Don’t panic! This is not going to be one of those self-indulgent gushing posts, which mawkishly “share” personal sentiments which are largely meaningless to anyone else. I find these rather like looking at other people’s baby pictures – for the first few you may think “How sweet”, but long before the 20th, 78th or 100th instance, you have glazed over and found yourself wondering when it will stop, while politely nodding and smiling. No, rest assured, this is gratitude in the British way, (but without the queuing).
Yes, this is about the weather. It has been a fine year in my opinion, in this country at least. One still hears the usual complaints – too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry – though this could just be because it gives us something to talk about to people with whom we have little else in common and want to “share” with even less. No, it has indeed been a fine year and Nature apparently agrees, judging by the resulting abundance all around as we slip into Autumn.
The long, cold Winter was great fun – snowball fights, roaring fires and lots of excuses for hot chocolate. Then the late Spring, roaring straight into warm weather without the is it/isn’t it phase when you’re not sure whether to put away your winter clothes and boots yet. Summer was mostly harmless – fairly warm but not oppressively hot or excessively wet – and ideal for my work, which involves either being in the conservatory (in full sun all day) or camping out frequently between April and September. Thus, I am acutely aware of the weather and always grateful to be able to pack away dry canvas.
Sure, there were some dingy and drizzly (like today), cold and even torrential days, but these were relatively few and a little rain is always useful. So the upshot of all this wonderfully normal (for a change) and temperate British weather is an Autumn bursting at the seams with fruit and natural produce.
I haven’t seen so many quality (Cep/Porcini/Bolete) mushrooms in the woods in my entire life. The hedgerows are groaning with fruit – elderberries, rosehips, sloes, blackberries – and I have been gifted with apples and pears almost to the point of exasperation. Yes, there is much to be grateful for this year. I am looking forward to a fruitful Autumn and one of my favourite sights – the dying leaves blazing red, brown and gold in the afternoon sun under a brilliant blue sky.
P.S. Let it not be said that I can’t gush like an Oscar winner and I would like to take this opportunity to express to deepest, sincerest and most public gratitude to my family and friends, mostly for putting up with me and for generally making life worthwhile.
Also, my gratitude today to the postman, without whom I would not be able to express my delight and especial thanks to the lovely Vivianne for this surprise package:
I am drinking a cup of lovely Keemun and sniffing the “green” of the soap as I write 😀