These leaves will no doubt have disappeared by now, just like the last couple of months, blown away by the south westerlies of the last few weeks or the northerlies of the last few days. Autumn always seems to last that little bit longer in London: although we've had our first frosts and a scattering of sleet today, the monster mulberry tree next door is still green and it will be weeks before we can hope to see any afternoon sun through the bare branches. But winter is definitely here. For the first time for a good while we have weakened and flicked on radiators, lit candles and set light to the pile of lavender cuttings and orange peel in the grate to get a fire going. It has been a most wondrous, colourful autumn this year yet I was rather looking forward to spending some time indoors catching up on those various collections scattered around the house calling out "Me Next! Read me. Make me. Write me. Cook me. Clean me. Mend me."
It turns out that they will have to wait a little longer. My mum tumbled down the stairs at home a couple of weeks ago and has been in hospital ever since recovering from pneumonia (it was several hours before I found her), a fractured pelvis, delirium and the all round ghastliness and indignity of being old, bed ridden and reliant on the thoughtfulness of others. Luckily there has been plenty of that. Meanwhile, my own thoughts, like various belongings, have been scattered and unfocused. Keys and gloves have gone missing and turned up in unexpected places. We have variously run out of milk, porridge, coffee this week because the shopping list has been left on the fridge and not lodged in my memory. More surprisingly, I find among all this schmozzle that it is the first day of December tomorrow.
So goodbye Autumn, hello Winter. I'm hoping to come across some winter comforts in the run up to the solstice. I might even find the time to stop and take pictures and pop in here. Not so much an advent calendar, just a collection of things to ease the dark days ahead. Join me.