Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Another Autumn to not dwell on the multitude of tasks that never get done before the sprinkling of snow in the first week of December (the beginning of the winter weather has been the same every year we've been here). 
Slicing wood collected from last year with my blunted chainsaw blade. Filing a chainsaw blade back to anything resembling sharpness is I am finding a very pain-staking task and more often than not I give up and decide to splurt extra effort to slice open the timber. My back is beginning to ache.
Bright September sun has helped to keep our spirit going and carry on bringing the garden plots back to life after a summer of weeds and invading long grass.
Self-seeding marrow and pumpkin plants which had been left to grow in the compost piles have finally been de-fruited and taken out. On reflection maybe we should down-size our cultivation next year. 
Back in the town, little old ladies are still found in the local Tesco store dressed in traditional ware. The 1980's pastel yellow, green or blue Lada/Skoda/Travant waits in the car park with a husband. Summer festival posters are gradually being covered over with 'DJ Fresh' or whoever parties advertising their nights in nearby village halls. A yearly cycle and the town hasn't changed much since the previous warm and sunny September.   
Now with no guests around, our place reverts back to looking like a garage sale. Belongings scattered everywhere either being prepared to sell at our town's second hand shop or online. Our spring clean season to once again try to down-size the things which have not held any use or value to us over the last year or two. Having lived here for more than three years we really should have everything in the right place now.
But it is sometimes difficult to let go.

Friday, September 5, 2014

mushroom cloud

Handled with care, mushrooms on demand. Picked by guests last weekend after endless rain and humidity, perfect sprouting conditions. In fact, judging by the amount of mushroom-picking traffic passing our gate, possibly the best ever since we have lived here. Not that we know much about the edibles and non-edibles, our knowledge fortunately has improved to knowing about a few. But even those few have look-alikes that can fall into the less favourable poisonous varieties. Suffice to say we have survived and enjoyed a breakfast, lunchtime and evening meals with the seasonal delight. And now the sun arrives late for this year's summer, the grass grows to demand another cut and the local farmer realises he has a second chance to cut the surrounding meadow. More guests arrive for a last minute deal and whilst we mellow to our mushroomy vegetarian diet, I smell chicken on the grill. The summer outdoor cuisine is not finished yet.