According to the Meteo Autumn officially began on September 1st and certainly here in Normandy we are beginning to notice some changes.
Although the weather is still dry there is a definite chill in the air in the early mornings and quite often there's fragrant wood smoke on the breeze as folk start to light cosy log fires and wood burning stoves in the evening.
As I went to make a cup of tea one afternoon recently I got quite a shock when I looked out of the window and saw a cow happily munching away on the lawn that last year replaced my vegetable garden.
Earlier in the day the farmer who's cows graze the fields surrounding our home had transferred some to another field and apparently after they left this one decided to go walkabout. The SP drove up to the farm to let him know that we had an escapee in the garden and he swiftly arrived with a couple of helpers to escort the heifer back to where she belonged.
I did video the procession as they headed back to the field but sadly it has since been deleted from my phone, the next morning I saw that she was back with her friends looking none the worse for her adventure.
Our generous neighbour called round on Thursday afternoon bringing with him masses of juicy red grapes from the vines in his garden.
As a thank you I gave him a jar of the plum and preserved lemon chutney which I'd made the previous week.
Trying to explain to a non English speaking Frenchman just what chutney is was extremely difficult.
"You can eat it with cheese," I said. "Quoi?" he replied.
"It's good with curries", I said. "Quoi?" was again the response.
"Cuisine Indienne" I replied. "Je n'aime pas le curry" he stated!
At this point the SP interjected with the suggestion that he buy some English cheddar cheese at the supermarche and make a sandwich!
You can imagine how well that suggestion was received.
The GN (generous neighbour) then asked if I wanted any apples this year and no sooner had I said "Oui" he promptly drove back across the lane to his house, returning with a very big bag of them.
This time I had a better "swap" to barter with - a large bottle of pommeau, an apple aperitif, produced by a farmer friend of ours.
"C'est pommeau Normand?" the GN inquired, "Mais oui, bien sûr" was my reply, no further explanation was required!
As Keats once said...……………..
"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;