Autumn arrived this week in the form of punishing gusts and heavy downpours. It has left the garden teetering towards the horizontal; picking raspberries is now a hands and knees job and a row of bean poles has been completely flattened.
The chickens too are looking disheveled, like battered feathery hats that have been languishing at the bottom of the dressing-up box for too long. Major Johns, the cockerel, is running around half-naked, minus his glossy tail feathers and his fluffy black breeches, accusing me with his beady eye, of having hidden his trousers.
I’m only glad I staked the dahlias well. They’re standing impeccably straight and tall, commanding the flower border like stout matrons in gaily coloured overalls. A big bunch of their starry blooms, purple, deep coral, magenta and party pink accompanies me in the kitchen while clad in my coloured apron I deal with piles of beans, raspberries, cucumbers, plums and crabapples.