november notes

From the crimson feathers of the Japanese maple to the bright eyes lurking in the hedgerows, there are so many things to see in nature’s autumnal colours.

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fall back

“Spring forward; Fall back.” – the mnemonic my father taught me to remember which way the clocks needed to be altered at the beginning and end of British Summer Time.

Fall back is also one of those marvellous English phrasal verbs – known by many EFL students as “frazzle” verbs, presumably because of the effect on the mind of trying to memorise them – where a main verb is combined with a particle (adverb, preposition, or both).
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letting go

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when, all around, trees show us how things should be done: how easy it is to cut all ties and shake off old habits; to get rid of everything that really isn’t needed, ready to start again afresh.

Sadly, we tend not to be as good at decluttering as our deciduous neighbours.
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a green scream

Undecided what to post today, I had a quick look on twitter, only to find that it is International Translation Day.

It’s actually been quite a while since I did any translation and nothing came to mind immediately as suitable for posting. But I remembered a long time ago using Google Translate to find inspiration for creativity and thought I’d have a dabble and see what happens.
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point seven five

It’s Michaelmas Day so I have been rummaging around the web to find some ideas for words to accompany a couple of photos of Michaelmas daisies.

Firstly, I checked up on the quarter days and realised that although I remember Midsummer, Michaelmas and Christmas, the one I always forget is Lady Day, which falls on March 25th.
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beginnings and endings

The long hot summer is forgotten, the grass is green and straggly again and there is a distinctly autumnal nip in the air.

The horse chestnuts seem to have really suffered from the drought – rather than turning colour with the season, their leaves are all shrivelled and mottled – and I’ve hardly seen any conkers, though there are at least some sweet chestnuts.

There’s also more beech mast than I thought possible, and a fair number of acorns, too, so hopefully the squirrels should have a reasonable chance of surviving the winter.
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parenthetical

Mushrooms, toadstools, fungi, moulds, yeast… neither plant not animal, whatever they are, they are quite fascinating and often strangely attractive.

Perhaps I like them because I was an urban child and never came across anything more exotic than the button mushrooms and flats that we could buy at the greengrocer’s. Anything that was found in the wild was labelled as potentially poisonous, so had to be avoided.

As I got older, the flat mushrooms in supermarkets got larger and larger, perfect for stuffing and serving as the inevitable home dinner-party starter of the Seventies.
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