Just when the bike was becoming a familiar sight around the lanes again it has had to be garaged for the last couple of weeks, the jockey having been laid low with a heap of snotters yet to reach man-flu proportions. Age is a terrible thing; even the cold takes a longer recovery period, and don’t even think of working it off with another 20 miles in the saddle. Still, the doc has his flu-jab ready and waiting.
It’s not just the effects of the cold, for the weather has taken a turn for the worse too, the wind rising, temperature dropping. I read a very atmospheric little piece over at The Yellow Caravan the other day. You wouldn’t get up to that sort of thing in these parts, Julie. Oh it would be nice to have a little sheltered spot where the wind doesn’t reach. But then the views, I’d miss the views.
Anyway when the old bike was last trundling I’d been marvelling at the changing of the season. The hedges were heavy with berries to keep the birds through the coming winter; and the leaves were on the turn. They did so under calm, blue skies. But not now.
In a couple of days the reddened leaves of the dogwood in the garden were ripped, cast afar, bare crimson stalks left. The robin perches yet, but his cover is gone, his orange bright against the red stems. The beech hedge had been slowly losing it’s greenery, leaves mottling, holding off the inevitable coppering. And the lawnmower had to come out again. October 16th, and still cutting grass, shaving the moss rising for the winter.
It was The Urchins who brought it home; schoolwork. In the parks of Copenhagen Girl Urchin had gathered sweet chestnuts and beech mast. Lately Boy Urchin’s been at it, with berries from the rowan, and the cotoneaster, shiny conkers too, and fircones on the stalks. He salvaged some freshly reddened foliage from that same rowan, rescued some dogwood drift, and harvested all the shades of the beech. Oh and he just had to have some of that bright berberis, the really, really, jaggy stuff with the half inch spikes. Still it’s a nice colour, deep magenta, the blood an added bonus. Not his of course.
Pictures had to be made for school. Silly me, thinking they’d have to bag up their gatherings and take them into class. Oh no, not nowadays. Make up your scene at home, take a picture, and email it over to teacher.
Which is fine hereabouts, for recent birthdays brought little tablets and technology is a major part of the learning process, but it will pose a problem for others. Just as I’m coping with attaching camera to computer, transferring snaps, finding them again and attaching to emails, so the youngsters are of the selfie generation – snap and send, instantly. Don’t ask me.
I’d love to put those pictures up for you, but I’ll need to ask an Urchin. Meantime the bike will be out again soon, and I’ll see how the hedges are doing after a couple of weeks off, and wind and rain. Promise.
And in the sitting room, four pairs of eyes can be glued to four screens, at the same time. But the telly’s off, and at least they haven’t started emailing each other yet. They can still speak.