Sunday mornings in Autumn

I love relaxing Sunday mornings in Autumn. Classic FM on the radio, Anne pottering away in the kitchen whilst I sit on the pew at the table streaming consciousness.

The light in the back garden has a special quality this morning as the sun does its best to poke through. Half an hour ago the allotments were covered in semi translucent mists but these seem to be lifting and being replaced by a silvery glow. There are still plenty of apples on the trees in the garden. We have picked enough for our short term needs and are leaving the rest to the wildlife. It only seems fair.

A shiver of contentment ripples down my back. I have had a cup of tea, bacon sandwich with organic white bread baked yesterday in this very kitchen, a glass of milk and a smaller one of orange juice.

I am under no pressure although there is a mirror to put up sometime today so not an entirely jobs free day.

The sizzling of the large cast iron casserole pan also provides a warm feeling. A slow cooked beef stew in preparation. Onions, bacon and garlic frying. Bottle of Marston’s Pedigree at the ready to add to the flavour. It will be great with some nice crusty bread tonight when we get back from Skegness. We also have some hand made butter left, bought at the British National Ploughing Championships last weekend.

It somehow feels right to be cooking at this time of year. That isn’t to say we don’t do it all year round but there must be some inbuilt “use up that harvested produce” instinct.

My grandmother in South Wales used to keep a pig in a sty at the bottom of the garden. That went a long time ago when they changed the law making people use abattoirs for their butchery. As a child my father remembers that pig as being one of their main sources of protein during the winters.

We couldn’t do it these days. Centrally heated houses are not great places to hang bacon although our north facing garage would do the trick I suppose. We would probably end up buying a large walk in fridge. I think we will stick to Tesco – it is only down the road.

Classic FM is still soothing away in the background. No idea what they are playing. Non-descript relaxing classic muzak. It’s doing the job though.

The casserole is now in the oven on gas mark 1 and Anne has moved onto something else. She tells me she is also making a pork dish to put in the oven at the same time. Tireless! 🙂 For this one she is using up some cider left in the house by one of Tom’s mates. Well done friend of Tom.

The rest of the house is quiet. John is playing on the Xbox in the TV room, Hannah is away on a sleepover and Joe is at Butlins in Skegness on a County Youth Band music workshop weekend. He has been really looking forward to it. Last year he went for the first time but only because Hannah had broken her elbow and couldn’t play the flute so he filled in. This year Hannah didn’t even consider going but Joe was at the front of the queue getting his name down.

We are going to pick him up later today and to hear the “open rehearsal”. It means free entry to Butlins! We are taking our swimming cozzies just in case.

I have to go out and get a few bits for a picnic before we go. You know the sort of thing. A ham, foie gras, a whole stilton, couple of bottles of something suitable etc etc. Not really. Probably a bit more bread and some Dairylea Dunkers 🙂

Note I didn’t even mention Tom. He is out of the picture these days other than via the occasional glance at Facebook or Twitter. He will be firmly in the land of nod at this time on a Sunday morning I’m sure. Last night was the last of the two weeks of freshers “week”. He should be settling into a bit more of a routine now.

Ok casseroles done and in the oven. Light changed yet again over the allotments. John has arrived to make pancakes. Time to face the day.

10.47: Not set off for Skegness yet. Just back from Texco and the early morning mist has lifted to reveal a glorious October day. It is a joy to be alive. The cathedral looks magnificent, towering above us with its back drop of clear blue sky.

By Trefor Davies

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