Yes, yes, the leaves are turning interesting shades of gold and rust. The entire internet (okay, middle-aged women on Instagram, which for me IS the entire internet) has become obsessed with ‘spooky season’. There’s pumpkin shit everywhere. And we all know what that means. Autumn is bearing down on us, like an imposing aunt who smells of cats. (Side note, ‘an imposing aunt who smells of cats’ should be my tagline.)
You get it. Big cosy cardigans. The smell of woodsmoke in the chilly air. Hot chocolate. Cosy, cosy, cosy.
But I also find autumn announces itself in other, very specific ways. Do any of these resonate with you?
It’s colder inside the house than outside.
Putting on actual shoes – and not flip flops or sandals – for the first time in months feels like strapping on personal torture devices. Are these my shoes? Was I really wearing these earlier in the year? Why do they feel so uncomfortable? What’s wrong with my feet?
The garden is still producing lots of lovely produce but the last thing I want to eat is a fresh, uncooked vegetable. Everything from the garden – courgettes, tomatoes, beans, beetroot, herbs – ends up as the same sort of meal: a big, bubbling pan of saucy stuff, into which I can dunk copious amounts of bread.
Oh, the carb-loading. The non-stop carb-loading.
The anticipation of harvesting all the butternut squash from the garden and arranging them in descending order of size is palpable. PALP-A-BLE, I tell you. (I strongly suspect this point only applies to me.)
Gunfire echoing around the village, as another hunting season gets underway. (Which reminds me, we went to one of the local hunting club’s parties once and it was an experience. Not a bad one. But very – how can I put this? – Bulgarian.)
The cats don’t know what to do with themselves. They want to be indoors, but the fire’s not on, so they go outside, then drift back indoors moments later to squawk for food. This, on repeat, all day. And the clocks haven’t even changed yet.
Stepping outside the front door is like stepping into a cloud of wine mist. Rob hasn’t got around to harvesting the grapes yet and they smell soooo winey. It’s heaven.
Fruit flies. Fruit flies everywhere.
And if it’s not fruit flies, wasps.
Finally, and most importantly of all, its cider time. Sadly, our old faithful apple tree – the tree that gives us the most apples every year – decided not to produce anything this year. So we went begging to our neighbour and some friends (‘Please give us apples! We must have cider!’) and they gladly let us pick apples from their trees. And then Rob spent the last week cleaning, chopping, scratting and juicing the apples. Cider 2022 is officially underway, gang. With any luck, we’ll be drinking the literal fruits of his labour on Halloween.
Year ago, I wrote a post explaining how Rob makes his cider, but he might have refined the process since then. Should I write an updated cider post? Tell me if that would be interesting.
How is autumn announcing itself to you?