Sunday, 1 September 2013

Ripeness to the Core

It's september! Mind-blowing! These months have passed so quick, it's odd to think that soon the leaves will be turning, and autumn will once again grace us with it's magical presence. I love autumn. I love everything about autumn - the temperature, the colours, the sunshine... Many of you will know my twitter name is @mapleleith, where I have a romanticised notion that I have hair the colour of maple leaves (and my middle name is leith). I don't, but there's still something autumny about ginger hair, when it catches the light (The only time it looks awesome). All the colours are just so yummy - I have a collection of red/brown/auburn/maroon nail polishes the size of a small shop, and seem to throw on all the autumnal reds and browns no matter what season. So nothing makes me more happy than to have an environment where I finally look in place and matches my subdued taste! Autumn is underrated. Think of september weather - it's full of glorious sunshine as the Indian summer extends its sun right through the changing leaves. But even when it's dismal it's magical - mist and fog and rain become something out of a painting when framed by those autumnal hues. I can't wait to find my boots, my wooly jumpers, my scarves, my coat, and breathe in that crisp air. I like having a chilly nose too.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
   Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
   Steady thy laden head across a brook;
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


Here's Mr Keats' To Autumn. I love his personified Autumn; an oozy goddess, both busy and productive yet deliciously indolent. Nature is saturated with goodness and Autumn's spell is cast - the fume of poppies lull us to watch the "last oozings" as this drowsy haze envelopes us. There she is, strewn in the barn with her (obviously red) hair blowing in the wind. Many poets see Autumn as the harbringer of death, and I suppose it is. But I love it, and it feels exciting when seasons change. And I think Keats fuses these two notions - that autumn is as much about harvesting growth and beauty as it is decay. I never mourn the end of summer - if I could live in a world where there was Autumn all year round I would. Though of course if that was possible you'd miss the leaves changing colour and the cool crispness arrive, which is the best bit. Autumn brings with it it's own excitement and it's own adventures, and hopefully my autumn will be exciting but with that necessary slice of indulgent indolence thrown in. (Think cake and films round the fire mmmmmm)

Autumn (1898) William Stott

I like this painting of Autumn. I think it's a bit like Keats's lady Autumn. It think it's also a bit like 'Autumn got waaay drunk off homemade cider went to lie in hay and lost her shoes.'

Autumn Leaves J E Millais
And I think Millais knew what Autumn is really for. Jumping in massive piles of leaves. GO'ON MILLAIS.

My summer said it's final goodbye as autumn has heralded in a stay at the Hotel Brompton. I caught some lurgies (I was being promiscuous and got caught in rain at 1 in the morning), and consequently my voice disappeared and my lungs filled with beautiful green gunk. Some cipro nipped that in the bud over the long bank holiday, but I still have a tight chest, temperatures, and episodes of throwing stuff up. It was one of those admissions from clinic which hasn't happened in years, and it's quite adventurous! I'm being hit with steroids, fluids, meroprenem and an anti-fungal in case theres some of that lurking in the hidden depths, and people have to enter my room wearing full on nucleur war gear (apparently they're protecting me as my white blood cell count is low, but I can't help but fell dirty AS.) I'm hoping this is only a two week jobby, which would be dreamy - better than 2 months! I'll keep you updated on nucleur warfare (think ET), until then i'l just be chilling in my Brompton bubble. Enjoy the last of the summer wine, but don't despair, we have gorgeous times ahead.

L x

1 comment:

  1. What is it with everyone needing hospital admissions they don't usually have and horrible low white blood cell counts and lurgies and everything aplenty recently (myself included)? Summer didn't do us much favours on the health part, I'm hoping autumn is less lurgy-ish and I now really want to go out and take loads of photos of orange/red/brown leaves and conkers xx