Harvest

 

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”

Autumn is my favourite season. The shortening days, warm clothes, open fires, hearty dinners and general slowing-down are all things I look forward to every year. Chris and I did the Keats Walk on our first date, so I love this poem, written as he walked around the Hampshire countryside. From our little corner of the world, we have a window on the countryside, and I love watching the farmers gather in their harvests of hay, potatoes and wheat which they’ve worked so hard for all year. I worked from home this week, and was treated to the distant sounds of the primary school having their Harvest Festival in the church. I don’t like change, so the thought that in an age of technology and speed, people still take a moment to celebrate nature’s gifts makes me really happy!

This week we heard that a local estate was holding it’s annual apple tasting. Innocently, we assumed this would be a fairly small affair, with perhaps a few different stalls selling fruit or cake. Instead, we pulled up to see fields full of cars and had one of the loveliest mornings for a long time! There were dozens of apple and pear varieties to taste, local crafts, and a real celebration of rural life.

The latest addition to the family, Neville, is now out and about, so this was a fantastic opportunity for him to socialise with other dogs and people. He isn’t up to much walking as he’s still very little, so Daddy carried him a lot! Neville is a Chocolate Labrador Retriever, and is 13 weeks old today. I’ve been without a canine companion since my beloved Mastiff, Chance, passed away almost 10 years ago, so bringing another dog into my life was well overdue. Despite the accidents and sleepless nights, he is an absolute delight, and I can’t get enough of his cuddles.

We bought some Egremont Russet apples. They are quite ugly, being a weird brown colour, but the taste is like cake! There was also a fantastic selection of gourds, so we’ve got some Red Kuri pumpkins to try out – if it’s not a massive disaster I’ll share the results of our soup experiment!

The church, St Matthews, was offering tours of it’s tower; I really wanted to join the people sitting around the top, but I think poor little Neville had had enough excitement for one morning, so we’ll definitely have to go back again next year.

Happy Harvest!

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