leave well alone

I have no idea who would have put them there, nor why, but I found these strings of conkers looped around the railway fence when I went for a walk the other day.

They reminded me of my first visit to my brother’s house many, many years ago, where I found a collection of desiccated rabbits’ feet nailed to the shed door. I asked about them as I’d been told that Sammy the cat was a holy terror and I wondered whether it was a shrine to his hunting prowess.
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fruits of the earth

Autumn means different things to different people.

Summer is over and the sun has lost its strength, so every warm day seems like borrowed time and the chance to step out into the sunshine must be snatched whenever possible. Even in the twenty-first century, there’s still a feeling of Harvest Home: a desire to gather in and stock up, ready to weather the long winter ahead.
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nature lessons

When I was a child, my family used to attend church regularly. The minister was a kind man who cycled round the town as he said it put him in closer contact with his parishioners than driving a car would. I don’t know how the adults felt about him, but I was a shy little girl and he must have been one of the few men I trusted.

Perhaps what I remember most is that he had a story for every occasion and could turn any situation into a learning experience without it coming across as heavy-handed or didactic.
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brick walls

Sometimes it seems you’re stuck in a place or a situation and can’t get out. There don’t seem to be any doors to open onto new possibilities and there don’t seem to be any windows, either, to cast any light on the situation.

It’s all brick walls.

But I was brought up in a London suburb, in an area where all the houses were built of red brick, so bricks remind me of home.
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father’s day gift

I’ve never really celebrated Father’s Day. I don’t think anyone did when I was a small child and then, when it became more well-known in the UK, it was considered an American import and looked down on by my parents’ generation. Now, though, it’s almost impossible to ignore. Even when email newsletters offer the chance to opt out of Father’s Day updates, it seeps through on social media, in the news, and in shelves stacked with bottles at the supermarket.
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