Although I can't help feeling a little sad that summer has come to an end, I actually love the transition between seasons. There is a great sense of ritual about packing away the outdoor summer toys and furniture and preparing for the darker days ahead. My hands feel a little raw from cleaning the hundreds of balls from the ball pool and battling in the high winds to dismantle the kid's gazebo this morning, but there is something immensely satisfying about it.
Tomorrow, the school term starts and my girls are ready with their new stationery and timetables accessed via the internet. For me it is a big day because my little girl starts nursery school, five mornings a week. We have been preparing for it all summer long and she is fond of saying that she starts school in SepTEMberrrrr!! Well now it is SepTEMberrrr and I am wondering how she will cope with the reality of it all. Grandma sent a 'Starting School' sticker book which we completed together yesterday with lots of chat and her new coat and shoes are neatly in her room waiting to keep a tiny body warm on the walk to school and make tiny feet look ready for a big girl's world. How quickly they grow up.
The apple trees in my garden have been laden with fruit this year and I am sure that there will be enough windfalls now to make a very fine pie. I am a bit squeamish about cutting into the less than perfect fruits. Just imagining the maggots brings back a memory with all too vivid clarity - a memory involving a morning cup of tea, an unwelcome addition to that cup of tea and a seriously unpleasant way of finding out about that addition. It will all be worth it though when that pie comes out of the oven, golden and aromatic and a wonderful way to celebrate the arrival of autumn.
Autumn also means falling leaves. It is my intention this year to keep the leaf blower handy so I can regularly tackle the gathering masses of leaves on my lawn and hopefully stop too many blowing into my pond. It seems like a never ending war but one I am determined, if not to win, at least to not be totally defeated.
As I look out of my window now, I can see the trees bending in the wind and the first drops of cold rain hitting the glass. It will soon be time to turn the central heating on and look forward to long, cosy evenings in front of my fire, probably with a glass of wine. Who needs sunshine!