Friday, 14 September 2007

Autumn Blues

Leaves and fallen apples litter the grass in the orchard now. It has an air of faint neglect and spentness, the hammock stashed away, no more time for lazy afternoons. The bonfire has burnt itself out and the charred remains smoulder gently in the light breeze. A lazy wasp investigates the fallen fruit as I wander through the trees, wondering when I will find the time to cook the apples to a fragrant pulp and mix them with the blackberries that grow so abundantly in the hedgerows as I walk through the quiet lanes.

Jars of plum jam are stored in kitchen cupboards or have been given to friends and family. Pears have been pickled with cinnamon, cloves, juniper berries and peppercorns and glow palely as they marinate in their spicy vinegar, waiting to be opened when winter bites. Logs are stacked in the woodshed and the year begins to unravel slowly towards it's busy end.

27 comments:

  1. How very housewifely and enterprising you sound! I don't think I have ever made a pot of jam in my life - nor will I, probably. It do like the thought and the sound of it though - and I rememeber how, before the days of tinned and frozen food, it was an absolute necessity of life to preserve all manner of fruits and veg. I can think back with admiration and much nostalgia to my mother's rows of bottled tomatoes...

    A lovely post though, Marianne. The only thing you omitted were the spiders' webs. I have to go down the garden waving my arms ahead of me lest I get entangled, at this time of year.

    And then there are always the great house spiders who appear from nowhere and suddenly skitter across the floor in the evenings! I try to develop a fondness for them - but the truth is they terrify me, still!

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  2. What a lovely autumnal feel in that post! You sound very organised and peaceful, it was good to read. Yes, the evenings are starting to draw in finally.

    You mentioned having lunch a while ago in Brighton at Due South - I had a coffee there recently and thought of you - it was a beautiful day and a nice place to be...

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  3. Beautiful post, Marianne. God, I bet those pears taste good.
    x

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  4. Having an orchard is rather an obligation, Beatrice. I find it hard to ignore all that abundant fruit, although I do try, but the preserving pan will keep appearing as if by magic and I do take great pleasure from the shelves of preserves. Something atavistic there.

    I do agree about the giant spiders. They are even worse in the country I think.

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  5. As soon as school starts, the season shifts, there's a nip in the air and mists over the fields. It's beautiful but sad I think Merryweather.

    How nice to think of you sitting outside Due South watching the sea and thinking of me. Thank you.

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  6. I don't know about you Isobel, but we are having a splendid Indian Summer - now where does that some from?

    Thank you Livvie and the pears are delicious - well worth the effort

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  7. Welcome back Marianne. Lovely post.

    I have been doing wifey stuff as well.

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  8. You make me feel guilty. Been so busy with other things the apples lie rotting. I shall assuage my guilt by letting the pigs into the orchard where they will eat until they can no longer walk!

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  9. Marianne I'm leaving another comment because I've just read all the stuff beneath this post I somehow didn't read last time I visited, so tired was I.
    I do hope your ankle's better! How lovely that your pink-shirted man came up trumps for you, and your thankyou dinner sounds so romantic and simple and as these things should be.
    I liked your Three Beautiful Things post, too. Most of all, though, this autumn one is just steeped in my favourite season.
    x

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  10. Yes Marianne, we are having a lovely Indian sunner. Actually we did well whilst the children were off school. We only had one bad week and that was the week we were away so we missed that. Otherwise the children enjoyed the warm sunny weather and laughed at everyone from down south, including my sister, who were moaning about the wet weather!

    My one gripe about this lovely weather we have now is that it came too late to save my tomato crop from rot and that it ends to early because the nights are drawing in!

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  11. Lovely to see you again, M&M. Will come and investigate your busyness asap. Why is it so hard to find time to blog? Why is there always so much to do? But I do love my blogging friends. You are all so important to me.

    Yes, let the pigs have them @themill. Why do we women always feel guilty and that we have to do everything. It seems to be ingrained in us and I think we should try and override it. I really must stop being such a Domestice Goddess and get on with other things.

    You say such lovely things, Livvy. When I read your posts, I sort of wonder why I bother, so I'm very flattered you enjoy reading mine. Am thinking about a creative writing course - maybe next summer?

    Sounds like you had a good summer Isobel. We didn't really do too badly either in my corner of England and this recent good weather has been such a bonus.

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  12. that has such a sad air about it marianne, a touch of 'forever autumn', sigh. I wish people could hibernate

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  13. I love autumn - its the long dull grey days after Xmas when i want to hibernate. I spent ages stoning, cooking and freezing masses of plums then found the freezer had a meltdown I didn't know about it till days after (it lives in the garage) - all that delicious fruit wasted. Still I have nicely cleaned freezer and space now for me to do the same with piles of apples and blackberries ... I've sellotaped the on/off switch so it's not turned off again in error !

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  14. Hello Rilly. I guess I am feeling sad right now. Hope it passes soon.

    Nice to meet you lady thinker and I do agree about the days after Christmas. January and February should be abolished forthwith. Sorry to hear about your plums. It's so frustrating when you spend a lot of time on something and don't get a result. Hope you find time for the apples and blackberries. Hope I find time for them too.

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  15. You're so right - that's what happens from now. The year begins to unravel slowly towards it's busy end. It sounds like you're well prepared though. If only my cupboards were as well stored as yours :)

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  16. Well, I guess we will have to live on plum jam for a while now georgie. Still, I love doing it.

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  17. that was a lovely post, I like your lazy wasp...and you have been so busy. Autumn does feel like the calm before the christmas storm doesn't it?
    Pigx

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  18. Sorry to confuse you marinane, I must admit - I think of you as the abandoned wife blogspot rather than 'as my life is now' so have changed over on my blog roll - (I changed from the thinker to lady thinker as so many people thought I was a man - it was too confusing for the chaps to cope with)

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  19. pS - sorry you're sad. Cyber HUG. x

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  20. Oh autumn - the saddest time of the year. You describe it so well - it was always a melancholy time for me in the UK.

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  21. Come over to my place - there is an award waiting......

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  22. I wonder what Autumn is like in your part of France, PITK? My lazy wasp was probably drunk on squashed fermenting apples.

    I have you down as And - Who Cares, Lady Thinker, so now I know you are both the same person. Feeling better now, thank you.

    Lots of people find it a beautiful but sad time of year Debio. I shall come and see you right now.

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  23. There's a wonderful sense of that which endures here, Marianne. So good to know that the old tides prevail. Thanks for that.

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  24. Dick, thank you for coming to see me. Will keep checking on you and hope there is good news soon.

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  25. Hello Marianne - Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. Well, I keep peeking at your page and hoping you'll be here :) - I just thought perhaps you were on holiday.

    I hope all is well for you? I like your style, that last post conjured autumn beautifully for me. I'm relieved to hear you understand exactly about bloggers block - it's bizarre isn't it! But I do think you should keep going please! Even if it's only short occasional posts... Take care x

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  26. Sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. There is nothing I can do about it. Let's just say that there's a lot of emotional weather at the moment and I can't find any words. I wish I could. Maybe I can talk about it when things are more settled. Thank you for coming to see me Merry. I find that heartwarming.

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