November is like Marmite - you either love it or hate it
Toasted crumpets for afternoon tea, dripping with butter and golden honey.
The gossamer threads of a spider's web.
The number of different fungi to be found.
Log fires and tartan blankets.
Warm scarves and gloves.
Apple pies and crumbles.
The smell of smoke drifting from chimneys.
Crisp mornings and scarlet sunrise.
Fir cones and chrysanthemums.
Thick socks and boots.
Candles and firelight.
The texture of November is immediately different. I feel it. I see it. The wind is sharper and more determined: it rips the remaining leaves off the trees with a savage bite. And, in the woods, the leaf matting underfoot is less vibrant - oranges paling to yellow, then dying into browns and blacks. The rain, too, is colder. it sticks leaves together, clogging to shoes, slimy, loathsome. Pathways are unclear - everywhere littered, as the month progresses, with the discarded coats of trees. The root of the word 'bereft' means 'to be shorn' or 'torn open'. The November landscape feels bereft to me. - Barney Bardsley
Snatched moments in the garden, working against the dying of the light; in the blustery wind; booted and coated; attempting to put things to rights before the harsher weather sets in - so many jobs still to do.
November is a messy month. The leaf fall clogs path and pond. I skimmed the water's surface with a rake, hoiking out thick layers of weed and dead foliage, but taking care to leave some protection for any slumbering pond life - and to decapitate as few frogs as possible. The light is dying quickly now. Even by two o'clock the afternoon starts to dim. I feel less and less incentive for being outside. There is plenty to do, but decreasing willpower and energy with which to do it. ~ Barney Bardsley
Moving shrubs that have been languishing over summer; giving them more light to thrive. Staking broccoli plants that are leaning precariously after the gusts of wind have loosened the root balls. Raking and sweeping leaves - an endless task.
As I worked on the ground at the base of the plants, and dug the neighbouring beds to 'air' the soil, a satisfying bareness emerged. I love the look of this fallow earth. It is full of potential. And restfulness. ~ Barney Bardsley
There is no stopping this relentless march of time. Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. Now we look towards a new season starting. Winter. Adapting to the difference each season brings requires adjustment. Working to a new, slower, rhythm; where different routines will occupy our days.
My very heart faints and my whole soul grieves At the moist rich smell of the rotting leaves, And the breath Of the fading edges of box beneath, And the year's last rose. ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson 'Song'
That's all for now
See you next week