Monday, 12 August 2013

Early Signs

Late summer is upon us and with it the very first signs that early autumn is hard on it's heels.  The skies grow darker ever earlier in the evenings; the air is cooler in the mornings and the clouds form impressive formations over land and sea.  Robust lambs roam the fields looking larger and hardier than their mothers.  Swifts and swallows cut through the air with scythe-like wings, hoovering up the insects with wide-open beaks and mile upon mile of brambles begin to show the colours of autumn as their berries turn from hard green to deep red, burgundy and black.

 Autumn is, arguably, the best season of the year.  I know many people who would agree with that.  Have a look at Pinterest to see how many boards there are with this season as the focus.  At this time of year we begin to turn our attentions from the garden, beaches and country lanes to indoors; our hobbies, comfort cooking and evenings curled up with a good book and hot cup of tea.  We are not quite ready for woolly jumpers and cocoa yet, but it serves as a prelude to the bitterest months of the year.

There are hopefully many gorgeous days to be had yet, but there is a tangible element of something shifting and making ready.

  The summer holidays continue without any structure; the days merge into each other and become unidentifiable as individuals.  We have no routine; we take each day as it comes and rarely plan far ahead.  We are now half way through and I am starting to get cabin fever.  After what will be three months without a day alone, I am quite honestly looking forward to September!  I need to have structure and routine in my life again and to have a purpose, but the holidays make it possible to feel that way and I am very lucky to be at home with my children in order to become bored in the first place.

The last few weeks have been punctuated by sleep-overs.  I am not a big fan of them as it usually means I have to be involved somehow, but thankfully now my children are older they tend to sort themselves out, providing I have given them all a nice tea first.  H2 has his friend here now and they are presently making a den in the dining room, having blown up two camping mattresses accompanied by a lot of noise and excitement.  They spent half an hour playing Michael Jackson videos on YouTube whilst I was making tea, then the Lego came out then we took the dogs in the field and had a run about before the rain sent us scurrying indoors again.

Pea and H1 are now a bit old for sleepovers and largely hang about the cottage either baking or just hanging about without purpose.  It is good for them to do this as they will both have a few busy years ahead once school life starts again.  So I am not bothered that they appear to be wasting time, they need to rest and they can always be persuaded to push the Hoover about a bit or drag a cloth around the kitchen.

The sorting and tidying bug got hold of me this week and would not let go until I had de-cluttered at least two rooms and a cupboard.  It took most of the day, but the result was a much fresher and lighter looking home and one I feel I can live with until I am assailed by a pre-Christmas clear out.  But that's a way off yet, thankfully.  Too many days like that cannot be good for your health!

The evening shadows lengthen as the days shorten and the setting sun lights up the bleached grass and crops in the fields and casts an orange glow on my cottage walls.  There is a slight sadness as we head into the dark half of the year and summer draws slowly to a close.  But there is so much still to look forward to;  blackberrying on autumn mornings; making jam and pies in the kitchen with the back door open to let in the warmth of the late sunshine; a chat and a cup of tea with a friend and a new start with the new season.

Autumn: bring it on!

Thank you for reading. xxx

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