Goodbye summer.

Well, it had to end eventually. Not that this weekend, down here on the south coast, was as chilly as Liam Dutton said it would be. Maybe the Nightmare from the North has yet to strike us but, though the wind had a bite to it, that made ideal conditions for the runners in Saturday’s Beachy Head Marathon. This masochistic pastime always coincides with the clocks going backwards and I daresay the competitors, after eighteen miles, felt the same by the time they passed our house. One local spectator held a banner saying PAIN IS TEMPORARY, PRIDE IS FOREVER but with eight uphill miles to go I wonder how many were convinced.

Anyway, last Friday, supposedly the last of our indian summer, we picked the final crop of courgettes. Fancy doing that on October 26th…usually the first frosts have demolished the plants by then. Autumn raspberries too have been going strong though probably the frosts over the last couple of days will have put paid to any more. Casualties already are the remaining french beans,  lettuces and the second crop of figs, while the pond side gunnera is struggling in the cold. 

Surprisingly the dahlias haven’t been blackened yet but they won’t last much longer. Here are three looking healthy specimens, from left to right: Cafe au Lait, Pontiac and Gerrie Hoek.

More harbingers of autumn: colourful leaves (the view from our bedroom window), wrapping bubble plastic around the terracotta statues, putting stuff in the greenhouse, the arrival of Greenthumb’s scarifying team and medlars in need of bletting.

So finally it’s farewell sunshine and heat. Auf wiedersehen open doors and windows. Adieu teeshirts and shorts. Bye bye home grown vegetables. But cheerio weekly mowing. And welcome central heating, log fires and crumpets. Who says autumn’s a pain (apart from the runners)?