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Autumn on the farm

I’ve loved reading all the autumnal posts on Facebook and Instagram, indulging in the

beautifully photographed leaves in streams, soaps shaped like pumpkins, and mugs full of

marshmallows. There’s definitely a list somewhere with ‘Autumn: look and feel’ written on

it, and I had planned to write my own when I read this article in The Guardian - Legends of

the fall: is autumn all it’s cracked up to be? | Life and style | The Guardian and decided that

it said it all.

Except for comments about shackets – which I don’t understand as a fashion statement at

all – it made me laugh out loud in agreement, and reconsider having anything to do with

autumn because, as the author says, “autumn is nothing more than a photocall from the

Earth designed exclusively to populate everyone else’s timeline with proof that they – and

they alone – love leaves more than every poet that has ever lived before.”

But I do love Autumn, and if my photography skills were up to it, I too would have been

posting pictures of Autumn on the Farm. After the intensity of having to enjoy summer (It’s

hot! It’s sunny! We’re wearing flip flops! Have fun!) but before the press of Christmas, it’s a

long slow meander: an easy drive home at dusk after a busy day, the bronze and gold of the

sunset settled around you like the comfort of a warm hearth; soft slippers; the homely

sound of the kettle. It’s that feeling of looking back while moving forward, taking stock but

still preparing. It’s jerseys, hats, clothes with collars and wellie boots, warm hands in pockets

and cold cheeks. Autumn is restful, and contemplative. It’s worth the hype.

This year Autumn brought more than just a harvest and fire-coloured leaves; for us it

brought desperately needed rain. Not something you often say in Scotland, but we struggled

for water much of this year and celebrated the day the heavens finally opened with proper

soak-you-to-the-skin, leaves-the-grass-squelchy for days, kind of rain.

The turn of the year also brought the end of the girls first term in primary school. I’m

amazed at how they’ve suddenly grown up and become so independent. Their new

confidence glows in them. They’ve taken so many changes in their stride: a new teacher, a

new classroom, new friends, mommy at home and going away over night to work. And with

this has come a new love of Halloween. The past few weeks have been all about what, how

and why they will be making costumes for Halloween, and I’m looking forward to seeing

what they settle on – I can guarantee there’s going to be glitter, and possibly a ghost and “a

rare type of bat” (a purple one).

We’re on holiday now for two weeks, and in among preparing soaps and other lovely things

for Christmas fairs and shops, there are family celebrations, gatherings, and wee trips away

to enjoy. We’ll also be welcoming some new calves onto the farm and tidying up the garden,

but with no hurry. Autumn reminds us that things happen in their own time.

What will you be doing this October?

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