Season of Mists *

snow covered stuga feb. 10

As Autumn steadily sweeps across us, the temperatures dipping further down with each day, nature’s exhibition of its colourful canvases growing ever more spectacular, we slowly ready ourselves for the winter. 

Winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves are made ready.  The radiators clatter to the sensation of heat coursing through the pipes for the first time in months. 

So off to Sweden I head for a few days to help prepare the summer houses for oncoming winter, when ice can reach a metre or two below the ground, when snow can pile metres high up against the walls. Minus twenty (centigrade) is not unusual. This is the final sorting before the dark days descend, radiators will be left on and this year to ensure there is no repetition of last Easter’s indoor flood following burst pipes, a heated lead has been placed in the water pipes between the houses to stop them freezing. Fingers crossed. 

I can’t wait to see the bountiful beauty the trees will offer – although even as we left in August the birch leaves were already tinged ochre and cracking at the tips. The ocean adorns itself with a wintry gown, the light flickering across the silver shimmery sea, the crispness of the air snapping at my lungs. 

This is my last escapade abroad this year; I will catch up with you all on my return until then I wish you a lovely final few days in October, a fun Halloween if celebrating and for those participating in NaNoWriMo best of luck! May stamina, perseverance and snacks carry you through until the end of 50,000 words. 

‘There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall this vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.’

Robert Henri (1865-1929), American artist & teacher

* From ‘Ode to Autumn’ by John Keats

THE AUTUMN BOOK TAG

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I was recently nominated by Charley at the wonderful booksandbakes1 for The Autumn Book Tag. How could I refuse! As always a delight and matter of indulgence!

  1. What’s your favourite thing about Autumn?    

I  love the feeling of promise that Autumn brings with it as the cold cracks the morning awake and the summer finally slips away. As with New Year,  Autumn comes with the tension and excitement of new beginnings, where anything is possible.

Also in Autumn the big kid in me is unleashed and I’m incapable of walking past a pile of russet leaves on the ground. Instead I will rush in and kick them around with abandon. The sound, the scent, the scrunchy feeling underfoot – what is there not to like?  

2. What Book reminds you of your school days?

copper

In my last year of primary school we read a book that resulted in a large display of copper items in the reading area. I nagged my mother until all her precious copper pots and pans made up most of the display. It took me years to find the book that so inspired me and this wonderful coppery show. It was the ’The King of Copper Mountain’ by Paul Biegel and I reread it recently, this time falling for the warmth of my childhood memories stored within the tale. 

3. What book cover reminds you of Autumn?

queenieThe hues of deep russet to light orange brilliantly reflect the colours of Autumn as the leaves dazzle us with their extravaganza. The lighter yellow is the cooler sunlight that shines through the leaves, the shell a hint of beach walks in the crisp chilly winds, the deeper orange a reminder of the warmth of the fire in front of which one sits, nursing a hot chocolate and marshmallows. Subtle, striking cover and perfect for Autumn beauty.

4. What is your favourite horror or Halloween book? 

cujoI’m not into horror books, frightened easily by the ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’.  However, many years ago I read Stephen King’s ‘Cujo’. Once started, I was incapable of stopping but I remember reading it in terror followed by sleepless nights. It was simply one of those books I had to finish. Relentless.

5. Which is your favourite horror or Halloween film?

weeping:jpgI have managed to go through life without watching a single horror film and intend to keep it that way. The weeping angles in Doctor Who are scary enough and have me hiding behind a cushion! I know, I’m a real wimp!

6. What Fall book are you most looking forward to?

shopholicYou can’t go wrong this time of year with a feel-good book and not many do this better than Sophie Kinsella and her shopaholic series. The latest one is released next Thursday 22nd  October so I’m look forward to curling up on a sofa and reading ‘Shopaholic to the Rescue’.

7. What Autumn movie release are you most looking forward to?

It’s strange isn’t it? As a student I seemed to live in the cinema, then with a young child, we all adored the children films. Now with a teenager I feel the film years returning as my son is busy with his friends. I saw great reviews for Suffragette (a topic I wrote a thesis on) with Meryl Streep and Helen Bonham Carter and I’m tempted to go on a ‘date’ with my husband to see this.

8.  What are three books you are planning to read this Autumn?

On top of the one mentioned, I have three kindle books I bought with my birthday money and look forward to reading in the coming weeks.

I hope you enjoyed reading these and are also planning your Autumn reading. If you have a chance I would enjoy to read some of your own Autumn Book tags. 

For now, have that blanket at the ready, book handy, candles alight. Right,  time to snuggle and read…see you soon…

‘Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice and I’ll tell you a story.’

F. Scott Fitzgerald

ODE TO AUTUMN

Autumn colours

As we slowly slide into Autumn with the first frost of the new season stealing upon us last night I awakened to the sweet crisp chill air. 

This brought to mind a poet whose work I relished as young; snuggled into bed I would read his words aloud, enraptured by their beauty, their cadence; his verse so rich and full in sound and meaning.

Below is a poem by John Keats that captures this season so well. Take a minute or two to read aloud, revelling in his exquisite eloquent Romantic poetry.

Ode To Autumn

1.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 

        Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

    Conspiring with him how to load and bless

        With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

    To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,

        And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

          To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

        With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

    And still more, later flowers for the bees,

  Until they think warm days will never cease,

          For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

2.

  Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

      Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

  Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

      Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

  Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,

      Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

          Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:

  And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

      Steady thy laden head across a brook;

      Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,

          Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

3.

  Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

      Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—

  While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

      And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

  Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

      Among the river sallows, borne aloft

          Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

  And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

      Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

      The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;

          And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Autumn red