The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


east anlgian sunset octoberI need the summer sun. When September came and I hadn’t had my fix, I felt cheated. The past six weeks have made up for it. Despite the last few days of chilly mornings, I finally feel that I’ve had some sort of summer. But there are no memories of eating by the pond or even a barbecue to fuel me though the winter.

Bizarrely I even began to worry that the trees were not dropping their leaves. This morning there was leaf dropping evidence when I drove to work and when I opened the back door, first thing, there was a misty autmny feel to the garden. It’s mid October. Even the sunniest day will have a watery feel.

I must admit that I miss the seasons the way they used to be pre global warming with the clearly defined change of weather. We’ve had the misty mornings this month but by mid day it’s often a Mediterranean blue sky and warm if you can find a sheltered spot.

We haven’t had the heating on at all this autumn. And tonight was the great switch on. Always a bit nerve racking as the boiler must be twenty five years old. Just a few years ago we used to dither throughout September but by early October it was switched to central heating and hot water for the winter.

Tonight, as we ate supper, we worked out that the past years’ savings on heating oil more or less equated to the outlay on prolonged garden maintenance. John Coe used to sign off in October and return in April. Now he might miss four weeks at most in Jan-Feb.

Winter flowering shrubs have flowered on and off during the overcast summer. I must admit that I thought that global warming would mean hot, dry, sunny summers. Not monsoons and overcast skies.

I enjoyed the rising moon and the deep pink glow of the setting sun this evening as I left work. A family of owls twittered and twooed in the massive trees. A welcoming light spilt onto the lawns from the windows of the big house.

I jumped into Jalopy and purred home to the welcome warmth of the cottage. Nothing beats the feel of a Friday night.

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  1. What a fantastic phograph this is, it should be enlarged and framed, such beauty, Autumn sunset at it’s best! Well Done.
    I would love a print of that to put on my wall!
    Why don’t you get some copied and sell them, I’d be only too pleased to purchase one!
    Much lv Odelle X

  2. Danny Carey

    Yes, I remember this warm autumn. This year is such a contrast. We have seasonal temperatures (pretty cool but no frosts yet) and the leaves began to change into their Fall costume and drop off much earlier than 2007.
    Although that season two years ago was great for keeping the heating bills down, I think I prefer things and seasons to follow their normal patterns.
    Countdown to Christams begins soon 🙁

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Amanda,

    The sunsets have been good for a few weeks around here. Half term holidays sound like fun. Great for the boys to have some time out of school.

    Hi Sara,

    There is nothing as comforting as an Aga. We plan to get one as soon as we can. The Min Pins would love it too as they have thin coats and feel the cold!

  4. farmingfriends

    What a lovely photograph and post. I can just picture your lovely cottage and it’s warm glow. We are going to light the aga soon and I can’t wait. i love to enter the kitchen when their is an aga warmth hanging in the air, it makes cooking so much more pleasant.
    Sara from farmingfriends

  5. Oh Fiona, you’re so right! We took a little one home last night after he’d been here to play and driving through the back lanes to get home the sky was absolutely beautiful. We were all talking about it. That Friday feeling was heightened for us last night, as it wasn’t just Friday, but the beginning of half term. Yipppeee – love the holidays!

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