Whistling blackbirds and the sun of October

Monday, 8 October 2012

October is a wonderful month.  I love the rhythm of routine, the cosy lamp-lit evenings, the smell of the first fires and the sweet crackle of pork belly on a Sunday.  But it is also a month of gravitas.  Much more so than September, with its frivolous conceits - new uniform, new faces, pencil cases bristling with sharp points of resolution.  No, October is where the real thing starts.  It's a month of putting your money where your mouth is, of living up to all those easy promises made in September - reading the books, sustaining the friendships.

Seductive one-last-time Indian summer sun gives way to briskness and the need for serious clothes - the unyielding clamp of long boots adding purpose to a stride; the serpentine shrug of scarf and weighty heft of jacket.  Darkening nights demand a sporting commitment too. Training under sodium light as the fine cold drizzle haloes the scene is a far cry from the flirty kick-about of last month. New uniforms soften and fade, pummelled in mud and pride.

Decades ago, I started University in October; cold blue skies filled with cascades of Cathedral bells; nose-tingling coldness and a sense of freedom and promise. New books and new friends, many of whom are still there, cracked and worn but still capable of making me question, debate and laugh until I can't breathe.

Bounty is rare, but worth seeking.  Spiny sloes will bring a throaty sweetness in the black of winter if you hunt now.  Dress for thorns and sudden downpours.  Fill your poacher's pockets with tiny crab apples and your larder with jewelled amber pots.

Many Octobers ago, came a wonderful gift. Wrapped in a white blanket embroidered with oak leaves, my long, self-contained daughter with wise eyes and see-through hair.  Whose birthday we have celebrated with pumpkins and witches, ghost walks, bonfires and curry. Who is, bar none, the best gift of all.

14 comments:

  1. I was seduced by your eloquence, but then much amused by your label for this post!

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    1. Thank you, what a lovely start to my week!

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  2. I re-read your beautiful post several times. You have such a gift with phrases and imagery - it's inspiring to read a piece of quality.

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    1. That is a gorgeous thing to say, am blushing. Wonderful to meet you!

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  3. Great post !

    Love your pictures and articles!!

    A blog like this should definitely be followed so here I am :)

    Hope to see you on mine as well :)

    Love,
    Olivia

    http://mom-works.blogspot.com

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    1. Hello Olivia, thank you so much, and I will be over for a visit shortly..
      ELS

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  4. Thank you for making my mornings more interesting, thought-provoking, pleasant. You were a gift from A Femme's blog with your story--where are your novels?

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    1. Hello and thank you, it's comments like this that make my week. I send you a virtual cake!

      Where indeed? Am trying to finish something off at the moment, it is taking an age and my dog's ribs are almost showing from the miles of procrastinating walking I am making her do...

      I'll let you know if i ever finish!

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  5. And, with this, your 1st posting for our lovely group of "By Invitation Only," you have positioned yourself as one of the lovliest, wittiest and most brilliant writers among us. This piece of yours held my interest completely, beautifully written, and done so with love. I applaud you, Elizabeth. And, I am so so happy to know you. Simply splendid, my friend!

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  6. Blimey, those are lovely things to say, I hope that I live up to them! Thank you for inviting me, am enormously flattered and delighted and equally happy to know you too!
    Elizabeth xx

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  7. I'm following! You had me at that header photo!!

    I love your writing...'cold blue skies with cascades of Cathedral bells....' Oh, double wow!!

    So glad Marsha set me over your way.
    Jane

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  8. So glad you came - thank you for your lovely comments and it's lovely to meet you.E

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  9. What a wonderful stream of consciousness... beautifully done! So glad I found this through Splenderosa!
    Regards,
    Karolyn
    The Relished Roost

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  10. Karolyn, what a kind thing to stay - come back any time you fancy!
    E

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Please leave a comment if you can be remotely bothered - anything you have to say is valuable and I absolutely love hearing from you all. Elizabeth