Having been met with sheer amazement, nay abject horror, when mentioning this particular quirk of mine to the native southerners, I now keep my mouth well and truly shut when it comes to the mention of that very dirtiest of words......
It's not so much the word itself that causes folk to step back in fear, more the statement that I happen to love this season more than any other.
How could I love the end of summer? The cooler days? The darker evenings? The damp mornings?
Well I do. I love all those things about autumn and more but by far my favourite things are these:
We reclaim our forest from the summer crowds.
We can take poor old Moog out for forest walks without her wilting in the heat.
We don't have to sit in queues of summer traffic for hours on end.
Foraging for freebies from Nature's larder.
The unique smell of the forest in autumn.
Today, Mr Moog was adamant that we should not waste a glorious autumn day at home, so off we headed to a very secret bit of the New Forest where we knew from past experience there were treasures to be found.
We came home laden with rosehips - now steeping in readiness to make rosehip syrup; sloes - a bit early but now in the freezer to immitate an early frost, ready for turning into sloe gin; and of course, blackberries - now bagged up into five generous portions and sitting in the freezer, ready for winter puddings.
Naturally, we had to test some of our harvest just to make sure.
Blackberry and apple crumble, made with homegrown dessert apples, and served with delicious Mackies vanilla ice cream ( BOGOF at the Co-op right now!).
So now, I'm going to say it. LOUD. AND. PROUD.....
I LOVE AUTUMN!!!