Thursday, 22 September 2011
Officially today is the first day of Autumn and already Autumn is creeping imperceptibly into the house. At about half past three in the afternoon, a chill begins to permeate everywhere (that is unless you are one of those people who have their central heating on all day), however much sunlight has been streaming through the windows. The smell of apples and onions hangs around as both are being stored for winter and more and more casseroles appear on our lunch table, served with thick slices of bread to mop up the gravy. The log basket in the utility room empties quite quickly and needs refilling so there is always bark debris to sweep up around the basket and the smell of logs is there too - different smells depending on which wood is being put out - sometimes hawthorn, sometimes holly and sometimes crab apple at the moment.
We have taken to eating our afternoon tea from a tray in the room where the wood burner is. We eat our sandwiches and cake while watching 'Antiques Road Trip' (how sad is that?) and by the time the News has finished it is time to draw the curtains because the nights have suddenly drawn in. That getting darker always happens suddenly doesn't it - and it always catches us unawares.
In the garden the last few roses are putting on a fine show and will continue to do so until one morning we shall come down stairs to find the cobwebs covered in sparkling white frost and then the roses will die. That, for me, is always the last sign of Autumn.
I suppose the most famous line which sums up Autumn has got to be 'Season of mists and yellow fruitfulness' - because it certainly says a lot in such a few words. Poor John Keats never had a chance to reach the autumn of his life, dying as he did in Rome at the age of only twenty-five from that scourge of the age - tuberculosis.
I wonder what a wealth of poetry he would have written had he lived longer.