Despite the radiant warm sunshine we are still experiencing, there is no mistaking that Autumn has now officially arrived here in North Norfolk. By home time we’re all reaching for an extra layer of clothing and switching the sitting room lamps on slightly earlier than normal. Cromer remains relatively frantic during working hours and certainly the newly opened No. 1 (Galton Blackiston’s latest venture into fish and chips) seems to be enjoying a roaring trade despite a nervous start this Summer. That being said, the tourists are gradually receding and the gusty north wind and gulls have already begun to reclaim the town for the Winter.
I have to admit that Autumn is possibly my favourite season being visually captivating and a season to collect oneself and gather ones thoughts. All the rush and hurry of Summer has passed, the garden has built to its crescendo and bowed out and all that remains of the holiday is a large pile of photographs documenting long sunny days by the coast and sun kissed children with tired, lopsided grins.
It is about now when I start to take notes whilst watching Gardeners World and hanging on Monty’s every word when he gets to ‘jobs for the weekend’. The hen house and their paraphernalia have been thoroughly scrubbed and treated and the vegetable plot is giving up the last apples and beetroot. Whilst walking the hound recently I discovered a secret sloe tree, growing wild and unfettered, so abundant in sloes it looked rather like a Dr. Seuss illustration. So it came to pass that everyone involved in the aforementioned walk was promptly instructed to fill pockets, hats and welly boots if necessary with sloes before some other unsuspecting marauder should round the corner more appropriately equipped and pick it clean. On another pleasing note, we have been extremely successful in pumpkin production this year with the ‘Atlantic Giant’ growing at an alarming rate despite being largely neglected this Summer. We grew these from seed and the children are delighted at the prospect of carving these biblical pumpkins although I’m now beginning to feel less enthusiastic as the task grows closer!
However, it’s not just the garden and produce that help create that unique Autumn atmosphere. It’s the air of quiet preparation, the need for a change of routine and the sense of bedding in for Winter that I find almost comforting. No matter what has gone before, you can be certain that Autumn will blow in on time to remind you of what needs to be done.