November is like Marmite - you either love it or hate it


 
I used to be of the 'hate it' persuasion.  But now I have come to appreciate it a little more.  Still not my favourite month but I am trying to find the positives where I can.


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.
Knitted sweaters.
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
same time
same place
Elaine
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Comments

  1. I love November...........I love autumn. There is a softness about it, that relates to the inner me.
    It is the most romantic of seasons...........

    Yes Elaine, still a lot to do in the garden. I am taking a break from it.....the ground is so wet, clearing leaves is an endless task (I am hoping the wind blows them somewhere else :))

    Some beautiful quotes..........I think my favourite is Tennyson.

    Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Although it was raining hard this morning, the day has brightened up beautifully, although it is a lot colder. These are the autumn days that I love - it is constant grey and dreariness that get me down. Luckily we have had very few days like that this year so far. So, yes, November, bring it on.

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  2. Like you, my attitude to Autumn has changed, and now I rather enjoy it. Of course, I still don't enjoy the thought of what's to come.

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    1. I appreciate all the seasons much more than I used to. I don't really mind winter any more either.

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  3. I love Marmite. But hate November. I was thinking this morning that maybe the way to cope with it (as it is pouring down with rain yet again) is to start a wind down to the end of the year about now. There are still jobs to do in the garden, but nothing that can't wait. The newly rebuilt chimney is swept and there are loads of logs.. bring it on.

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    1. I love Marmite too - when the days are sunny, clear and bright I can tolerate November - but am ready with a pile of books and logs in the basket ready for the less savoury days.

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  4. I like Marmite and I like all of the months ...... they all have at least one redeeeming feature and, there's no stopping them coming so we have to embrace them. Good on you Elaine for finding November's ' best bit's ' !!!!

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    1. A positive attitude definitely helps. For many years I suffered from S.A.D. during the darker months but last year I didn't - simply because I embraced it, rather than fight against it - it has made such a difference to my outlook.

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  5. I am fickle - when it rains endlessly for days and thick fog hangs around, I detest November. But once again, today is a sunny, mild and clear day and I have decided to drive to the beach again with my dog followed by a cappuccino in the Beach Cafe. Perfect!
    Housework and garden tidying can wait.

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    1. Oh I quite agree - but I have taken to going out walking whatever the weather even without a dog to walk to motivate me.

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  6. I don't like Marmite and don't mind November providing that it's not too wet and windy. Lovely pictures.
    Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty. I know Marmite isn't to everyone's taste and neither is November - it can be a miserable month that's for sure.

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  7. I can eat marmite if it is part of something else like added to a carrot pie or a nut roast which is how we use it. As we encompass marmite by adding different textures and tastes so I can cope with November especially if it is made bearable with some of the lovely, comforting things in your list:)

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    1. Like you I use it in all sorts of ways. November can be so changeable can't it - today has been quite a mixture and a really cold wind - Tuesday was warm and quite balmy - given the choice, I prefer the warm and balmy!

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  8. November is when things finally -- finally! -- cool down and start behaving like fall. Loved your list of cozy things to look forward to, including hot tea and buttery cakes. (it's me, nikkipolani)

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    1. I do like it when I know what to expect of the seasons - the last few years have been a bit crazy and mixed up.

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  9. Such beautiful photos Elaine.
    Here we soon anticipate the windchill, the snow, the migrating birds and all this month can bring.
    I'm so glad to be alive and able to enjoy each and every day, to have a warm fire to snuggle near and plenty of heartwarming food to eat that the shorter days to come will be of little consequence...
    Enjoy each and everyone of yours...
    Susan x

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    1. Thank you Susan. It doesn't seem that long since you were showing snow photos on your blog - how fast the year turns. I certainly will attempt to enjoy everyday - whatever it brings. have a lovely weekend.

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  10. Autumn is my favourite season, and being a Kiwi of course I also adore Marmite :-) I have it every morning on my toast. I do understand though how someone with SAD would find autumn difficult to deal with. I'm glad you've found some peace with it. Beautiful photos.

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    1. I guess it is similar to Vegemite isn't it. The shorter days can be difficult - I do try to get out every day - come rain or shine - this helps a lot. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

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  11. November, you say? Yes, I love it! For all the reasons you and Mr. Bardsley state.

    Although the changes in seasons are not as pronounced as they are in England (I remember the knee-high piles of oak leaves we'd have to dispose of each autumn), I do so enjoy the cooling down and slowing down that ultimately accompanies this time of the year.

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    1. 'Mr. Bardsley' is actually a woman, 'Barney' is her nickname I think. The quotes are taken from one of my favourite gardening books 'A Handful of Earth'. There is one particular place in the village where little whirlwinds occur - the leaves all seem to gather there in great piles.

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    2. I just Googled that book - and ordered it! Not just a gardening book, it has a very personal touch to it. Thank you for the heads-up, Elaine.

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    3. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I do - it is a very emotional book written after her husband died - but at the end you realise that the garden was her salvation.

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  12. Personally I love November, the end of one thing, but the start of another, I think of the good things to come that it brings! I hope that you have a good November. xx

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    1. The changeover from one season to another requires a new mindset. No longer able to spend lots of time outdoors takes me some adjusting to - but I think we need winter to recuperate and tackle things that have been put aside during the summer months.

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  13. Snow on the hills today! I love your (quite long) list of things to like about November Elaine.

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    1. Goodness - snow already - it actually felt as if it would snow here today, the sky went a funny colour, but it was only the beginning of a rain shower. Sorry about the 'quite long' list I sometimes get carried away.

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  14. I think every month has good and bad points and the autumn/winter months provide opportunity to do different things.

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    1. Quite right Sue - but for me it takes a little time to get into the swing of enforced captivity.

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  15. November is what it is - and if we can embrace it without wanting it to be different, we make friends with it! A log fire is wonderful if you have a fireplace and think of candles flickering and lovely music to make our hibernating months so cosy!
    November means more reading, more crafting, crochet or knitting if you enjoy it and being thankful we have a roof over our heads .... and I think of the plight of all those refugees fleeing their countries at war or because of dictators.
    I used to like Marmite when I lived in England, but no I find it too salty!
    I like your clear-skied autumn header!

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    1. Yes, I agree Sandra - I am learning a little late in life to embrace each month as it comes. I was reading an article today about refugees and the small amount of possessions they chose to take with them - it got me thinking of what I would pack into a backpack and what I would leave behind like they had to - not easy.

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  16. Spring has always been my favorite month. But fall is coming in a close second. We had snow last week with another brutal storm on its way for this next week. Most often the weather predictors get it wrong. The big blast from the North usually sweeps itself around us. We will see. If anything else won't, your gorgeous photos would win one's heart over to bumping Fall up to favorite season or perhaps Lord Tennyson might have a chance. PS I do love your Pins.

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    1. My goodness, snow already - I guess that means that your gardening exploits will be coming to an end. We have had a pretty good autumn but the weather has turned sour now - with lots of rain - but it is only to be expected at this time of year - roll on spring. I have hardly had time to visit Pinterest lately - glad you like the pins I choose. Take care and keep warm.

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  17. A beautiful post. I love all the seasons for different reasons. I do struggle a bit with November in the years that the skies are grey and heavy. But I love so many of things you have listed that make November what it is. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you. Each season has its merits I agree - they all have their bad bits too unfortunately - I try to think positive thoughts when they don't go exactly as planned.

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  18. I love these reflections and the Barney Bardsley descriptions. Everything is starting to look raggle taggle, mulchy and frayed at the edges. There is a definite chill in the air suddenly. I like your list of positives though and will happily borrow them :)

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    1. Thank you Suzy. I love your description and agree everything is definitely looking frayed at the edges. Glad you like my list of positives it is definitely getting colder that's for sure.

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  19. I love marmite.
    I love November.
    I love your post.

    Your mix of words and pictures - just perfect - a joy to look at and read.

    Thank you.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan - your comment made me smile. You brightened up my day.

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  20. Dear Elaine I so understand your feelings regarding November. This time last year we had five inches of snow! Today it is 61 degrees- sunny. I just take whatever comes and keep on being thankful when the weather is kind. Love your photos. Hugs!

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    1. Dear Debbie
      Thank you. I remember last year we hade flurries of snow in October - which made it a long long winter. This year is still mildish so far - but wet wet wet - like you say, we just have to take whatever comes our way and there's nothing we can do about it anyway except hunker down and enjoy it.

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  21. This is a marvelous moody November post, the way you portray it what's NOT to love! You also have me craving crumpets, I haven't had one is a long while!
    You and Bardley sum this season up beautifully,and I love the pictures too, the second one is gorgeous as is the tree against the skyline.....but what is the white stuff in the 9th picture? Fungi?xxx

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    1. Thanks Dina. I do love a nice buttery crumpet (although I cheated a bit) because we eat them all year round but they seem more appropriate for this autumn weather. Yes, the 9th picture is fungi, I found it when I was pulling out ground elder, I have never seen anything like it before, it reminds me of coral.

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    2. I thought of coral too, it's astonishing isn't it...you'll have to find out what it is....I have every type of fungi here, but I've NEVER seen anything that looks like that, fascinating!xxx

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  22. I didn't use to like it at all but i enjoy the colours too and am resigned to the fact that it has to happen! Soon be spring :-)

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    1. February and November used to be the worst months for me - November because it is usually grey and miserable and February because it can be the worst month of winter for the cold - I can't remember when my mind started changing about these months - possibly when I started blogging and realised that they have their good sides too. Spring seems a long way off but it will be here before we know it.

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  23. Another beautiful post I too never used to appreciate November and it is growing on me. At least you can still get out in the garden without feeling to cold as in January and February. I would have to have my crumpets toasted,buttered and spread with marmite! Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah. That is true - getting out and about and gardening without getting cold feet and chilblains is always a bonus. Oh no - definitely not Marmite on crumpets - it has to be honey for me.

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  24. I love autumn, but now weather has changed in rain and wind and all looks so dull I am beginning to hate it, but I know may be tomorrow I´m in a better mood and then I can love it again.
    At the moment I do not feel like doing anything. I will take a book and shut myself up with a cup of coffee.

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    1. Dear Janneke
      Oh you do sound down in the dumps. Let's hope the weather brightens a little for you - here it is like you say, dull, windy and raining - and from what I hear on the weather news it is going to get much colder by the end of the week. Hope you enjoy your coffee and book - stay warm my friend.

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  25. November, as seen in your photos, is definitely something to love!
    Here the snow keeps falling. :)

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    1. Hello Sara - welcome and thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

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  26. Well then. I don't need any more convincing. Your part of the world is definitely where I'd love to be right now. Despite my glorious Spring climes, your writing and images make late Autumn in England an utterly irresistible prospect.

    I'd happily frame your delicious list beginning with "toasted crumpets for afternoon tea..."

    Wishing you the happiest and cosiest of Novembers, in your beautiful part of the world. xx

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Antoinette. So glad you enjoyed the post - autumn has now taken a turn for the worst, or rather, the lovely bright days we experienced in October, are over. November is now returning to form with heavy rain and gusting winds - keeping us indoors for most of the day - luckily I have a pile of books waiting to be read - which is no hardship.

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  27. I fall in the hate November group, but like you, I am trying to like and appreciate more all the pleasant things November has to offer. This year we have had a really nice November with lots of warm days. Knowing cold weather is coming makes me appreciate them even more.

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    1. Hi Jennifer
      It seems the nice weather has abandoned us here. There have been gales and storms and this weekend the temperature is set to drop - oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

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