AS the kids pack their satchels for school (do they still have satchels or is it a laptop bag?) we coast easily through September and the slow changing of the season.
It’s been a scorching last few months – particularly this August – was the consensus among the aged locals.
The inside info comes from my mate Annabella at the BPI bank who says it’s been unusually unrelenting. Sounds a bit like their overdraft charges!
Maxine at the café says there seems to be some switch thrown when it moves from August to September as the night and mornings immediately seem to get cooler – a bit of a relief for sleeping and doing early morning horse jobs!
The fruit on the trees is ripening fast and obviously dropping willy-nilly. This includes figs out at the front and olives down in the paddocks and along the drive.
Acorns too are dropping from the Portuguese oaks which are a real horse delicacy, but too much and it’s belly-ache time!
Fatboy Murphy also spends as much time as possible munching on the newly fallen leaves from the fig tree. They are big and fibrous and I guess maybe a little sweet.
In reality, autumn out here is like a second spring. All the vegetation withers during the hot summer and is regenerated by the welcome rain, however late it comes – and even then it’s not usually massive!
Our farming neighbour, Joseph, has just had the second crop of wee chicks for the year (well, his hens have) the ducks have had a new batch and there are a number of new calves about!
This progression from autumn into winter and then spring is obviously the most beneficial for the animals and the growth of their foodstuffs.
The second and final crop of hay has been gathered and dealt with and the machinery is being shut down.
The stripped cork is stacked in large, well vented piles to dry out and should be collected by the end of the month for processing up North.
The Brits now think of the coming months as having what’s called ‘layer-days’ when you can start in very early mornings with shirt, jumper and body warmer, then stripping down by degree to T-shirt by 11am and reversing the whole process after 6pm. Of course you have to wear bottoms – we’ve not gone that native!
We love this time of year when the air is crisp early, then warm-hot later and again cool on the evenings when the sunsets are blazing followed by dazzling starlit nights and sitting out with a beer or glass of wine is highly recommended. Try it, you won’t be disappointed!
There are moments when Old England resurfaces. After a recent England game the old deep-fat fryer came out and fish, chips and spam fritters were on the menu.
Horrario Ramsdenio or what?
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