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Monday, 19 October 2015

Autumn jobs



There is something immensely satisfying about autumn jobs. The day began well with a breakfast of hot pancakes cooked by Mrs H who makes the finest wafer-thin pancakes I've tasted.

Later I fettled the wood burner after its first fire since the chimney was swept last spring. Our chimney sweep uses what looks like a big vacuum cleaner and my bed of ash always disappears into its sooty maw but a new one is well on the way now. Another fire should see it about right.

Afterwards the patio moss had to be dealt with. Block paving covered in bright green rectangles of moss. A tedious job one would have thought, enough to curse the guy who invented block paving but somehow it was a pleasure to get the job done and out of the way for winter. Autumn fettling - can't beat it.

Plenty of apples to be picked too but we're full of stewed apples for now and we've already given away loads of them. People have a limited appetite for apples but the blackbirds will eat any windfalls once they begin to rot.

Apart from the autumn colours and the apple harvest, this is a fine time to be outside working. Preparing for winter feels wholesome, as if a chap is back in tune with seasonal rhythms and things are as they should be. I think I'll treat myself to an evening not looking at the news.

6 comments:

Sam Vega said...

We have recently moved from a Victorian terrace in Chichester to a flat in a Cambridge college. The main thing I miss is the woodburner and its rituals. In particular, the grand "getting in" where some dodgy-looking but genial blokes dump enough logs to block the entire road and I spend a day creatively stacking.

A new autumn task beckons, however. We have a huge walnut tree in the quad, and when I have managed to extract a nut, they are the sweetest and best I have ever tasted. Trouble is, even the hard shell is encased in a tough green fruit which resists even tough knives, and stains everything it touches. One helpful web-site recommends lining them up and running the car over them. It could be the start of a new ritual...

Scrobs... said...

Spot on post, Mr H!

We've just finished clearing the greenhouse and composted the vines, and everywhere is becoming bare, and a bit sad, but it means that we have a full freezer (two), lots of chums (unloaded toms etc), and manured beds with no chance for weeds to thrive until next year...

It's a magical time of year, and while we bemoan not having all those fresh cut veg, it really is the time when we sit back with a glass, and ponder with a silly grin on our faces, saying things like 'No blight, no carrot fly etc etc'...

A K Haart said...

Sam - no woodburner? Surely recalcitrant walnuts are no compensation. I bet you could use a sledge hammer to crack them though, perhaps bring back some of the satisfaction of log chopping.

Scrobs - we probably need a second freezer for stewed apple. We could do with a greenhouse too, but where to put it is the problem. Our neighbour has two.

Demetrius said...

Have you finished making the jam?

wiggiatlarge said...

It is indeed a season of mixed emotions, the garden going through its "last rites" as the colours come and go, the revue of the years spoils, every year is different and that is how nature intended however frustrating at times.

Trying to keep the grass down as it gets more difficult because of the incessant autumn rain here in the driest part of the country ? and the leaf collecting, large amounts here as we have the equivalent of a small wood on the boundaries, it makes the best compost but how much do I need.

And the greenhouse is finishing, still tomatos turning and the last cucumbers picked , soon the Jeyes fluid will be in action ready for another year !

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - no jam, we're not very good at it although it may be worth another try. My parents used to make crab apple jelly which was excellent. Gooseberry was good too but strawberry we often had to eat with a spoon.

Wiggia - there is so much moss in our lawn that cutting the grass is still fairly easy. We end up with loads of leaves but the magnolia leaves don't rot down as easily as the others. At the moment they go in the green bin.