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Ha. I only did it for a while. The bruises on my head from banging it against a brick wall all day were not a good look. I went on to teaching adults English as a foreign language which was very, very enjoyable and often very funny (though of course, the laughter was kept for conversations with colleagues and not when the student was around).

English isnt the easiest language, most of us struggle if we are honest! My spelling has got really bad!

Edd, I'm envious that you've climbed in Glencoe. I've done most of the peaks in the Lake District but Glencoe was long before I ventured into hiking/fell walking. I'm not sure I've been to the visitor centre but I can remember going to the museum they had in the village. Lots of stuffed animals,wildcats,pine matrens etc. I do recall a mobile chip van would be in town some nights,very nice chips indeed or maybe it was just eating them in such an inspiring location.

I love all of Scotland,the highlands contain the last true wildernesses in these islands. Pulling over by the side of a lonely loch on a deserted road,not another vehicle for miles and miles and total silence except for the haunting 'pruk pruk' of a Raven.


Pine Matrens?? 


Pansyface - love that link!! No lightning over UK but Europe has plenty especially in the Alps.

More to the point though,sincere apologies for going off at a tangent to your original post topic. When do summer days end? I suppose when we first begin to feel that chill in the morning air. I'm not sure there's a specific plant for me that signals summer's passing. Perhaps my Buddlejas going over and when all the foliage begins to have a tired look about it. Even now its noticeable to see the evenings drawing back in slightly now we are a month past the summer solstice. I find the approach of shorter days a sad time though in some ways its comforting to think that spring will be back and nature's endless cycle continues.In light of that,this is a short poem I wrote...

A Cottage Autumn

Blackberry foregrounds
clutter my vision,
a holly bush of
green leather leaves,
scarlet drops of
blood-rich berries,
where the blackbird
feasts his quick bright eye.

Spider lace web,
her dewy veils
spun over bramble,
sticky with fruit mayhem,
on fat flies she feeds,
ingesting their startled buzz.

My thoughts,
impaled on thorns,
now drawn away
to the thatched eaves,
and the chimney
red brick stacked,
evening's sudden fall,
woodsmoke scent,
snaking up up,
toward shrouded
purple hills.

Wow! That's really beautiful.  Do you do this sort of thing for a living? It's very good.  I definitely get a sense of melancholy in it. I have mixed feelings about late summer. It can catch you either way, can't it?

It's definitely getting darker earlier though.  Still, a friend up in the north of Scotland says he can still see a small patch of snow on one of the hills.Ha!

Thank you pansyface that's very kind of you to say. I'm afraid I don't make a living from it,poetry doesn't interest publishers generally. A short perusal of your supermarket book aisle will reveal novels,biographies etc but precious little poetry books if any at all.

Yes I know what you mean about the mixed feelings.Autumn can be melancholy but there are certain compensations. Warm fires,stew and dumplings,no more mowing the lawn?

crysanthemums with dew on them

the smell of a newly varnished wooden floor (Im back in infants school after summer hols)

Smell of sharpened pencils (again infants school)

Smell of damp leaves


Ooh cedar pencils. I'd forgotten about them.


When the beech hedge turns colour.

When the summer birds go home

Blackberry picking with the family
star gaze lily

The changing colour of the leaves, I love them. And a walk through fallen leaves.

Warm fires, hot chocolate, bowls of soup, .........


Stop it all of you.   Its still Summer!!!!!  Time enough for cold dreary long winter days when Im sure we will all be dreaming of how nice it would be to feel a really hot sun our face and see beautiful summer borders in full bloom.

Thats the trouble with us gardeners, always thinking about the next season! Just lying here on my hammock in the sunshine - blissfull? No, looking around, thinking that acanthus will be too big for there soon, that rose needs moving! Never just content!

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