After the goldrush

DSC_5823-d-pumpkin

Strictly the title has precious little to do with this post; but it is one that I’ve always liked. Seen here is one of our pumpkins, carved according to D’s design by your humble author. They are grown by Nicholas, whose allotment each year is a marvel of productivity, especially his pumpkin patch. But then, he grew up on a Canadian farm. After halloween they sit on our front step growing slowly more and more soggy until they finally collapse into a heap of yuk.

Yesterday was a glorious day for an outing and also for a 5 km run. But happily today was also lovely, so after the important things like lying in bed, and drinking coffee, and hoovering the living room, I spent a fair amount of the afternoon outside in the yellow November sunshine appreciating what felt like the last warm day of the year.

Before doing anything else I felt obliged to harvest some of the grapes that grow against our south wall. They aren’t really eating grapes – they have a seed, and are small – but are still worth eating if you have the patience. Most years the birds get most of them; just for once I got a large bowlful. After that the main task was to construct another compost heap – I have a succession of not-quite-satisfactory heaps around. But I didn’t have time to sort those out so I made another out of some old doors, and proceeded to shovel large numbers of rotten apples into it, whilst rescuing a few to make apple stew. Then could come the real purpose: cutting the lawn, a long-neglected duty, and thereby hoovering up a lot of fallen leaves. Naturally, as someone who regularly scores zero in the “completer-finisher” section I didn’t actually finish cutting the lawn. Or even make a start on weeding the patio.

Speaking of which, the little alpine strawberries still have strawbs on them. Is that usual, I wonder, this late on, with the dahlias dead of frost?

[Update: Mr Pumpkin fades; his sharp teeth become blurred: DSC_5824-d-pumpkin-faded]