October is Autumn Proper; if it were a colour, it would surely be orange. From the colour of the leaves on the trees at the beginning of the month, the piles of leaves on the ground as they drop, the golden glow of the slow sunshine off the wet ground and the lake on our morning walks and the pumpkins that mark Halloween at the end of the month, there’s no getting away from Orange.
Starting with the last dregs of summer, hanging on by its fingernails, by the end of the month it will be a dim and distant memory as the darkness and chills take over. The light 4 tog duvet will be exchanged for its 9 tog counterpart and the annual central heating battle will have begun! The clocks will be going back to GMT at the end of the month, heralding dark evenings and, for the commuters among us, a long dreary dark homeward journey at the end of the working day.
This is when our cosy homes come into their own though. Lamps on timers make a welcome-home glow for the weary worker, and lamplit windows against dark wet evenings always seem so cosy and comforting. Even rainy dog walks are cheered by the return to our cosy home, despite wet and muddy towels draping the hallway radiator and muddy pawprints on the hall carpet! I don’t think there are many things more rewarding than warming up after a cold, wet walk with a cuppa and my towel-swathed companion asleep at my side.
In the kitchen, comfort food season is on its way. Soups are thickening and pasta bakes and risottos warm us up from the inside. We can even begin to think about proper puddings and hot custard. Rice pudding is a firm favourite and always reminds me of the ones my grandmother used to make.
Out in the garden, by now the spring bulbs will all have been planted and we can start tidying up and emptying out pots ready for next year. As the leaves are falling, raking and tidying is a never ending task, especially with a dog who likes to distribute them as far and wide as she can!