Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Indian Summer

    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.


  1. hi Jenny! I am so grateful for this indian summer... trying to be equally grateful for every day it goes on, because I know we'll sure miss it when it's gone...

  2. I told everyone that there would be great weather when we were away!

    Overnight stay near you next Saturday if you fancy a dry run in those fancy clothes. Meal on offer if you bring a bottle of cider, you know the address.

  3. Evening both, and apologies, been away in the Fens. Which were rather nice.

    Believe me I've been making the most of the last few days! Painting the underside of Wreck, harvesting apples, and of course those pears. I guess the realisation that my first winter in rural isolation for a few decades beckons was behind this post.

    And yes, all the best stuff happens when one is away. A few years ago I missed a white Christmas, for example.

    Sadly I may not be around next Saturday, I will contact you.