One of the sweetest things we grow here is a pear, a variety called Fertility because its pollen will fertilise all other pear varieties. My mother I think had the idea that we'd have more pear trees in the orchard than in fact we ended up with. Its pears are small and they don't keep, but they are juicy and very pleasant to eat. I've spent today doing a bit of cooking with these pears, and have reduced a jug of very sweet and sticky pear syrup and used the resulting pear pulp in a cake. If you've never used apples or pears in baking, you should give it a try.
We're enjoying an Indian summer here in Southern England. The nights are drawing in and there's a suspicion that frost can't be far away, but the days are bright and sunny with temperatures warm enough to wear a t-shirt, if not to make you sweat. It's summer's last hurrah before the descent into damp and cold, mud and rotting vegetation.
So this'll be my first full winter at my parents place in quite a while. At home most of the time as I'm working for myself and conserving my money, the rural idyl can become an oppressive prison of crushing loneliness if I'm not careful. I should be used to it after forty years, but I remember the period when I came back from university and felt as if my life had been cut off. I'm not without friends locally so it's not all doom and gloom, but sometimes a rural winter can be hard going.
In a couple of weeks I'll be off to Cambridgeshire, my friend C's newborn is to be baptised. If we're lucky the Indian summer will still provide, but it's more likely to be a thick tights and boots kind of day. Welcome really, what with no longer working in an office and that it's been so long since I went to anything like this I've not had the excuse to dress up for ages.
At least I've not reached that point of any rarely-worn nice clothes I own having become unfashionable.