Saturday, 3rd September, 2022

[Day 901]

Today there was a decidedly autumnal feel to the air when we got home. It had evidently rained during the night which is surely needed after all of these dry spells – I was pleased that we had got the lawns and the hedges cut before the rains came and we shall probably expect a little more tomorrow. The generally autumnal air was assisted by the choice of music by Alan Titchmarsh on ClassicFM this morning where we had a Mozart Horn concerto closely followed by the Elgar cello concerto. I think these two pieces were well-chosen to reflect the ambience of the day and although it is not exactly the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ in the words of the poet, the fact that so many trees are losing their leaves in a kind of false autumn means that the seasons are well and truly out-of-kilter with the actual months – after all, we are only just into September. Before we went down to the park, I had a large load of washing to peg out but no sooner had I started but the washing line broke in the very middle.I suspect that this is where our clothes prop that has a very tight clasp had worn away at the clothes line. Needless to say, I was being able assisted in putting out the clothes by Miggles, that cat who had adopted us. Repairing the line meant accessing the lower branches of one of our holly trees to release some spare portions of line. Once the line had been repaired (with a simple knot) the cat ascended the tree to inspect the cleat where the clothes line was affixed and almost got itself stuck. Afterwards, Meg and I went down by car to pick up our Saturday newspaper and after that, we made our way to the park. There we met up with Inveterate Octogenerian Hiker who we we had not seen for well over a week. We exchanged news of our various comings and goings and indeed we will not see our acquaintance again for at least a week as his daughter was going to whisk down to Chicester for a little holiday. I was reminded vividly of how the recent heat wave has thrown the seasons out of kilter because as I was cutting the lawns yesterday, I noticed that our solitary pear tree in the back garden was absolutely laden with fruit, whereas last year I think that it only bore a single pear. I selected the largest pear and sampled it, expecting it to be fairly tart but was pleasantly surprised that the taste was quite tolerable so I may have to think about picking the crop a bit earlier than I would have thought. At the same time, the old damson trees at the end of our garden (part of a hedgerow which I think forms part of the ancient boundary fence) is absolutely teeming with damsons. When I got indoors, I consulted my ‘gardening diary’ in which I record various things and notice that in the past I have picked damsons as early as 5th September. The only problem is that I still have not got around to bottling last years damson gin and damson vodka so I really need to find the time to do this in the next few days in order to release Kilner jars in which the damson gin is made. I should really have got around to this a lot earlier but somehow other things have always tended to intrude. This afternoon, Meg and I were watching ‘Sense and Sensibility‘ whilst simultaneously reading The Times not to mention my current writing. In the late afternoon, I also thought I would get back into soup making mode again as the nights are getting a little colder. I made tonight’s soup out of some fried onions, carrots, swede, celery, half a can of coconut milk and finally a dollop of Marsala sauce which adds just a little bit of piquancy to the whole. I started off this lot just before we set off for church and when we got back, the soup was all ready for us. We just needed a little bit of toast in lieu of croutons and a spoonful of greek yogurt and it feels like old times again. I have some cooked ingredients left over for an additional soup type meal during the week.

Finally,more Tory sleaze has energed. Liam Fox denies wrongdoing after receiving £20,000 from COVID testing firm he recommended but claims that all he did for his money was to make a recommendation to government. As we are in a kind of interregnum between Prime Ministers, I would be surprised if this was taken any further, particularly as so many ministers benefitted in a similar way at the start of the pandemic. Nobody seems to call out this corruption any more as it seems normal in the current state of politics.