Looking forward to an autumn treat

PUT the blame on me for the belated and unwelcome change in season. A simple error on my part did it. Everything had been going so nicely. We had taken advantage of a late break by popping over to Rome where the sun was hot as pigeons – even the one-foote

PUT the blame on me for the belated and unwelcome change in season.

A simple error on my part did it.

Everything had been going so nicely. We had taken advantage of a late break by popping over to Rome where the sun was hot as pigeons - even the one-footed one - scrambled around pecking up the crumbs thrown down by the tourists outside the Vatican.

And making it a two-centre getaway, we spent a few days in tranquil Normandy taking in the sights in and around Bayeux. It was shorts and T-shirt weather there.


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Back home by the middle of last week, we found that old Blighty was enjoying a fine climate.

The summer, which came along with forecasters predicting it would be barbecue time for months and then hastily changing their minds when clouds rolled in and temperatures stayed down, had a late surge which merged it with autumn.

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As September turned to October, I was amazed that the weather was still so pleasant but then I made the mistake of looking up in my kitchen on Sunday evening and being met with the sight of a half-empty can of de-icer which had been left on the top of a wall unit at the end of last winter.

I'm convinced that triggered something. Lo and behold, come Monday morning the weather had turned. It was soon wet and miserable and I had to don a top coat for the first time since I can't remember when.

And so it has continued. Summer had a long if not irregular run but now it is definitely gone for another year.

Now I am saving up my pennies to buy a stack of sweets for when the trick or treaters come round at the end of the month.

Having youngsters dressed up as ghosts and ghouls knocking on the door at Halloween is an American custom which has become more and more popular here in recent years. I can see the attraction to kids who can amass a big collection of goodies for not too much effort in the minimum of time.

Good luck to the little entrepreneurs. Something which did sadden me, though, this week was the revelation that carol singing door to door is on the wane in this country.

My memory is still vivid of tingling fingers and toes endured during countless hours spent warbling away on bitterly cold doorsteps in my youth.

The first three weeks of December were always good for making some extra pocket money whenever you were short.

And as I recall one was seldom met with anything but a smile.

But times change. A new survey shows that nearly three-quarters of Brits say that carollers are less welcome than they were in the past.

Almost a third said they do not want singers to come to their home and would not give money if they did while another 19 per cent say they won't answer their door if carollers knock and three per cent said they would ask singers to go away.

I'm not a religious person, but it all sounds very unchristian to me.

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