Ode to Autumn

Picture: Ian Wordsworth

The weather has been beautiful this week, very autumnal. We’ve woken to mists that have been burned off by the sun during the day. The ground is damp underfoot. And the hedgerows are bursting with “mellow fruitfulness”.   I can almost smell bonfire night already.

We went shopping yesterday evening, and between us arriving at the supermarket (apx 7pm) and emerging with our goods (apx 8pm), another mist (and the night) had come down and settled in pockets.

It’s still very warm in our sun trap of a garden during the day, but the temperature has really started to drop at night.

Winter’s almost here. I do love our seasons. They’re what help make our land so green and pleasant.

It’s been another busy week with a day lost on Monday. I’ve been trying to clear 2 jobs, a heavy edit and a new edit. I should get at least one done by the end of today, said she hopefully … It’s also been the start of a new month and that brings with it new month admin – updating diaries, spreadsheets, workloads, finances, etc.

Yesterday I did next week’s diary. And for the first time ever, “writing work” has moved UP a time slot. To before the blog post, even. I have been striving so long for this to happen. It still has one notch to go – I tend to do the daily competitions as a bit of a warm-up while my eyes unstick from the night. But I’ll see how it goes where it is now, for now. On Mondays, I still have “gig list admin” to do first, as people are usually waiting for a post before sending us their gigs for the week. But for the rest of the week, it goes something like this:

  • Housework
  • Daily competitions
  • Writing work
  • etc …

Mind you, if we don’t win something soon, I can see daily competitions being missed off again for a while. (The first housework slot is actually getting the house up for the day, and off to work where applicable.)

The writing work slot is broken down further, and this month that includes the following:

  • writing work
    • Catch the Rainbow
    • NaNo prep
    • short writing
    • (leave blank for any extras)

At the moment I have 2 hours each day dedicated to writing work. Next week I also have 1 x 2-hour slot and 2 x 1-hour slots dedicated to study work. This is writing too. It’s my fiction writing course, and when it’s finished, that’ll be 4 extra hours each week for something.

For NaNoWriMo next month I’ve already decided to keep this structure going and run NaNo alongside my usual writing commitments. It might be that daily competitions and study work get the month off. What I don’t want to do is write nothing because (a) my NaNo has stalled, or (b) my regular writing has stalled. Even if one fails, I still want the other to carry on.

October is prep month for NaNo, which is why it gets a sub-slot within the writing work slot this month. At the moment I’m wondering which project to go with:

  • YA
  • novella
  • romance … (unlikely)
  • steampunk
  • murder/mystery
  • a mix of 2 or more of the above

Something will come to me, I’ve already asked the Cosmos.

Meanwhile, we have another very busy weekend coming up. I’m sure the poet said he wants to go picking sloes this evening. We had our first frost last night so we might not have to freeze them now. If the light goes as quickly as it did last night, that doesn’t give us much time. But at least the sloes are only along our lane. We don’t have any stiles to go scrambling over.

We still have apple pies and apple & elderberry crumble to make.

Tomorrow we have a bank appointment, though judging from the last conversation we had that might be getting cancelled, and then we’re off to a football match. Doncaster Rovers v Barnsley. Leeds United are also playing Birmingham City, but we decided to go with the cheaper option. There will be fewer tears that way too – from the poet! 😉

And on Sunday we’re off to Birmingham. We went to the poet’s parents’ last night, and it’s my parents’ on Sunday.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the poem.

Ode To Autumn – John Keats

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.

With thanks to All Poetry.