I know it is a terribly English thing, to talk about the weather, but really, it is like living on a meteorological see-saw at the moment! A week or so ago the mornings were cool and crisp, and it was positively autumnal. Days later the sun was blisteringly hot, real ice-cream weather, and autumn seemed months and months away. Now it is showering with rain and the trees are shivering again!
Last night, I was washing up at about half past eight, when I noticed that it was almost dark. Almost imperceptibley, the nights have started drawing in. I am fighting the urge to get out the slow cooker and start cooking stews and baked apples, and light cinnamon scented candles. As you know, autumn is one of my favourite times of year, but as much as I love it, it is August! The proper place for autumn is mid-late September!
All the seasons seem to be coming early this year…we had an early spring, an early summer, and now it looks like Autumn is coming before it really should. I wonder what comes next? If Winter is here early too, will we start next year before the calendar runs out? Or if we are lucky, perhaps we will have an Indian Summer, and then a gloriously long and crisp Autumn that will mellow gently into a toe-tingling winter.
I know too, that I say this every year, but it does seem to me that Christmas comes to the shops earlier and earlier. Yesterday, I needed to buy a wedding anniversary card for my sister, and a wedding card for this Saturday, and as soon as I walked into the card shop I was confronted by a huge display of Christmas cards! The first Christmassy-ness that I have seen in the shops so far. I don’t know if I should be relieved that it was not even earlier, or a little sad that it is a third of the year too early!
Sometimes I feel a little hypocritical, talking about not liking Christmas in the shops when I craft throughout the year, and buy gifts to squirrel away. But, and here is the big but, the things I make are not overtly Christmassy. I am currently crocheting a Union Jack cushion, and the only thing Christmassy about it is when it is going to be given. I will be making pots of pear and vanilla jam later in the month, and again, nothing Christmassy about that, in fact, you couldn’t really get more seasonal…it is just what they are destined for. And after all, my getting ready for Christmas does not affect anybody else, whereas cramming the shops so early affects everybody who walks through their doors.
But enough of this, I realise I am sounding quite grumpy, when really, I am not at all. Time for another pot of tea, I think! So just a little roundup of the past few days…Saturday was glorious and will get a post all of its own. We went to a sumptuous hotel to celebrate my Aunt and Uncle’s Ruby Wedding Anniversary, had a divine meal and then spent time with the family which was just blissful. Sunday was a gentle drifting day, and yesterday I cooked Watercress Soup with Smoked Salmon Toasts for tea which worked well. I watched an episode of Countrywise Kitchen set in Essex, and saw the very place Carl and I met – Mersea Island, also the wonderful Springstep Goat Farm where we have enjoyed several afternoon teas, and admired tiny wobbly-legged newborn goat kids. It was lovely to see these places through a lens, somehow the colours of the salt marshes and wide expanses of sky seemed even more beautiful.
I am spending the afternoon with a friend…we have a small trip to Hobbycraft planned, and then I am cooking dinner for us and another friend and her friend, before an evening trip to the cinema (hurrah for cinema loyalty cards, and enough points for a free ticket!) Somehow it is nearly half past nine, so it is time I set to the kitchen to work out what to cook for tea tonight for us all. One can’t eat wheat, one can’t eat dairy, and another only likes peas and sweetcorn. Time to get creative!
Wherever you are, I hope you have more sunshine than showers today