We cannot say that we have had it bad during the Summer, the weather has for the most part been warm and sunny. It has been unusually warm and sometimes sunny during the last couple of months too, exceptionally so for November. We have been experiencing overnight temperatures exceeding those we would normally expect during the day at this time of year but slowly all that is changing. Most noticeably the wind has been getting stronger making it feel colder than it actually is but it is getting colder in any case. I suppose we can expect it to really feel like it is mid to late Autumn in the days to come. It is time to think about pruning the deciduous trees and shrubs that need pruning back and to prepare those plants more susceptible to the cold for protection if needs be. With that in mind E and I spent a few minutes wrapping three of the Phoenix Canariensis trees with sheets of bubble-wrap plastic and tieing them up so that only their tops are exposed. It isn’t for the low temperatures that we will get during the next few months but for the cold winds. These particular plants can withstand temperatures as low as minus seven degree celsius but the cold winds burn their leaves. It is the wind that we are protecting against. I have noticed I am having to wrap up more whenever I am out of the house or going to work. I am beginning to see the need to have the heating on in my van. The house heating has been switched on for a few weeks. It is Autumn and although it is my favourite time of year, it sure can get cold, wet and windy! Soon it will be Winter and Christmas time and before we know it the next year will be upon us. It is a time for preparation and readiness whilst we are still able and to wrap up those plants which need a winter overcoat so we can enjoy them during the warmer months. Despite it being so cool and windy we still have flowering plants in the garden, in fact some of them only burst into flower in Autumn. Others actually prefer it being wet and cool. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees and not before time as I have spent quite some time sweeping them up. Each day there have been fresh heaps of them to move but finally there are now almost none. Some apples remain on the branches but I have fitted a net beneath those branches which are above the concrete path to catch them when they fall. There is still plenty to do out in the garden but I will be well wrapped up for it.
I went to a job on Thursday morning . On my return home a couple of hours later I half-expected E to have been busy in the kitchen continuing with the painting of the woodwork she had begun to do the previous afternoon but alas no she wasn’t. She was busy on her computer ‘catching up on a few things’ by her account. What she really meant was that she was entering some more competitions for she spends an awful amount of time doing that. I think she spends far too much time on her computer doing that but that is only my opinion. Anyway during the afternoon she would be out shopping with her mom doing the weekly shop and wouldn’t have the time to do any painting. That meant I could get on with my part in the deal, painting the walls but no I was feeling a little tired and didn’t much want to start painting after my lunch. I was gazing out of the kitchen window at the now almost bare deciduous trees and all the leaves they had shed upon the lawn and elsewhere. Every year it is the same, the leaves seem to gather at specific places around the garden and form great heaps. The usual places are immediately outside of the cellar door which leads out into the garden, in and around the three grids (though they do have a little protection) at the back of the house, at the bottom of the stone stairway that leads from the kitchen down into the garden, in the space immediately outside of the rear door of the garage E uses, in two places on the lawn, around the path we created when we dug out the old mound, on the path to the large greenhouse and even behind it and of course trapped in the borders which are about the only places we don’t have to bother much about clearing them away. I looked and thought to myself, ‘You’ve got to shift them as next Monday will be the last collection of green waste for this year and the next one will be at the beginning of March’. The weather also promised to be wet and windy so I had to seize the opportunity and forget all about painting in the kitchen. So that is what I did and I filled the two wheelie bins in the process which doesn’t sound much. However I had to compress the leaves to get them all in, well as much as was practically possible. Even so there might be more to go in them before Monday morning. Now I could have used the lawn sweeper as we have one just like the one in the picture but the leaves on the lawn had generously heaped themselves in two places and though there were a few scattered about it simply wasn’t worth getting it out. I left the more compacted bin in the rear garden as there might be more to shovel up and the other bin I took back to the front garden where another large heap of leaves still lay on the path against the wall. I was hoping the wind might blow some of them away before Monday. I thought that in a day or two the leaves would have settled more inside the bins to allow just a little more to be put in them. I have resorted to standing inside the bins in the past in order to compress the contents and I might have to do so this time. I feel sorry for the guy next door whose entire lawn is covered in a couple of inches of leaves and his lawn is almost twice the size of ours. Unfortunately his garden is east of ours, the prevailing winds are from the west and his garden is surrounded by trees on all sides except for his house. Most of the leaves that fall in our garden come from large trees which are not in our garden though some smaller ones are. By the time I had cleared away as much of the leaves as I could I was feeling even more tired!
It is the season of mists and damp mornings and the temperature is gradually dropping day by day. Already I am forced to wear a coat if out doing anything except work, like going shopping for example. No more summer skirts and tops but still I wear the heavier version of them now it is cooler. I have resumed wearing my beloved stockings and suspender belt, things I don’t usually wear in the warmer months of the year except on special occasions. I even wear them to work. So it is fast approaching my favourite time of year, Autumn, not ‘Fall’, Autumn. Fall is when the leaves fall from the trees in Autumn but it is only the deciduous trees which lose their leaves, not all the trees and those in warmer climates don’t lose their leaves because it is Autumn. I like Autumn, its colours, its coolness, its mists and fogs, damp mornings and all the things we associate with the time of year. It is raining more now and I will be hard-pressed to find a day that is dry enough to mow the lawn for the final one or two times this year. I still didn’t buy that hover mower yet! It’s at this time of year I get more requests to fit security lighting too! Why that isn’t considered while it is warm and sunny I don’t know but of course those asking don’t have to work in the cool. damp and sometimes windy conditions do they? Their thoughts are elsewhere in Summer. My work has often had a seasonal dependency but it isn’t always predictable. When I expect little work I get plenty instead and vice-versa. The summer holidays are over and the children are back in school. Daytime traffic is quiet and there is a feeling of emptiness everywhere except in the centre of town. The daily rush-hour is back and the daily routines in life have changed with the season for those who are employed. Just like me.