Autumn images

Sketch of a nervous little hippo in swimming gear by Hannah Foley. All rights reserved ( have some lovely autumn images lingering in my mind as I settle down to work this morning. There was Little Owl dancing across the damp grass at the park in the near dusk on our way home from swimming. In that sort of light some colours grow luminous. Her bright pink cat umbrella and her spotty mac shone out as she twirled, and the reds and oranges of the autumn leaves glowed intensely against the murky greens and browns of the evening.

There was an early morning walk by the river with Finch where everything was perfectly still and gilded in golden first light. The passenger ferry lay silent at anchor and a swan slid elegantly past, the water rippling gently out behind it. Finch lay back in his pushchair with a contented sigh, mesmerised by the illuminated clouds our breath made against the sky.

There was also a hidden door in an old crumbling wall that opened out onto a jumbly orchard where the grass grew up to our knees and washing billowed gently on a line strung between ancient boughs. Very kindly we were allowed to help ourselves to as many eaters and cookers as we could carry. The trees were so old and gnarled that branches looped down to just the right height for Finch and Little Owl to have a go at picking some themselves. Opinions on the perfect apple vary but for me you can keep all your sweet fluffy varieties. I like my apples crisp and sour (up to a point) and these were spot on. We made an apple crumble with the cookers and what was left of the eaters we turned into apple rings. I left them a bit too long in the oven so they were too dry for the tastes of Finch and Little Owl. Finch’s catch phrase at the moment is “uh-oh” and he said “uh-oh” about these. Big Dreamer gladly took them off to work to sit in his office drawer for a tasty reminder of autumn forays.

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