First day of October today?????? Is it really?????? Crumbs. Who'd have thought it?!
We are experiencing an extraordinary late summer heat wave here in the UK this week. The skies've been summer-blue and there's been real heat in the sun these past few days, very unusual for this time of year. It's felt absolutely wonderful actually, like a precious and unexpected gift. It was my heart felt wish for summer to linger just a little longer, and it feels like my wish came true, I'm sending up my thanks to the Cosmos!
September in general has felt decidedly Autumnal though, and I've noticed some beautiful seasonal colours around and about.
The trees are very slowly losing their fresh summer greens, and there has been the crisp scent of Autumn in the air.
The light has been incredible too, very mellow and golden.
As ever I continue to enjoy my calendar pictures, they deliver a very sweet and seasonal message.
They say :: Harvest and Make things! Gather and preserve!
I love the idea of making preserves, of gathering produce and brewing up jars of tasty condiments. But truthfully I am not one of those people who does kitchen stuff involving dough or thermometers. I avoid things that have potential to Fail Miserably. Failing to rise, or failing to set, nope, better not to go there in the first place.
However, when one is presented with Natures Harvest one is morally obliged to do something with it don't you think? It would be so rude and wasteful not to. So when blackberries and windfall apples were given to us I bravely swallowed my fear of jam making and got stuck in. And, dear readers, it was a resounding success and I magically produced two jars of bramble and apple jam.
These weeny crab apples were given to us when we were down in Dorset and for a week or two after our return they sat in the kitchen making me feel burdened. But after the jam-making success, I decided to have a go at making some crab apple jelly from a recipe I found on the internet (and I am very sorry I've just tried to search for it but cannot for the life of me find it). The recipe seemed easy enough and basically involved apples, lemon juice and sugar. Oh, and a muslin bag thingy for straining the juice from the apples.
It worked out just fine, and lo and behold I produced a jar of beautiful golden jelly. I felt ridiculously proud of myself I can tell you, and even had some stirring thoughts about aiming to conquer my fear of yeast products in the near future. Maybe that'll be Octobers challenge.
September has seen me very busy within my four walls as I continue to work on my newly established Home-loving routines. This past week I've been concentrating on the living room, just one hour a day and no more. I've been pulling out all the furniture, re-arranging shelves, cleaning windows, de-cobwebbing the coving, showering my houseplants (!) and generally giving this much-used living space a good dose of love. I am really enjoying this new approach to keeping house and I'm finding the one-hour-a-day thing suits me very well. It's just enough time to achieve results without it taking over or becoming a chore. I can highly recommend it.
But with the sky being soooooo blue this week and the sun feeling sooooo warm, I've been relishing my outdoor Morning time too.
I've enjoyed not one but two trips out to Bolton Abbey with various friends this week. Taking Little B to explore the dappled sunlit woodlands has been sooo enjoyable, he loves to walk and explore and you can fair see the happiness radiating out of his little body as he potters about making discoveries. He learnt about the sneaky tripping-up nature of tree roots the hard way. He also learnt that Bolton Abbey Ducks are not afraid of little children and will come and steal food from their hands if they don't pay attention. He also learnt that splashing in cold river water can be lots of fun once one acclimatises one's little feet to the temperature. Thank goodness for baby crocs.
We went to visit the Money Trees, and made our secret little wishes on the ancient coins. Well that's to say that I did, I'm not sure a one year old is capable of making financial wishes.
The trees at Bolton Abbey were still looking remarkably green and lush for September actually, still very much more Summer than Autumn up in the canopy.
The view from the Attic Window throughout September has really looked very Autumnal though. There's been that subtle change in the light and colours that defines the Autumn lanscape.
Take a look......................................
The second picture from the end was taken one afternoon following a very heavy rain storm, I remember how incredible the light was that day. September did see a lot of rain mid month, and I was even forced to dig out my wellies at one point. But overall, it's been a wonderful transition month, a kind of Summer-Autumn-backtoSummer hybrid. It's allowed me to ease gently out of Summer mode and step gently into Autumn mode. In fact I feel rather excited by Autumn this year which is very unusual, me being a Summer Girl through and through.
Yes, I think October's going to be a terrific month. Bring it on. I'm ready.