Sunday, August 24, 2014


Two different people have told me that an early autumn means we're in for a long, hard winter.  Well, we'll see.  But there is definitely a chill in the morning air, the leaves are turning, and a bumper crop of blackberries is already ripening on the hedges that border the river.

So still this morning. A milky sun giving a soft and gentle light. No wind.  A very distant hum of traffic on the main road.  Birdsong. I keep meaning to re-listen to my bird song CDs to help identify the different calls.  I disturbed half a dozen goldfinches making the most of the opportunity for a blackberry breakfast.  Incidentally the collective noun for goldfinches is a charm as my father once informed me.  (Other collective ornithological delights here.  A bellowing of bullfinches is a particular favourite.).

Today I'm particularly aware of the onset of the cold months as my gas central heating boiler's days are numbered, or so the British Gas technician I called out when the radiators remained stone cold after half an hour of running informed me.  I'm lining up several firms to give me a quote on a new, modern, energy efficient one over the coming week or so but I'll miss my old warhorse.  It has a steampunk look about it and dates from the late 1980s, from the era of Duran Duran, padded shoulders and mobile phones the size of a brick.  It has grunted and creaked  and whirred its noisy way through the last six winters since I moved into this house and I've always been aware that it and I have been living on borrowed time as far as heating is concerned.  Even now it hasn't given up the ghost completely, as it still provides hot water in the taps.

Quite a significant week to come all in all.  I've an appointment this Tuesday that I'm pinning far too much hope on because, probably mistakenly, it feels like my last hope of getting back to anything approaching a normal life. Yes, there is more than a hint of desperation here but my ability to "trust the process" has been severely tested of late.  Don't want to say any more about it in case I put a jinx on the whole business. 


Jenny Woolf said...

Good luck for Tuesday. Nothing more sapping than living in a state of "waiting-for".

Your blackberries are so late. Ours are almost over.

I'm not sure I believe that about an early autumn meaning a hard winter. It's the sort of thing that people say and then when they try to remember whether the last autumn was early or late, they have already forgotten and are looking forward to spring!

Sabine said...

I am determined to not get worked up about a long cold winter. In theory. I have been asking a meteorologist and he just shrugged his shoulders and mumbled something about patterns and balance and equations in currents and I gave up.

All the best for Tuesday.

Relatively Retiring said...

I do hope you get positive news on Tuesday.

mm said...

Thanks Jenny, Sabine and RR. Good wishes much appreciated and I also am resolved not to fret about a long, cold winter!

Leslee said...

I love that "charm" of goldfinches. I've had goldfinches in my front yard - they love to pick the seeds from the spent sunflowers in front of my living room window.

We had a relatively cool summer, and suddenly now heat and humidity now that the summer is winding down. I'm not looking forward to the winter as the last one was brutal here.

I hope you have some good news - best wishes.

mm said...

Thanks Leslee.

Barbara M said...

Hoping that your appointment was worth at least some of the hope you were pinning on it {{hugs}}

mm said...

Bless you Barbara. Hugs are always welcome. Probably safe to say that I am very cautiously optimistic.