Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Today Is A Gift (which is why they call it the present ;)

Linking up with Maxabella for The Rewind.

Just when Id reluctantly decided that Summer might have come to an end we had the most glorious weekend!

Although I'm not a winter person, there are elements of it that I enjoy. I love cold, crisp days and bundling up in warm clothes. I love cooking up huge stews and casseroles and leaving them to simmer all day in the slow cooker filling the house with mouthwatering smells. I love walking along deserted beaches with Gus and I love snuggling up under my duvet with my hot water bottle.

But I miss Summer, I miss the sun on my bare skin and the longer days and catching the last rays of sunshine in the garden or sitting in the stillness of the early morning watching the mist lift while I drink my cup of tea.

Technically it's not Winter just yet, it's Autumn and the leaves are only begging to turn but the nights are drawing in and there's a chill in the evening air. Soon we will be getting up to darkness and turning the lights on by 4pm.

But that's not yet ...

Last week we had some torrential downpours. The heavens opened and the rain fell so fast that the guttering along the top of my house couldn't cope and water spilled over hitting the lids of my recycling boxes with a noise like kettle drums flattening my tomato plants and causing the remaining green fruit I still hoped would ripen to swell and split.

But then, in it's last dying breath, the summer returned and it's still with us today. The sky is a soft powder blue with ribbons of fluffy white cloud and the sun, although weakened, warmed my shoulders as I sat in the garden this morning.

On Sunday SD and I went to Beer, a small town by the seaside where fishermen winch their boats high up on the beach above the tide line and stripy deckchairs are dotted along the pebbled shore.

We drank coffee and ate rich, dark fruit cake as we watched the fishermen unload their catch. We read our books in companionable silence. I reacquainted myself with a Gerald Durrell book of short stories 'Marrying Off Mother and other stories'.

I don't read enough these days. There was a time when each evening would find me curled up with a book, it's something I've always done having been brought up in a house overflowing with reading matter but somehow I've gradually forgotten how much pleasure there is in escaping between the pages.

It's no secret that Gerald Durrell is my favourite author. His magical way with words transports me to far off places filled with colour and heady scents. One day I must get around to replacing my lost copy of My Family and other Animals.

He returns briefly in this book to his Corfu childhood to find his brothers Leslie and Larry (as delightfully pompous as ever), his eternally romantic but muddled sister Margot, his long suffering mother, serene and dignified in the face of the trials devised by her offspring (in this case where they decide she should marry again and set about finding her a 'suitable' mate). He shares his picnic with a fragrant sow and prize truffler called Esmerelda in the Perigord, charms Magnolia Dwite-Henderson, an ageing belle in Memphis, stays with a hangman in Paraguay and dines with a gambling nun in Mote Carlo.

If I were half the writer Durrell was then I'd be so happy, if I'd led half the life he led I'd be happier still.

SD and I walked along the waters edge, our feet slipping and and sinking into the large pebbles that make up the beach at Beer as the sun slowly made its way around the horseshoe shaped bay. We watched as two elderly ladies braved the surf, warmer now than at any other time of the year but still cold enough to take your breath away. We walked to the far end of the bay where, as the tide retreats, there are rock pools teeming with life. I'm fascinated by rock pools in much the same way Durrell was as a child, I can sit and watch the tiny creatures trapped in them go about their business for hours but SD is less patient than me and so we headed away from the beach to explore the town.

A Sunday afternoon in October isn't the ideal time to visit a seaside town. Many of the shops have closed for winter and the few remaining ones have run down their stock in preparation for restocking next year but Beer is a pretty place to wander around, there is a stream that runs very fast right through its main street directed by a man made leat along and under the road until it finally rushes down the side of the hill to join the sea. The tiny front gardens were still full of flowers and people sat enjoying the unexpected return of summer on benches and deckchairs.

Days like this are a gift and I store them up to see me through the darkness and cold of winter.


Munir said...

I know it is only October, but I am cold. I went and bought a hat so I don't get the left overs if I buy them later. You are right this is a day to go shopping. Also I agree with you, we need to make and eat more fudge.

Michelle said...

I think the best bit about the change of seasons and winter coming is getting to wear my ever growing collection of scarves! Its Spring over here in Australia right now but the weather has still been pretty fresh and raining, I cant wait for some proper sunshine days :)

Sarah said...

You can never have enough Fudge Munir :-) - I'm wishing I'd worn a hat today, it's cold!!

I love my scarves Michelle,SD's Mum gave me a great one last Christmas, bright red with pom poms, I love it even though it was attacked by kittens and now only has a pom ...

Travelling Macs said...

Where I live (Australa) the spring is creeping in smothering the cold winter we had. I love springtime. There is a special scent from the blooms that fills the air and wafts on the breezes.

Sarah said...

I love the Spring most of all TM - the promise of what is to come - I start looking forward to it on January 1st :-)