Was that summer?

Apart from a few glorious weeks in June, summer 2017 was a bit damp and despite my hopes for an Indian summer, autumn is creeping in at speed. The hedgerows are splashed with the red of rosehips and hawthorn berries and soon the leaves on the trees will change colour and fall to the ground.

conkers lying on the ground under horse chestnut tree

At night, I lay in bed and listen to conkers bouncing on the tin roof of the garage as they fall from the horse chestnut trees. This year there seem more conkers than ever and they litter the ground in profusion. We’ve already had the first family conker fight, which I lost when the string pulled through my conker. I also discovered my aim is pretty useless compared to Bill, but apparently men tend to have a better understanding of trajectory because they pee standing up and so have applied the laws of physics from an early age! That’s my excuse.

apple, beetroot, carrot and mint juice

The juicer has been retrieved from the cupboard in an effort to assuage my guilt at the number of apples lying on the ground in the orchard. In a nod to 5-a-day or 50-a-day or whatever arbitrary number health gurus are currently advocating, I’ve also started to throw in some beetroot, carrot and mint from the garden. It tastes surprisingly good, though not my preferred breakfast juice. Perhaps with a dash of vodka it would make an interesting pre-dinner cocktail.

Lino reduction print

Most of the flowers in the garden and field verges have formed seed heads or withered away but the mayweed flowers are still looking fresh. Ruth tried to teach me how to make “Suicide Lino Prints” though I see she’s listed it on her course schedule as the rather less dramatic “Reduction Lino Printing”. It involves printing a multi-coloured image using only one block of lino, which is gradually cut away as progressively darker colours are printed. It needed a great deal more concentration than my usual jelly printing, but it proved good fun. If you’d like to see more of the process, you can read more here.

Autumn officially starts on Friday and while part of me can’t wait (because it’s my favourite time of year), there’s a certain wistfulness that we’ve reached the end of summer.


Though I won’t be sad when I pick the last of the courgettes.

15 thoughts on “Was that summer?

  1. Was a good year for Courgettes and runner beans 🙂

    Little Mudlet begged to go conker hunting the other day, to replenish our Spider deterrents and so we now have a stash of them waiting for me to put a pin hole in them 😀

    Middle Mudlet, on the other hand dragged me out pine cone hunting ready for transforming them into Christmas decorations, so they’re now drying out in the Greenhouse 😀

  2. I guess it probably was! Conkers are a prized possession in urban areas, all kids seem to want some and usually, by the time I get around to collecting some to display, there aren’t any left. I love their shiny brown colour. I made beetroot juice once and then promptly gave my juicer away. The taste was so earthly, I thought I was drinking mud. I’ll stick to eating beetroot! Wishing you a lovely weekend.

    1. I’ve discovered that to avoid that rather earthy taste, it’s best to use a lot more apples and carrots than beetroot. I once made the mistake of buying a carton of pure beetroot juice. Not my thing at all.

  3. Funnily enough I didn’t feel it was a disappointing summer ….. until the beginning of September, and I looked in my wardrobe and saw all the summer clothes that I hadn’t worn because it hadn’t really been warm enough. That said – it was a disappointing summer with our courgettes. My yellow courgettes (very favourite variety) didn’t produce much at all – so envious of yours!

  4. J & D > We recommend tender chard stems and leaves for the smoothies. Uist’s Summer has been a Summer of variety and abundance – wonderful. Though to us wonderful certainly doesn’t mean blue skies wall-to-wall, day-after-day, and dry with it. Even so, we do hanker after the lovely haws and nuts that feature in your post.

  5. I have just planted my courgettes Anne, every year I plant too many. One day I will learn! Those conkers are fascinating. Good luck with the breakfast juice regime…I think a pre-dinner beverage sounds far more appealing! I love Autumn too, it really is our most pleasant time of the year.

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