws and rosehips ~ Rice pudding ~ Buying (and savouring) the October issue of Country Living ~ Hot chocolate ~ Misty mornings ~ Stubble in the fields ~ Soup ~ Cobwebs ~ Toffee apples  ~ Getting lost in a novel ~ Candlelight ~ Fireworks ~ Black peas ~ Potato pie ~ The smell of woodsmoke ~ Bread and butter pudding.


I've put together a Pinterest board here; I'm such an autumn enthusiast I happily add to it all year long. You see, I'm also a sensualist. Apparently that's a typical Taurean trait. Not too sure where I stand regarding astrology but I'm also stubborn and methodical so there does seem to be something in it.

Autumn is a month which appeals to my senses in so many ways.


This past week I've indulged in one or two autumnal activities already. I stewed some lovely red plums with cinnamon and star anise, and yesterday evening Jay informed me he'd made a discovery 'just around the corner'. We wandered out, the three of us, to the top of the road and down a little lane. And lo and behold: the biggest patch of blackberries I've ever seen.

These were no ordinary blackberries either. Not like the tight little red knots in the picture above. No, they were huge and blue-black and seemingly taking over the entire place. A ten minute picking session yielded over a kilo of fruit. There are lots and lots left still.

Even Jay had to admit he's starting to get into the whole foraging thing.

For me it's not about the thrill of food for free. Of course I like the idea of fresh, local and natural pickings. But to me foraging offers a means of connecting with nature and of charting time through the year; bookmarking the seasons almost. So up next: blackberry crumble cake and possibly some jam or jelly. Oh, and clafoutis. Always wanted to try making that.


I hope you're enjoying the final weeks of summer. September's generally mild and warm in these parts so it should be a gentle transition between the seasons. What do you love about autumn, and what heralds the start of it for you?

*Darker nights also mean the possibility of seeing into people's houses (if they're considerate enough to leave the curtains slightly open). Maybe nosiness is a Taurean trait too but at least I'm honest!

25 comments:

  1. A great list of autumnal things to do!! I look forward to hearing more about what you get up to! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy... I suspect a lot of it will involve cooking (and eating)!
      S x

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  2. Now I've read your list I want it to be autumn right now, and I want to make my own list -brilliant idea.

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    1. Thanks Sue! I hope you do... I recently bought (another) new notebook and it's getting filled with similar stuff at a rate of knots.

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  3. But not quite yet... I like to look through lighted windows as well, it always looks so cosy. I hope you enjoy the end of the summer, CJ xx

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    1. We did a walk yesterday actually and it was hot, but a warm breeze across the hills reminded me of holidays abroad - it felt blissful!
      S x

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  4. i feel like every season has it's own abundance of qualities, but autumn is the one I hold most dear...it's a sensualist's dream.

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    1. I think it's the damp earth scent that appeals the most, somehow. I love that.

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  5. I love every single thing about this post and intend to have a very similar list for Autumn. It is by far my favourite season and that hint of something, I felt it this week too and got beyond excited about the prospect. Don't get me wrong, I love summer but I think it's that change in the seasons that I relish even more.
    Hope you're having a wonderful week!
    x

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    1. Hi Eleanor! Nice to meet outside of Twitter...
      We are having a lovely week but the rain's here today so it's wrap-up time. I hope you do put an autumn list together and share it, I'd love to see (I suspect we may love similar aspects of the seasons)!
      S x

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  7. What a lovely idea, the list that is. Autumn has a special place in my heart probably because it is the season of my birthday. Thank you for the reminder that it is blackberry season, although I think it will be a few more weeks until they are ready here, they are one of my favourite to forage for :)

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    1. Enjoy! Ours were growing alongside some large and lethal-looking nettles but it was worth the stung fingers :)

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    2. PS I only removed the previous comment because I published the same one twice. I'm blaming my phone!
      S :)

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  8. I think Autumn is my favourite season too. Partly because St Ives stops being crazy town. I love all the hedgerow gathering, and drawing in. I love the colours and the smell. I love swapping flip flops for wellies. I love wrapping up. I love those days when the weather pulls out all the stops. We still have glorious weather here in the South West, but the sense of change is in the air. A beautiful post, and a lovely list.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Thanks Leanne! A deserted beach is a wonderful thing... so are wellies!
      S x

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  9. I've had a bit of a jolt reading this post. Your photos really do look autumnal. Wow. It's starting around here too. My pyracantha hedge is looking a little yellow because the berries are just starting to turn. Autumn is my favorite season of all, though, and I'm always ready to welcome it with open arms when it comes.

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    1. Hi Jennifer! I love how - through blogging - we can have an insight into what's going on in other people's gardens and homes all over the world. And I'm glad you're a fellow autumnophile!
      Sarah.

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  10. It feels like I've just got used to the idea of it being summer and now we're heading into Autumn. I love Autumn too and look forward to using the blackberries, apples, plums and pears growing in our garden.

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  11. Love that list! I so agree, there's just something special about autumn - the colours, cooler weather, darker nights, spiced food and coffee, being warm and toasty in bed instead of hot and sticky. But I think it's when that indefinable and unmistakable whiff hits the nostrils that really says summer's over.

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  12. Crazily I was born in May but always always love the next 4 months for the scents, tastes, touches and emotions of autumn. And the little undercurrent that is Christmas just around the corner....

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  13. I love your list. So many things there to enjoy - especially blackberry gathering and peeping into other people's houses!

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  14. I'm looking forward to the coming of autumn and darker evenings. Lovely after all that heat.

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  15. I love the list! So many lovely things to enjoy! And also looking into people's living rooms....not that I'm nosy or anything of course :-) xx

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  16. Oh how I love autumn. I can feel the change too. So exciting! You list has so many of my favourite things on it. Just spent a happy few minutes perusing your Pinterest board. Pleased to find you there! Bee xx

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