Autumn has arrived in the garden, the recent "Indian Summer" has helped turn the rain sodden leaves of the Birch trees that rise above the gorse into molten gold. Dappled in the sunlight, they shimmer in the gentle breeze, a last dance after a miserable summer, a life of joy before the cold Northern winds sweep them from their branches.
Across the Bay the Peninsula appears to float, the isthmus is so low lying that the Head itself appears to be an island, it is at moments like this I think of my beloved Blasket Islands off the fabulous Kerry Coast. The red stems of the Rosebay Willow-Herb stand out against a backdrop of gorse and elderberry. Robins fly swiftly from Cottoneaster to Elderberry, an urgency about them as if time is running out; perhaps it is, soon will come the days and nights of late October, early November gales. The "Boomers" as my father used to call them. Winds that buffet the house, booming off the rocks , hurrying who knows whither. Nights of gale and rain on which you wouldn't put a cat out, let alone venture forth yourself.
Nasturtiums bloom prolifically in my Dad's rockery which I retrieved from the cottoneaster and yew jungle it had grown into in the 39 years since he passed away. They provide a feast for the eye, Monet's garden springs to mind, and a feast for the bees who assiduously take care of them. A small amber glass jug full of mixed nasturtium blooms rests on the mantlepiece in the study, close by Dad's pipe rack. Late blooming fuschia, of every variety from the garden, is crammed into a jar that once held English Provender Company Chutney [and very nice it was too]. I love the green glass and the effect is one of summertime profusion.
Christmas, longed for by children, and the counted days before it shall be upon us before we know it. "My, my" we shall exclaim, "I haven't a thing organised!"but sure, what's to organise I ask myself. Mid Novermber I shall order this years victim of the Turkey family and a smoked ham and I shall cook the same Christmas dinner I have cooked for 27 of 29 years of married life.
In 1984 I was in hospital with my beautiful new baby daughter ED, turkey was the furtherest thing from my mind, she was all I could ask for as a Christmas present. 1989, just as I closed the oven door there was a power failure and that year's gobbler wound up travelling here to my Mother's kitchen - to return with her, beautifully cooked and served with an accompaniment of bread and tea. St Stephen's [Boxing] day saw us feast on what should have been Christmas dinner.
I put a chicken carcase out for the fox last night; either he is too well fed or I was too late for him. The garden bathed in moonlight was a joy and I took a ramble around the older part of it where I was sure of my footing. In my childhood it was bleak without tree or bush, Mum grew blue cedar, sumach, and the ubiquitous birch grew itself. An ethereal world indeed in lunar light. OH used the word lunar too, or one very near to it and told me I'd break my neck if I wasn't careful "rambling round at that hour of the night, you're not a child anymore you know" he endearingly informs me...not ready to give up those moonlit rambles either, thank you pet!!