The days are frequently starting with autumn mists and that smell of wood smoke, even where no fire is visible. The trees along the avenue have changed from deep green to golden, shaking off their leafy coats as the winds sweep through, and seeing the dogs play in the piles of russet leaves lightens the heart as the days draw in.
Last week would usually have been filled with brightness, bangs and pops as we celebrated the 5th. It was markedly quiet; the evenings only briefly punctuated by a few sparks from local gardens, which pleased the dogs but saddened the children.
In order to lift the mood and celebrate this beautiful time of year, we set about gathering the last apples to cover in toffee - a more complex task than first imagined... However, success was reached and everyone enjoyed breaking their teeth around the fireside later that evening. It was a small nod to usual festivities, but an effective one: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/homemade-toffee-apples
A good sprinkling of fairy lights, outdoor candles and crackling logs in our homemade fire pit also helped to warm heart and hands, lighting up the darkness.