Making the most of the autumn

I’ve written before about how much I love autumn, and this year has been just as good as I remembered it – though rather more fleeting, which might have something to do with how busy I’ve been with work and travel. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t always had time to blog about what I’ve been up to in the few moments when I’ve had a bit of time to stop. So today I thought I’d do a general autumn round-up of how I’ve been making the most of this beautiful season.

Earlier last month my friend Emma and I spent the day at Batsford Arboretum, where the glorious colours of autumn were just starting. There are lots of interesting things to discover there, from little Japanese-style bridges to a hermit’s grotto. We had lovely, warming curried parsnip soup for lunch, and it was even warm enough to sit outside. October seemed milder than normal, so the cold snap we’re having now has come as a bit of a shock to the system.


October is, of course, all about pumpkins, and it made me happy to see these cratefuls of them at the local farm shop. They were only £1.50 each, so I got a couple of them a week or so before Halloween and we enjoyed their jolly colour for the rest of the month.


Every year, it’s a tradition that my friends and I meet up to carve pumpkins over home-cooked food and a glass or two of wine, and this year was no exception. Mine is the traditional-style one on the right (someone has to do the classic pumpkin face, right?), and Lee’s is the unhappy-looking one next to that. The “Donald Trumpkin” is Kate’s impressive work.


On my way home from one of my visits to Worcester to see my grandparents last month, I took a spontaneous small detour to Broadheath, where Elgar was born. Unfortunately I found his birthplace is closed while it’s in the process of being handed over to the National Trust, but the heavily-laden apple trees in the car park reminded me that autumn is very much a season of “mellow fruitfulness”.


Other than flying the new aircraft back from Frankfurt, I didn’t get much time to fly in October owing to a big work project, so I was happy to get back behind the controls of the beautiful Robin on one of our days off. We were intending to fly to Wadswick Country Store near Bath, which has its own airstrip, but low cloud clinging to the Cotswolds meant that we decided to land at Kemble instead. We parked up by the control tower just in time to see a 747 landing, presumably its final flight before being broken up for scrap at the aeroplane scrapyard they have at Kemble. It looked amazing seeing it being pushed back behind the Robin!


We had a nice lunch in the cafe at Kemble, and before flying home I took a moment to appreciate the beauty of the Robin’s wings. In the background is a Gnat (a former Red Arrow) and of course the 747.


At the end of October I did a little solo day trip to Bath (in my lovely new car!), where I started the day with a beautiful flat white at the independent Society Cafe in Kingsmead Square. I’ve seen this cafe featured on Instagram a lot, and I’ve been meaning to visit for ages. Not pictured: a very delicious chocolate brownie!


I was delighted to see this Halloween display on one of the gorgeous Georgian townhouses in Queen Square.


And, next door to it, another house draped in a rich autumnal red.


Last night was, of course, Bonfire Night, and we’ve been to a couple of local firework displays the last couple of evenings.


Last night’s in Chipping Campden was particularly impressive, but I was glad to get back home to pizza and a roaring fire – it was freezing out there!


Talking of freezing, we’re off to Iceland for a short break tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to a dose of pure Icelandic air. Expect plenty of photos when I return!

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