September again and spiders in house and garden. Conker time too! I have thrown them into corners and crevices in the hall, sitting and dining rooms to keep spiders out. Only having last year’s shrivelled conker remains last month, I jumped the mile when a black, spiky feet, fat bodied, big as a dinner plate house spider, shot across the sitting room floor. James Bond and the shoe . . . that was me without the hammering soundtrack. There was another crouched on the bedroom curtains a few days ago, obliterated with a hastily fetched Radio Times and I now have conkers upstairs in the corners, on and under the windowsill. It may or may not be an old wives’ tale. But I sleep better.
Webs hang like traps in the garden. unseen unless the sun strikes them, or one spots the black carcass of a fly, suspended, eye-level.
It’s an unusual autumn, the blossom of a spring-flowering, evergreen clematis is blooming. The scent is heavenly, like frangipangi and honey.
John Keats: (31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821). ‘To Autumn’, was written on 19 September 1819 after a walk near Winchester.
- Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
- Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
- Conspiring with him how to load and bless
- With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
- To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
- And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
- To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
- With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
- And still more, later flowers for the bees,
- Until they think warm days will never cease,
- For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
- Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
- Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
- Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
- Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
- Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
- Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
- Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
- And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
- Steady thy laden head across a brook;
- Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
- Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
- Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
- Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
- While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
- And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
- Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
- Among the river sallows, borne aloft
- Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
- And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
- Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
- The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
- And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.