Alexander Averin

Monday, 27 September 2010

A Glimpse into my Morning

Dear Diary,

Photo by John Ellis

Waste no opportunities.
  This is called following the light


The last few days of September have been so cold and there have even been some overnight frosts. I was hoping to delay lighting the woodburner until October but alas - no such luck.  Thankfully we had its chimney swept last week.  Now I must accept that wearing several layers of clothes will be the norm with a fleece on top for good measure.  Such is my life up in the hills!  We are trying to avoid putting any radiators on yet as it is so expensive and I never want to see such a high leccy bill again as the one we had last winter - and we are not the only ones. 

After a tasty breakfast of two boiled eggs and Marmite soldiers made with M’s gorgeous wholemeal bread I head out on my morning walk.  It is a still and quiet morning; gone are the roars of the Sunday bikers who always blight my weekends especially if there is a fatality or serious accident as there so often is in this dear country. There was an accident on Saturday.  Why do they, or more to the point why are they allowed to go so fast?

It is comfortably cool now after a morning which began with a hint of a frost and there is just the softest, lightest touch of rain when I take the dogs for their morning walk in the field.  Finn is sometimes reluctant to cross the wooden bridge now; he has grown a little anxious in his old age and being arthritic of leg he may well be fearful of slipping and falling into the river, who can blame him for being dog-sensible?  I sometimes take him the long way round on the lead but today I walk across the bridge with  him and he seems happy to do so, perhaps he feels safer with me on the end of his lead.  The sheep are as placid as ever and do not stir when they see us approaching, they are not frightened of the dogs and the dogs ignore them thoroughly as they have been very well-trained.  All sheep are standing except one who lies still just watching - there is always an individualist, thank God - while the rest just casually survey our movements from a distance and only edge slowly out of our way if we come too far into the section of the field where they are grazing. 

There are blessings to note, as ever.  The sound of birdsong for one and  the accompanying music  of the river running.  The sight of the river is beautiful too, it has a black sheen like treacle as it forms mini-waterfalls over the stones which flow downstream and give birth to baby rivulets.   Kitty always goes down the bank to drink from the river and sometimes goes in for a paddle, not today though.
M is indoors painting the study walls pretty pink, I am finding the white walls cold and draining and for once the paint does not smell which is a blessing.  Molly the cat is unimpressed though, the study is her ‘bedroom’ and being a proper nocturnal cat it is where she spends a good part of the day.  The cottage interior seems dark lately but I must get used to this as the days shorten and winter draws ever nearer.  There are still plenty of flowers in the garden to brighten it though - cosmos, roses, sedum, rudbeckia and other daisy type flowers. The buddleiae are in flower, better late than never.  Butterflies are still plentiful  too as are the wasps and the bees.

I am soon going to plant more bulbs and  woodland plants mainly beneath my Sitka Spruce pine trees now that M has tidied up their low-hanging branches and I am keen to plant lots of cyclamen, more bluebells, daffodils etc.   Already a mystery yellow flower has appeared and I have yet to name it.

A dear friend recently likened autumn to a terminal illness - death being winter I suppose and it is a fact that seasonal depression is such a serious sadness, indeed an illness for so many folk.  But I feel that autumn breaks us in to Winter everso gently and there are so many blessings of the season in its wake - along with the beauty of the autumn colours there is less weeding and grass cutting!  There used to be better TV programmes to look forward to but I have yet to discover them.

I am still getting over a cold, I can’t stop coughing and spluttering so am looking forward to cooching up with The Girl who Played with Fire, that one should definitely warm me up!  I have just finished The Marriage Bed by Regina McBride because of the Great Blasket Island connection that was an enjoyable read.  Our book group is reading People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks for October - I really loved her book March so am looking forward to that one.  Also on the go is The Glass Room by Simon Mawer which is another great read - I had better get on with it…..

So many books, too  little time.

Before I go here are just a few of my

Thoughts on Autumn

I have prayed for an Indian summer and I swear I caught just the occasional glimpse of her as she slowly crept across the mountain.  Autumn still works hard at wooing but her temper flares, she can be kind but she can be wild and wanton, throwing in all directions the placement that was summer.

But there is such consolation in her colours.  As they fall, as her leaves blow across the sun-brightened sky
their scents are all around, both underfoot and in the air carried on drifts of bonfire smoke or in a shower of rain. She can break us in gently for the harshness that will undoubtedly come, the coldness which we shall hopefully endure but her stay is all too brief, like Life She will not linger long.  So take all her glory into your soul.

Autumn is dressed in a richness of red, gold and ochre.  Loath to leave now, the leaves hang heavy but cling on as if life is so dear which it surely is.  I will not hang or huddle, instead I wrap her around me for all too soon she will be gone as Winter creeps in even more stealthily to undermine her foundations.

Autumn is a promise asking little in return.  As we part I look forward for Spring waits and is not too far behind, on Winter’s tail. But we should look for delight in the dark times too.  Sleep awhile, a little more, just like the squirrel.  There will be days when the sun can still be flirtatious in her moods.
Comforting us too, she lifts our spirits and we prepare again for rebirth amongst the season’s fadings.

Cait O’Connor

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such a wonderful post. I felt as if I was on the frosty morning walk alongside you. And Hurrah for individualist sheep!!

Lane said...

I always dread the onset of winter but 'autumn breaking us in gently'? Yes, I like that idea very much.

mollygolver said...

Thank you Cait - I enjoyed reading your blog. Couldn't help thinking what a shame it is the bikers can't be as sensible as your doggy.

Wild Somerset Child said...

Such beautiful words - I am torn between descriptions and reality; particularly as whilst we were away (in Malvern) I heard that there had been frosts; and all my beautiful scented pelargoniums were at such risk. I always dread winter now; no heat in our old farmhouse; cold to the marrow and wondering how we will survive.

Nora said...

Thank you for this wonderful post on autumn. I makes me appreciate it all over again.

Posie said...

You capture autumn beautifully Cait. I love hibernating in the autumn, the gradual letting go of the long summer days as we withdraw once again indoors.

CAMILLA said...

The picture by the artist John Ellis is truly beautiful.! the golden autumn sun shimmering through the branches of the tree.

A really wonderful post dear Cait, adore the sound of the pink shade of walls to your study, I have a pale chalk pink here in the hallways and gives such a calming effect.

Woodburner already lit here Cait as terribly cold in Norfolk too.

Thank you for sharing Cait and for your beautiful pictures and poems, and info on those lovely books.


Exmoorjane said...

Oh crikey, Cait - so much to say here. Yes, we have lit the fire also...and I am remembering the cold in my fingers with dread...yet, like you, I am very fond of Autumn, love its energy.

I feel the urge to paint my study too...white walls here and yes, not working for me, far too cold. Yet seems wasteful as was only decorated a year or so ago. I may wait.

People of the Book didn't really light my fire.. I am halfway through The Glass Room - I sort of enjoy it when I'm reading it but then promptly forget it. At the moment I'm reading The Outlander by Gil Adamson. Bet you've read it. If not, I think you would really love it. jxx

Tom Foolery said...

Beautiful autumn post :) TFx

Ruth said...

I agree that autumn is a gentle slide into winter, which also happens to be a month I love, so what can I say, I'm not unhappy about it. But I understand those who are.

You've expressed so much of what I felt today out in our meadow, listening to birdsong, seeing things fade almost imperceptibly.

gaelikaa said...

You know, I read this post on Saturday night, but because of some glitch in my mobile I was unable to leave my comment. I'm on my computer now and just spotted your comment. Coincidence or what? I love the feeling of peace and serenity I get when I read your blog Cait - it's like going for a walk in a particularly beautiful and peaceful garden. I agree wholly with your sentiment too - so many books, so little time!

IanMcL said...

Hi Cait - a lovely blog and one I have elected to follow! :) Thank you for your kind words about my blog; the books came as a 'standard' background I think, if you look under 'design' in the dashboard section?

Keep up the good work and speak soon!