On the last episode of ‘River Cottage , Autumn’ which aired last night on Channel Four, Hugh told us to stay cosy and I could not agree more. I believe that the essence of Autumn, & it’s sister season Winter, is to stay cosy. The days are not as free as in the Summer and to go outside or be outside requires more effort. When you are trussed up like a Christmas Day turkey with 5 layers, a hat and a scarf, the decision to go out takes longer to make and more thought goes in to it.
Of course once you are outside the rewards are great and bountiful. It’s hard to believe that just a few minutes drive from my house are scenes like this. Woodland filled with creations such as the creature above and vistas like the one you see in the first picture.
Driving in the car can also take on a whole new meaning at this time of year. If you are lucky enough to live just outside or even way beyond a sprawling metropolis then the tunnels of orange, created by trees enveloping the roads, are yours for the taking.
This time of year is the time to allow your feet to walk upon another type of flooring, that of the forest floor. Robert and I visited an area of woodland which is highly populated with the beautiful Acer tree (Japanese Maple). The colours and hues that are present on this, one of my most favourite variety of trees, are something that can only come from nature itself as no laboratory could dream them up.
To observe and to notice are two habits that I try and preserve. We stopped and observed our two friends on the lake. They chatted and laughed. Surrounded by gentle ripples and geese which often flew in formation very close to the tops of their heads!
Two men in a boat.
An Autumn afternoon.
It was time to go home.
Food plays such a huge part in our lives during these months. We don’t necessarily become more hungry but the need to prepare, bake, slow cook and then gently consume is overwhelming. I’ll often hear myself saying “No, I’ll bake today. I want to bake” or “I’m trying something new today, I have an idea” and that idea will take five hours to execute. I’ll be on my feet in my kitchen the whole while and yet the time passes in a heartbeat.
Suppers prepared for only Robert and I …..
….or hearty pots of stew prepared for family gatherings around my chunky kitchen table.
In a time of change, both globally and in my home, I have never felt so enriched, so hopeful, so ready, so prepared, so certain that life is a mostly good adventure with trials along the way and not a drudge to the grave with the odd ray of sunshine. I would dive in to that stew if I could. Warm, cosy, tasty and available for everyone to share.
A bit like this time of year really. And heck, with Christmas still to come could it get any more exciting!
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