Autumn now has us firmly in its grip. The lazy days of summer already seem but a memory, thoughts are turning towards winter and the holidays. But there’s a lot to enjoy about this month and I don’t want to rush it. Despite the chill in the evening air and the lashing rain which can beat seemingly relentlessly against the windows the sun, when it makes an appearance here still has some real warmth to it. Enough to make an outdoor lunch a pleasure, when and only when the weather is feeling kind!
But it is a contradictory time of year. The harvest is over, vineyards here are quiet after the hive of activity of grape picking. Everywhere trees are changing colour and the leaves are beginning to fall. Intense greens are giving way to russets and reds, oranges and yellows, the colours of autumn. It’s a time for the gourds to take centre stage, pumpkins and squash.
Yet at the same time our cosmos are still flourishing, providing a constant supply of flowers for the house, I cut fresh bunches every few days and they still keep on giving. The pastel shades of violets and purples, the whites and hot pinks which we took for granted during the summer now seem at odds with their surroundings.
And elsewhere roses are still blooming against sheltered walls.
Lighting the fire in the evening has become a regular feature. A wonderful cosy feel which encourages us to slow down and relax with a glass of wine.
But on a fine day by mid morning when the sun is relatively high we can open the doors and fling wide the windows, letting in as much fresh air as we can. Banishing the scent of woodsmoke for a few hours until dusk returns.
It’s the season for soups, thick country hearty potage, perfectly accompanied by a good crusty baguette or warm toast.
However, our vegetable garden is still producing salad leaves, tomatoes and cucumbers. This makes salads still very much a part of our menu. Although now we add some mozzarella or hot pan fried halloumi with warm freshly made croutons. Just enough to turn the summer staple into something a little more suited to autumn.
Soon the days will be considerably shorter when the clocks change at the end of the month. Soon winter will be upon us, but just for the moment we can enjoy everything autumn has to offer, she may be rather contrary but she’s also a season drenched in tradition. It is the perfect time to reflect and to embrace change. Autumn is a time for letting go of things that have troubled us. In fact everything one reads about autumn reminds us that it is a spiritual season to relinquish unnecessary burdens. Right at the moment I think we are all troubled in these increasingly challenging times. However a brisk walk, breathing in huge lungfuls of fresh air, kicking up leaves, taking a five minute pause and watching them silently fall goes a long way to recharging the batteries. I wish you all a safe and happy week. xx