Autumn days

Lately, we’ve been …
autumn leaves
… 1 enjoying autumn leaves. I wonder whether I shall ever reach the age when kicking autumn leaves is no longer a joy. I do hope not.
 
sloes
 
… 2 picking sloes to make Sloe Gin. It’s proving to be a bumper year for sloes around here and it’s good to get the sloes picked on mild autumn days as I hate going out on freezing winter mornings when the bushes are wet and fingers chill to the bone as we pick. The sloes are already ripe and some are beginning to fall from the bushes so we’ve been out in force to pick them before it’s too late.
blackthorn
… but not enjoying the vicious thorns of the blackthorn. Look carefully and you can see the thorns, ready to catch the unwary hand plunged into the bush in search of the fattest, juiciest sloes.
rhubarb
 
… 3 enjoying the quiet decay of the garden in autumn. The rhubarb has finally keeled over, the leaves now draped over the edges of the bed as they quietly rot away. The beans have been taken down and the canes put away until spring, the last of the peas picked and the pumpkins cut and left to dry with the rampaging vegetation pulled up and composted. I rather like this time of clearing away and tidying up, though I confess that I’m not that diligent and there’s quite a lot that’s just left to go to seed and stand forlorn through winter.
 
pumpkin
 
… 4 wondering what on earth I’m going to do with the pumpkins. We have only three pumpkins from our plants but they’re enormous and  I could feed (almost) half of Braintree with this one alone. I hear the call of Pumpkin Soup and Pumpkin Ice Cream but so far I’m just enjoying the sight of the pumpkins sitting out in the garden chairs, like old ladies taking in the sunshine.
 
Blackcurrant Gin, butterscotch bars, pears
 
… 5 enjoying some autumnal food. Pears from the garden that have just hit the perfect ripeness; Butterscotch bars studded with walnuts and chocolate; a hot toddy of Blackcurrant Gin with a little lemon juice, honey and a splash of hot water (an almost virtuous drink with all that vitamin C and goodness).
Are you enjoying autumn days or are you bursting into springtime? Whichever, have a good weekend.