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


  1. Hey Pipany,

    No need to apologise for your autumnal musings. I too am a autumn/winter girl. The cosying up, jumpers, chilly walks nature's changing landscape and of course not forgetting the yummy comfort food!

    It funny because this year I was actually looking forward to summer. Spending time with my girls before going back to school in the autumn. And I have although it has been a little mismatched weather wise. But you can definately feel autumn's arrival in the air. A gentle reminder of what's to come.

    Lovely post as always. Love the photo's and that roast dinner really does look yummy.

    And those fabrics will look gorgeous in a quilt. Look forward to seeing that!

    MBB x

  2. As always beautiful, all of it and you all too. Lovely long catch up with your activities and family antics.
    *Sighs* Scotland has been nowhere near as sunny and I haven't been anywhere near as good as blogging as I used to be nor reading them for that matter. You put us to shame!

  3. I love the passage to autumn too - such a wonderful season. But to be honest I love all the changes of seasons and the promise of new things to come.

  4. What an especially beautifully worded post Pipany. I AM holding on to summer but, more so than last year, I can see the delights of the season to cme. I'm hoping to taste some too, and our first damsons have just been picked from the Devil's Dyke. Exciting.

  5. I really enjoyed reading your post Pipany, it encapsulated all that I love about the Autumn. Every day I find myself eager for "the next bit".
    Bertie x

  6. Well, I'm excited as I'll be dipping my toe in the Pipany household soon (3 more sleeps!!) Please tell the girls they're welcome to practice their cake making skills in my presence, I could be official taster!!

    Love all the harvesting...including fabric!

    See you soon.
    Love D and W xx

  7. Beautiful post, Pipany, but I must say those gorgeous fabrics and, of course, those delicious brownies have captured my heart. Your quilt is going to be quite pretty.

  8. Lovely post pipany.
    I think we all enjoyed making 'crispy cakes' when we were little..did'nt we?! x

  9. really enjoyed this post altho i hate letting go of summer

  10. I never used to be an autumn person and am still really someone who sings for spring, but I am coming round!

  11. Dear Pipany,

    Your posts are a delight to the senses - whatever the season! I have to say I am one of those still clinging to summer but I love the change of seasons as well and summer to autumn is my favourite - after winter to spring!!

    Just caught a quick glimpse of Isabella in a rather fetching hat - off to have a good catch up with your summer days.


  12. Oh, Pipany! What a beautiful post! What precious prose! The September muse has visited you early, too, I see. Happy, happy days in my favorite time of year. Your words capture it perfectly.

    Your fabrics are so happy. If it were me, I'd just keep staring at them and moving them around and just treasuring them a little. They're REALLY pretty. Your wine sounds delightful (that IS the word for it), too.

    Warm, cozy, sheltered, happy family thoughts are being sent your way.

    Love, Katy Noelle.

  13. Pipany, I am another autumn fan. If I could go outdoors and pick such apples off the grass, and have a garden that also told such beautiful seasonal tales, I think that I'd be an autumn super-fan. The gentle arrival of harvest times is pretty wonderful to observe, close up.

    Thank you for your marvelous photos, that do give me a bit of a close up. (And that rosy fabric bound for quilt-dom is perfect.)


  14. I am now feeling very hungry...lovely yummy photos Pipany x

  15. Well I WAS holding on to Summer, but I seem to have let go slightly and the gale force winds and rain of autumn have crept in with a vengeance.

    This stockpiling of the fruits and goodness of Summer is the only way to hold on to it now.

    Lovely pictures.

    Sue xx

  16. I love the autumn too....the gathering of berries and apples, the making of chutneys and pickles, and of course just around the corner is christmas.....my favourite time of the year. Your photo's are truly beautiful and I just love the fabric....
    florrie x

  17. Oh I can't wait for autumn, but I do get a bit frustrated if there's a return to hot summer weather when we're almost in October. Warm I like, hot I don't - especially when I'm wearing woolies!

    What delicious things you've been cooking up and such delicious fabrics. Can't wait to see that quilt!
    love Stephx

  18. I love the changing of the seasons and am always ready to enjoy the next one! You capture autumn beautifully, with your lovely photos - and your quilt will be so pretty, I look forward to seeing its progress.
    Helen x

  19. I totally enjoyed this post, your writing, photos and the dream of autumn. I am so ready for it! It has been so hot this year in the southern US! I have enjoyed your photos of the ocean this summer, though. Thanks!

  20. Autumn is definitely my favourite season. I love cosying in, wearing woolies and drinking hot chocolate in front of the fire. I always look forward to summer and yet feel glad when it's over. Maybe because it's usually a disappointment? Lovley post again Pip.


  21. Such enchanting photos ... I love that raspberry pink fabric so much! (but am involved in a Challenge which means actually using the fabric I already have!) Not a bad idea I have to admit. Good luck with your sure-to-be beautiful quilt ...