I love September and the indescribable change in the air that it brings. In the evenings there's a smoky sort of smell on the breeze and the mornings begin with a crispness that hasn't been there all summer. We've even had a couple of early-morning mists which have added to the autumnal atmosphere. There are harvest moons at night, and on sunny days a mellow golden light pervades everything, casting a warm glow. This lovely picture was taken by my oldest daughter a couple of years ago, and for me it perfectly captures this honeyed light.
September always feels like a new year for me, more so than January: bright new pencils and stationery; the first inky words written on pristine pages in exercise books; cooler, fresher air; a heavier duvet on the bed; nature's colours turning to a much richer palette; warmer, cosier clothes; suddenly spiders' webs all around, covered in dew; a gathering-in of stores, preparing the home for the colder months to come; cooking more substantial, comforting food ... the list goes on.
I always mourn the end of summer as it approaches and wonder if the autumn will feel as good with its hint of melancholy, but its arrival never fails to delight me, and I embrace it with great affection. I love to go through my autumn rituals, such as buying and planting bulbs for the spring, and cooking my favourite autumn recipes. After taking down my faded hanging baskets, I bought these sweet pansies last week, ready to pot up outside my kitchen door.
I love their deep amethyst shades and the velvety glow of their petals.
These delicious cob nuts came from Wells market last weekend. A relative of the hazelnut, they are milky and smooth eaten straight from their shells.
I also bought these gorgeous plums which I made into plum and cinnamon muffins ...
... and these rather lovely greengages which I shall cook and puree to eat with yoghurt.
A delicious and beautiful start to my autumnal 'new year'.