Days become shorter, the air takes on a chill and the clinging damp of Autumn rises up from the fallen leaves and lingers in the hedgerows. The wind sprints past, without apology, like a late errand boy with a message for the receding Summer.
These are the days of afternoon walks, lit with a weakening sun. A time for home comforts. Warm familiarity as you cross the threshold. Soft lamps and the light rasp of drawn curtains. Maybe, toast for tea, or one of my favourites, a baked apple with sultanas, brown sugar and cinnamon oozing and bubbling from the hollowed core.
Before tuning-in to the chaos of the wider world, you might pull a book from the shelf. A best-loved title from childhood? You open at the first page, read a few lines, the fragrance of evening still filling your senses.*
In no time at all, you're drawn in, the story developing around you. For me, this might mean that I'd drifted into the company of Kay Harker.
Spangled puddles rest, undisturbed, in the quiet of the night. Not a ripple, after footpaths have shrugged off the last lonely footsteps.
Upon waking, the season hangs around the houses, in paralysed veils.
* Our Speckly Woo is not quite four. During a recent overnight stay with us, I introduced her to the BBC version of 'The Box of Delights'. She's a year younger than her mother was, when she was mesmerised back in 1984. Speckly Woo let her taste buds influence her reactions to the story. There came a stream of questions relating to "the box of angel delights", most of which centred on "King Horlicks", rather than Cole Hawlins. Magical!