Tuesday, 24 August 2010
The Next Bit...
Today I scented my favourite time of year in the air: autumn spread her fingers into the breeze and scattered the sweet smells of fallen apples, ripening blackberries and that slight drift of woodsmoke from a distant bonfire. It isn't quite here I know, but I am ready for it particularly as our summer weather has been such a washout.
The little gnarled apple in front of Davey's writing room is bowed under the weight of her bounty; each year the ground she grows in feed and nurtures her thanks to the richness of the soil from running our hens there previously. At the time we worried about the damage to the roots from the incessant scratching of strong claws, but now the tree is returning to a health I have never seen since I have lived here and rewards us with copious amounts of cox-type apples.
The windfalls are scattering the ground and so today I gathered them up to turn into wine with the addition of a few damsons from our Merryweather - such a pretty name don't you think? - some blackfairies, lemon, orange, plump raisins and sugar. I love this alchemy where time turns such ingredients to wines, jams and rich, lustrous chutneys just filled with mouthwatering flavour.
This gathering and preserving is another of the things I love about autumn. I seem to have a need to hoard away whether it is food or wood for winter fires. Not sure what I think is going to happen, but I do know that we have the best time consuming the fruits of our labours and as for curling up by the fire, watching the flames as they curl of the chimney - well, what could really be better?
I also find the autumn brings a real creative surge for me. The chilly days mixed with hot sun seem to spark something inside and I find designs easy to conjure up. The turning colours of the landscape combined with the beautiful grasses shimmering everywhere I go somehow call to the me that sometimes gets a little lost in the busy fabric of everyday and I want to translate it into my work or to handle the tactile wools for knitting which I often find less appealing in the summer. Sewing for pleasure also becomes a desperate need, hence the recent acquisition of these gorgeous fabrics.
They are intended as a quilt for our bed, my first double quilt. A long term project methinks, especially as the build up to Christmas is already well underway and time will no doubt be even more precious.
The colours are soft raspberries, reds, creamy white and some beautiful mint green for contrast. As ever, my photos do no justice to the pretty tones.
And so, that is where I am at right now: thinking and planning and looking forward to the next bit. Enjoying the harvests from garden and hedgerow
Enjoying meals with the family round the table (in a kitchen transformed by proper lighting at last thanks to clever Mr Dave...woohoo!).
Enjoying batches of brownies slathered in thick gloopy custard.
Enjoying the children cooking up messes, from the eldest of the girls making rice crispy cakes
to the littlest of the girls making fairy cakes this morning with her mummy
to just gazing with delight as such beauty as this, just because...
How are you feeling just now? (and apologies to all who are desperately holding on to summer!). x