September ramblings

Swallows

September came in with some lovely weather, sunny and still warm but not too hot. My garden enjoyed it – the containers that had struggled all summer finally came into their own.

The weather wasn’t quite as kind when we went for a family weekend to the Cotswold Water Parks – not quite a theme park but a bit Truman Show… We stayed in a New England style house overlooking a water sports lake and we got off to a flying start on the first evening when we saw a sundog or parhelion (two suns shining in the sky!) as the sun went down.

It turned a bit cloudy after that but lunch and a walk for 10 of us across three generations on Saturday, and a Sunday lunch in a village pub on Sunday kept us entertained, as did Ellis who has just started to eat solids. You’ve never seen such excitement as when food appears!

The sun was out for the Deal Braderie and Sandwich Arts week the following weekend and, after a talk by the local writer Jane Gardam who has just turned 90, I got stuck into one of her books straight away in the garden when I got home.

Jane Gardam

Later that week, the dahlias were looking splendid in the Salutation gardens but there were plenty of other delights, including some rather scary (and toxic) pokeroot berries.

And I had a surprise success with an orchid at home. In its second year with me, it produced flowers after a friend explained the correct way of watering.

Orchid

A research trip to Faversham museum, to look into the making of gunpowder in the area, set me off on the start of a few scenes for a new novel, even though I also had to re-work the last 15,000 words of a novel that is waiting to find a new home. The two are linked, so fingers crossed…

Then it was up to London, on a very wet weekend, to re-visit Hampstead, close to where I went to university, and for a lovely lunch with friends who went to uni with me. Much regret over not still living in that beautiful area! Also passed the spot where I had my wedding reception. The marriage didn’t last but the venue is still going strong! Then a quick trip to the university site, now all developed into luxury homes and flats. We had a  glimpse inside one of them, converted from halls of residence built in Victorian times and now over a million pounds for the smallest flat…

As the end of the month approached, the apple boxes were out in the orchards ready for picking the last of the crop and the last of the swallows gathered on the telegraph wires, ready to depart. A willow warbler kept me entertained as it searched the roses for flies, seemingly unconcerned that I was close by. A better camera than my phone might have done him justice – can you spot him?

The wind was brisk but the sun was out for my first, but hopefully not last, visit to Dumpton Gap. Tea and cake in the sun afterwards at the Italianate Greenhouse, with the agave flower stem poking through its fabulously ornate glass roof.

It was farewell to September on the last day of the month with a walk on the cliff top at Dover, to the lighthouse for lunch and back for tea, sun sparkling on the water and the ferries coming and going

The end

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