Just over six weeks ago the thought of the first day of autumn term was of little concern to me. It was so far away, and there was a whole summer of late bedtimes, lazy mornings and fun filled days to be had. This last week, however, has seen the need for us to ready ourselves for the inevitable return to work and school. Lily has endured the back to school haircut, new shoes have been bought, name labels have been stitched and the P.E. bag is hung on the door ready for the morning. We're as ready as we can be.
Nevertheless, the whole idea of rushed mornings and the approaching darker evenings has got me rather melancholy this year. Naturally, I find myself missing the long, sunny, carefree days of summer, but by this time of the year I usually find I am in need of a bit more structure to my days as the seasons begin to change. Recently I have also begun to really love autumn, so I don't know why I'm feeling this way. I'm sure I will feel fine once I get back in the swing of things and Lily settles into her second year at school. That's possibly part of my unease. It seems quite a big leap from Reception class into Year 1, as if all of a sudden they are expected to be much more grown up.
At least the changing weather has seen me spending more time in the kitchen. It has felt good to be getting my bake-on again and the slow cooker has seen it's first use since the beginning of the year. With my days getting busier, I think I'll be using it much more often from now on.
I've also been doing some work outside. I've cut back some of the hedges and the small tree at the end of the garden. I still need to turn over the raised bed when it's finally cleared, the flower bed next to it and then tidy up the pots and large planter. It's all been a bit neglected recently and I want to make sure it's tidied up and I'm on top of things before the cold weather arrives. We're still eating our way through our home grown beans and beetroot. The tomatoes are finally ripening and they will get used up in soups and sauces.
Our days have been quite overcast, but mostly warm and dry, so we've still found chance to get out in the fresh air. Following a walk in some nearby woods, we discovered a bird hide tucked away, which I think we will be paying a visit to again in the future, and at the weekend we spent a lovely afternoon by Grasmere. We were surprised at how quiet it was, for once, and we were so relaxed as we walked along we hadn't noticed how quickly the hours had passed. We didn't return to the village until almost half past five, however, we were still just in time to buy some Grasmere gingerbread which, having been freshly baked, was still slightly warm from the oven. Delicious!