When all is complicated


‘Thank you for your purchase… We are pleased to receive your order… Your order is with despatch team… Shipment scheduled to be sent… Your package is on its way… Shipment with our delivery service… Your order is on its way… Delivery tomorrow…Delivery today… Out for delivery now… Delivered’

You may be familiar with the emails you can get if you order online. For my last order I had twelve separate messages. Then at the end ‘How did we do?’ I did not take the survey. Somehow it is all too much. What happened to ‘Thank you for your order' and then a delivery? How we have complicated the world until it is almost not understandable.

The garden and the seasons are more predictable. Now we are in October we are well and truly into autumn. Our luscious fruit and vegetables have suddenly stopped. The few remaining tomatoes hang limp and green, the peppers, aubergines and courgettes have withered overnight. We had our final sweetcorn meal for lunch yesterday with butter (low fat margarine) running down our chins.

But all is not lost. The pumpkin is a gleaming golden orange and the spaghetti marrows are ripening to a pale yellow matching the autumn sun. We have begun picking and storing the apples for the winter. Not all varieties are ready at once and we keep a keen eye on our calendar and on those that begin to drop. I gently lift one in my cupped hand and if the stalk snaps and the tree lets it go, if the tree gives it to me, then the fruit is ready to pick.

Our little country road is also being prepared for the winter. It has been closed. We have had potholes here for the last few years. They were all shapes and sizes and some were repaired. But the deep ones were left. It was almost impossible for me to cycle down the road because I could not risk the jolt of dropping into a hole. Traffic got confused if I suddenly swerved to the other side. Then one day someone came and painted a line round each pothole and now, at last, the deep holes are being scraped and filled. It has taken so long that I would think that the original repairs to the shallow holes need mending again!

One last thing I always did in autumn was take the post cards down from my kitchen cabinet where they were displayed. But not many people have managed to get away this year and no one sends a card now, we are back to the email message which is not quite the same. 

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


Our spaghetti marrows drying in the autumn sun

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