The colours of autumn

are beginning to form.  The old laburnum is taking on almost as much yellow as it did just a few short months ago; what once was fragrant and blooming is now approaching leaf-fall.  Over at the rowan the starlings are feasting, even forming an orderly queue on the step ladder at the top end of the adjacent telephone pole, waiting their turn as the berries hang ripe.

The moles are on the forage again, tunnelling back into the garden for the juiciest of the worms.  The mole chasers have had their time, for the sunlight now rarely puts sufficient oomph into the batteries, and back they come.  Mind you the football pitch was once again trampled by a stray coo, so a few mole hills barely matter; indeed they provide filling for those endless hoof-holes.

The chickens are happy at last, and safe.  They have a new run, fox-proof, fingers crossed, walk in, pegged down.  The one old rescue hen has been joined by some youngsters, a couple of black tails, a speckledy and a Sussex star.  Eggs are plentiful.

Which is just as well, for the baking season has started with a frenzy.  Never mind the occasional birthday cake, the Rural is back in session, and the annual Exposition has just been and gone.  So the kitchen table is groaning with goodies.  There are jams and curds, and chutneys too; scones and pancakes; empire biscuits and carrot cake; fruit loaf and brownies and woe betide me if I’ve forgotten anything, like shortbread.  Some of them have prize tickets attached, but alas none of those sought after red ones this year.

There was a thought, at one stage, of adding cinnamon to the empires, an old recipe found.  But a discrete query brought only frowns.  Not in the rules, we don’t like change.  Now that would be fine if The Rules weren’t a closely guarded secret, written down by none, passed on by few.  Cinnamon in the empire biscuits, sounds good to me.

The changing of the season is marked in many ways.  There are cycle runs, marshalling duties only this year and a bit of report writing too.  The second seasonal run went past the gate just at the weekend, the long route of the annual Glasgow-Edinburgh Pedal for Scotland event, just the 110 miles.  Unusually the lead riders were through by nine, basking in a calm  and sunny day where they usually batter against the elements.

The hot air balloons have been and gone, and taken to the air as well, another fine and calm weekend.  It’s not supposed to happen, but like the seasons there is change.  I’ve been hearing about it endlessly on the bulletins, reading online and even in my one concession to the written press.  There is more hot air and there are still balloons, more of both this week when Monsieur Farage and the Orange Order join the fray.  That will be fun; stay away from Edinburgh next Saturday folks, even if you’re not easily offended.

Change, more powers, promises, have some, they’re free, go on, take them.  No Thanks boys, heard it all before.  Besides we’re in the purdah period, the one where no new policies can be aired, even if you did think you get them through the back benches and the unelected upper house.  Besides, the postal votes have already been cast in their thousands, so just as there will be no leaders’ debates for that reason so there can be no new offer.  It’s not allowed.  So whatever you say now, I’m not going to risk that one; heard it all before.  Who was it that was crowing at insisting that Devo Max wasn’t on the ballot paper?

Change, as sure as the leaves are drying and rustling, drifting in the breeze; as sure as the berries are fattening the birds for the winter; there is change.  Yes there is.  For this year the colours of autumn, all around us, are Blue and White.


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