Late Summer Reverie


I wandered to the top of the garden to my favourite spot; the bench that sits beneath the greengage tree, amongst the vegetable beds. In front of me is the arch, dripping with runner beans, behind that my huge apple tree bursting with crimson fruit.


I listen and hear a Woodpecker calling, and the lowing of a cow in the distance, calling for her calf; watch a bee settle on a nearby flower;  see a dragonfly and hear the whirring of its wings.
 
 
The leaves on the nearby Sycamore tree are swishing in the wind, a background noise that is so constant, here on our hill, that it is hardly noticed.  The crows gather there and keep up a noisy dialogue for most of the day. The sun goes behind the clouds and the wind picks up and feels a little chill.  Then the clouds break and the sun beams through again - how changeable it is at this time of year.

 
Rain clouds are gathering; now the bean leaves are rattling together in protest.  I turn my head  and see the cows grazing in the back field, just getting on with the business of being a cow.  A tractor trundles up the farm track pulling a muck spreader behind it; the smell of liquid manure is pungent as it drifts across the fields on the quickening wind.

"Autumn begins with a subtle change in the light, with skies a deeper blue, and nights that become suddenly clear and chilled.  The season comes full with the first frost, the disappearance of migrant birds, and the harvesting of the season's last crops."
Glenn Wolff
 

Late August, given heavy-rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for picking.
Seamus Heaney
 
Sitting quietly listening to the sounds of the day; reassuring in its normality; comforting in its simplicity - I lose myself in this time, this place.

O England, country of my heart's desire
Land of the hedgerow and the village spire.
Land of thatched cottages and murmuring bees,
And wayside inns where one may take one's ease.
Of village greens where cricket must be played,
And fat old spaniels sleeping in the shade.
E.V. Lucas


And as I watch an airplane soaring and hear its rumble in the sky as it heads to its destination, I sit on my green bench, my feet firmly on the ground, writing it all down, then the church clock chimes and breaks my reverie.

 
So another week passes - on Sunday the sun shone all day long.  It was a delight to feel the sun on my skin as I sat reading outside taking advantage of the good weather while it lasts.  A book called Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth - 'a perfect book to curl up in a chair and forget the world with.'  Three women, three lives, three stories, braided together in a compelling tale of desire, obsession and the redemptive power of love - a re-telling of the story of Rapunzel.  I can hardly bear to put it down.


On a more practical note I have been re-connecting with the earth, sowing the last of the lettuce and radish seed for some late crops; gathering Mint (Moroccan, Spearmint, Basil, Chocolate and Apple) to dry for use in Winter; and snipping stems of Lavender for making scented pouches.
 

I had a serendipitous moment in the newsagents this morning I picked up a Writers magazine,  which has spawned an idea for what I will be doing this winter - there are  competitions in it for short story writing - I think I may have a go - a good way to attempt to  write in different genres - this month  the topic is an Adult Fairy Tale - now there's a challenge!

 
'Til next time
Elaine


Comments

  1. Wonderful shots of your country environment - my heart is in the country, but I live in the town! I like the idea of a Rapunzel tale told with a twist! Good luck with the Adult Fairy Tale. I wonder what you'll come up with?!

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    1. Thank you Sandra. The book is not what I would normally choose to read but it has me totally in its thrall - I am enjoying it so much. As for the writing, well, I have been thinking about it all day and still can't come up with an original idea - there must be something out there that hasn't been covered before. You know what they say ... if at first you don't succeed ...

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  2. Early Autumn in pictures and words Elaine and a beautiful English country scene. You have sold me on Bitter Greens and how exciting to write a short story and enter it in a competition.
    Enjoy the weekend Elaine. XXXX

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    1. Thanks Jackie. I have five weeks to come up with idea and get it written - not sure if that's long enough - we'll see. Have a great weekend yourself.

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  3. You painted very heated like picture with your words that is until it came to the smell of liquid manure drifting from the fields. :-)

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  4. What a peaceful interlude you share here. It is a busy, back-to-school week here and your tranquil words were much needed. Thank you for sharing. I wish you well in your winter writing endeavor. I am working on a nonfiction work at present, which I hope to complete this autumn.

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    1. Thank you Aisling. Hope everything went OK for back to school week. I do a lot of writing but only for myself as a rule - so it will be interesting to see if I can be brave enough to enter something for others to read - oh dear, I'm not very brave am I.

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  5. This was a refreshing stop on my journey today! It has been a wonderful way to start it. I enjoyed sitting on the bench there with you as you told me of your day! Have a grand weekeknd!

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    1. Thank you Cathy - nice of you to visit. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  7. (My iPad messed up as I was commenting.) fall is asserting herself this morning, shrouding us in gray, rather nice after the heat of summer. I do hope that you enter the writing contest. It would be fun and challenging. I enjoy your prose, so go for it.

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    1. Hello Ann
      The start to your days sounds much the same as here - although the sun manages to break through later in the morning. Thanks for your encouragement - I'll let you know how I get on.

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  8. A lovely post and wonderful autumnal pictures. Flighty xx

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  9. Such gorgeous words and imagery. You've captured some of my very favourite things about the changing season. I love the poem Blackberry Picking by Heany, it captures the poignancy of Autumn perfectly. That book sounds intriguing. Thanks so much for linking up today :)

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    1. Thank you Suzy Mae - there are so many good things about this time of year, blackberrying being just one of them. Hope you have a most enjoyable weekend.

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  10. I love your mindfulness in this post, Elaine. The photos are bathed in that lovely filtered light. The pink/red sedum is wonderful. I wonder if that's Autumn Joy? (I have some of it planted but mine is a darker red.) I'll be interested to know how your short story progresses.

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    1. Thank you Barb. The light is special at this time of the year I had hoped I had captured it in my pictures. I am not sure which variety the sedum is - I picked it because of its brightness most others I have seen are pale pink. You can be sure that I will keep you posted of the story's progress.

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  11. After reading your latest novel I've no doubt it would inspire your creativity to ponder an adult fairy tale.
    I love the prose you have chosen and the pictures that accompany them. The huge round hay and straw bales dot the landscape here as well. The wildflowers and weeds (as some refer to them) have turned to a palette of the most beautiful taupes and golds. No wonder the great landscape painters found so much beauty and inspiration in the Autumn to sit at their easels and try to represent the shades only found in Nature.
    Enjoy the weekend...
    Susan x

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    1. Hello Susan
      Thank you for your kind words - the leaves are just beginning to turn here, although the process is slow - I would love to be able to capture the beautiful colours on canvas - but the photographs I take will be a suitable alternative I hope. Have a lovely weekend yourself.

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  12. Good luck and lots of fun with the story writing! I so much enjoyed this post and the sense of serenity you produced. Although I wonder if the beans really were protesting the rain or were excited for its coming? But then, I love rain so much myself :-) Thank you for sharing the beauty of your world and your vision with us.

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    1. Dear Sarah
      Thank you - sometimes a post is easily written and just flows through my fingers when I am writing about something near to my heart and which feeds my soul. Other times it is more difficult to express but I keep on trying.

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  13. I love the thought of late summer instead of early autumn! Hope that you have a great weekend! xx

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    1. Thank you Amy - until you mentioned it I hadn't thought of it like that - perhaps I don't want to admit that Autumn has begun and am still clinging on to Summer. Have a lovely weekend too.

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  14. -oh happy sigh- What a lovely, lovely post. Thank you so much, for sharing your beautiful world, with us. Many, many thanks...

    And a reading suggestion too!!!

    Gentle hugs,
    Tessa

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    1. Dear Tessa
      Thank you so much for your kind comment it is much appreciated.

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  15. I do hope that you do go ahead and try your hand at the writing competition - your thoughtful words and images are obviously much enjoyed by those of us that visit you here.

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    1. Why thank you Rosemary - I have been thinking of ideas today but it is harder than I thought it would be! I wasn't even sure what an adult fairy story was - a bit of research needed methinks.

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    1. Thank you Denise - and thanks for visiting.

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  17. Yes, yes, to the short story competition... you can do this!

    Ms Soup

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  18. You've just reminded me that my father's library contained many of E V Lucas's books. My favourite (predictably) was Zig Zags in France, and another about Paris. I love that short poem that you used.

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    1. Thanks Cro - I will have to check out more about E.V. Lucas.

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  19. I'm alwys carried away by your dreamy words and pictures of your beautiful environment.

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  20. Thank you Janneke very kind of you to say so.

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  21. Thank you for the review of Bitter Greens, not to mention the wonderfully atmospheric photographs Elaine

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    1. Thank you. It is an excellent read Freda. I found it totally engrossing.

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  22. Oh and good luck with he writing competition - your NaNoWiMo experience will stand you in good stead!

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    1. Thank you again - fancy you remembering about my NaNoWriMo experience - it seems 50,000 words are easier to write than the 1,500 required for this exercise - short story writing is very difficult I find as you have to make every word count. Gulp!

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  23. Oh Elaine it all sounded most idyllic until you mentioned the aroma of liquid cow manure. I have 'Bitter Greens' lurking on my Kindle and now that the nights are drawing in must get down to reading it. Do enter the short story writing competitions!

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    1. All part of the fun of the countryside Anna! I am almost at the end of the book but keep putting off finishing it as I don't want it to end - some books are like that aren't they.

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  24. Such a lovely post, with some wonderful pictures.
    Thank you.

    Hope your weekend is going well.

    All the best Jan

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  26. I wandered over to your blog and what a delightful post! I longed to jump into the computer and really be there seeing what you saw. Such a beautiful time of year.

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    1. Thank you for visiting and for your kind comment.

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  27. Lovely photos and images of your late summer reverie - it has been a most wonderful week of late summer weather whilst we've been away in Wales. I love your jars of drying lavender:)

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    1. Thanks Rosie - hope you had a good holiday.

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  28. Dear Elaine - your photos and words are truly lovely. It is as if I have just visited the most peaceful and lovely place when I stopped by. I think it is wonderful that you are pursuing writing. I know I always love reading your words. Hope you have a blessed week. Thank you for making my visit so sweet! Hugs

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    1. Dear Debbie
      Thank you so much - I really appreciate your kind words. So glad you enjoyed the post.

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  29. Hello Elaine,

    Adored the final photo of your industrious efforts to dry herbs and lavender to use during the winter months when hardly a thing is growing in the garden.

    I'm sure with your creative talents and active imagination writing an adult fairytale will be child's play for you. That actually sounds like a wonderful challenge, and fun!

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    1. Hello CD
      Thankfully most of the herbs survive the winter but mint and chives disappear altogether so they are the only ones I bother preserving. Thank you for your kind comment - it certainly is a challenge but fun too.

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  30. Dearest Elaine,
    I am slowly catching up on all my blogging friends. I thank you for leaving your kind comments , when i fractured my thumb.. had the plaster off now and trying to get back into shape.
    Elaine,
    You must enter the competition.. your photos of around you from your hill are beautiful...but I was glued to your writing on this post. You most definitely have a gift.
    I really enjoyed reading it. I felt as though I was there , feeling the light breeze and seeing those beautiful medows. A super post.. (more please)
    kind wishes for a good week.
    val xx

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    1. Dear Val
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment.

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  31. Your words and images are always so lovely. I wish I could express things so well! Sarah x

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    1. Thank you Sarah very kind of you to say so.

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  32. Oh, I do envy you re your woodpecker! A simply beautiful post, as always, after a crazy couple of weeks it's so goo to visit you, I just want to be doing what you are doing, observing nature in all it's beauty...
    You go girl re the short story competition, I'm sure you'll do brilliantly, and please post your story, I would love to read it!xxx

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Dina. Hope you are back into your routine now after your hectic NY break. I have started the story but haven't touched it since we got back from our break - not sure I was happy with it anyway but we'll see how it goes.

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