It might as well rain until September warbled Carole King. And it did. It is 06.45 on the first of September. The garden is dull, wearing its heavy, dark green Lodenmantel. A lone Magpie struts his stuff. Somewhere a Robin is chipping away. The Grey Squirrel digs up my lawn. At 06.00 I heard a Tawny Owl close by, calling the faithful to sleep.
Our weekend was more box sifting and shifting. Punctuated by a lunch at my sister-in-law’s cottage, meeting a few old faces. Older at least than when I saw them last some 20 years ago. Shirley’s approach is fast and furious. I plod. I keep finding things that interest me. Oh I must read that again is the usual cause of my lack of progress. I tentatively throw out a few faded trinkets but the beneficial impact is insignificant. I had one moment of inspiration yesterday afternoon. The light bulb went on and I realized I could be much more ruthless if I tackled the problem from a different perspective. What, I mused, is worth keeping after I am gone. The idea being that I should keep the bare minimum and downsize. This would make the next move easier. The moment passed. Instead I wondered whether in a few years children might ask ‘Daddy (or of course Mummy) what is a light bulb?’ As we renovate the biggest design challenge for Mrs. Ha (I don’t get a say in such matters) is lighting. Everything has to be low energy and LED. She however does not like the colour of the light emitted nor does she like the fractional time lag for the chips to light up. There have been endless experiments but even the ones we (she) chose are less than ideal. Mrs. Ha is in charge of interior design. I get the exterior remit. I find it easier to choose roses than light fittings.
The light in the garden is lifting to a paler shade of green. The first leaves have fallen. The Acers are starting to tinge red. The Speckled Bush-cricket is at the window. Halfway up the Poplar the sun briefly caught the trunk then the effort became too much and it faded with a silent sigh. A Green Woodpecker arrows its way across the garden flying a hard North-East line. Garden Traffic Control has cleared it for launch. No doubt the Jays will start plundering the apples anon.
We have figs too. Each day I inspect them and most are still green. The ones that have turned purple seem to be soft and squishy. I have yet to pluck one at that magical moment when it passes from unripe to ripe. I tried picking a few to see if they would ripen off the tree. This is all that happened.
Beaten to it by a slug. Story of my life.
I am also doing a modest fungus foray in the garden. This is a boletus but I am still trying to find out the species. Probably the slug beat me to it, recipe book in hand. What’s the recipe for today, Slug?
Still I admired the warm chocolate colour of the cap, the pale lemon flesh and even the red bruising. Autumnal tones courtesy of a mushroom.
I hear stirring. I must stop my window-gazing and return to the real world. My favourite film line ever remains: Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.