Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Autumn is here! Fruit harvests. Questions of fashion. Face-masks and anti-vaxers!

Today is the Autumn equinox, or so various sources have been reminding me. We’ve had a big bright moon in clear skies the last few nights - a harvest moon, I am told. So now Autumn can officially begin. In honour of that I got my cycling gloves out for my bike ride to Uppermill this morning. It didn’t actually feel all that cold and I forgot to put them on for the ride home, without any ill effects. For a brief moment after I got home the sun did come out … but it really was a brief moment and now the heavy cloud cover is back and the trees in the garden are blowing around. Yes, I guess autumn is here!

Another sign is that the fruit and veg man is now selling Coxes orange pippins apples. He tells me that the harvest this year is small and so there won’t be as many as in other years. Something to do with the odd weather we have had. Rainy spells and sunny spells have been badly timed and this has affected the production of some fruit. Mind you, it may be no bad thing, given how much difficulty growers are having finding people to pick the fruit. 

Oh, and the apples he sold me, despite his assurances that they are very good, have proved to be a little too tart and crisp. Maybe they need to ripen a little longer. It could be like the blackberry supply around here; there is loads of fruit on the brambles but it’s mostly still very green. Apart from that one day recently when my daughter and I went berry-picking in Mossley, which must have a different microclimate to Delph as the berries were far more advanced in ripeness and general maturity, I have not felt tempted to go out with my punnets collecting wild fruit. I suppose there is time yet, before winter sets in!

What there still seems to be no shortage of is figs. They’ve been in plentiful supply almost all summer. If they have been imported, then clearly delivery has not been a problem for fig growers. Nor for British growers for that matter. So I bought some more this morning from the Italian greengrocery. Now I need to decide what to do with them. It’s a toss up between a fig clafoutis and a fig torte!

Out and about in Uppermill this morning I looked briefly at what is on display in Suki’s Wardrobe, one of the boutiques that have popped up there. In fact, this one has been a boutique, an expensive one (!), for as long as I can remember. It closed down during the lockdown but has re-opened recently under new management and under a new name. So I looked in the window, admired some of the stuff and sensibly decided that I really don’t need more clothes. I’m not going clubbing and partying in the near future. 

The Guardian has a regular series of features where they ask readers to send their opinions or accounts of experiences on various topics. One of the latest is “Tell us how you are dressing up to go out now that the lockdown has lifted.” And I found myself wondering if people will really be dressing in a significantly different way post-lockdown to what they did pre-lockdown. Maybe fashion writers have just run out of things to write about. In any case, I doubt that many club-goers will be wearing face-masks to co-ordinate with their outfits. 

I read something about the anti-face-mask and anti-vax problem in some parts of the USA. It seems that small(ish) local radio stations have a huge influence in many states, away from the big cities, in small communities. And those local radio stations have their local stars, and some of them have been preaching the anti-vax and anti-mask message, supporting the conspiracy theories about the virus. But now more than a few of them have come down with Covid-19. Some of them have died. Survivors and relatives of the deceased are now changing their message. Maybe it will make a difference. I notice on news broadcasts that Mr Biden and his team all wear face-masks.

On the radio news I have just heard an announcement that the US is now going to allow British lamb to be sold in their country. So all we need to do is sort out the transport!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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