Autumn seems more glorious than ever this year. Summer is lingering a little longer than usual, stopping to have a dance with autumn, leaves falling through bright, golden sunshine as they twirl together, before it leaves us for another year.
On the last weekend of September it was so warm and sunny that Rob and I took off in the car with our old dog Charlie and a small picnic and drove to spot near Lullingstone castle. It was late afternoon when we arrived and we watched the sun set behind the trees as we lay out on the rug. It was quite perfect.
But at the start of this week it felt like autumn had truly taken hold. We had grey, rainy days and cold evenings, prompting the turning on of the central heating and the lighting of candles to keep us warm and snug. Yet the week is ending on a sunnier note. Today I’ve been out in the garden, sitting on cushions on the old, weathered bench, mug of steaming Earl Grey tea in one hand, Nigel Slater’s new book, ‘Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch’, in the other. At one point it was so warm I had to take off my jumper but later on I had to go and get a blanket to wrap round me; such is the changeable nature of the weather at the moment.
The weather may be undecided but my food choices are very much autumnal right now. I’m baking pumpkins, eating figs with cheeses and crusty bread, and roasting pork. The markets and the shops are overflowing and my kitchen is beckoning; what a great time of year this is.