Last week we had a little autumn teaser but these past few days have confirmed it; the golden season has arrived in all its rust and ochre beauty. It's been a long time coming but crisp mornings and cool night are here to stay. Indeed, it's most definitely time for flannelette, hot water bottles and toasty socks (or cold feet if you choose to ignore your mother and forgo the latter).
As a self-confessed homebody, there's a lot to love about the cooler months. Sure, everyone needs a few extra layers but it's a relief to go about our days without having to consider the bite of the sun. It was a harsh, long summer and I'm so grateful to be on the other side.
The sun and the sky at this time of year is clear and bright - renewed, almost. It's warm enough to strip down to short sleeves come lunchtime but once we arrive home from school it's time for afternoon tea (two cups for me!) and a cardigan.
Today has been a catch-up day after a busy week of in and out, round and about. There's two loads of washing drying on the line, a clean stack of dishes and broth in the slow cooker. Each week we have a roast chicken for dinner and that night (or the following morning) I put the carcass in the slow cooker with onions, carrots, celery (stalks and leaves), peppercorns, garlic, flat-leaf parsley and a generous glug of apple cider vinegar. Tonight I'll make chicken pie with the leftover meat and as the recipe calls for 1 cup of broth I'll spoon it straight from the slow cooker into the saucepan. This style of continuous-cooking works on so many levels; it's ideal when time isn't in abundance and for perfect those wanting to cook in the most simple and frugal of ways.
As I write this Poet and Percy are playing in the back garden, still pyjama clad and missing one sock (each). But I've learned that when play is peppered with giggles it's best to leave them be (I don't even look at them for fear of disrupting the flow).