I noticed an autumnal smell yesterday and although the sun was out the air was definitely crisp. I love Autumn and the smell that I usually associate with it is fire.
When I was a little girl in Alnwick my Dad used to take me to the Guy Fawkes night every year at the local rugby club and I loved it. We would buy cardboard torches and there would be a procession through town with them all blazing. There would be a sense of great anticipation in the air and the odd rogue banger being let off along the way. Once there, I would spend most of the evening hidden underneath my Dad's coat as the noisy fireworks used to actually really scare me but I would always come out for a cup of warming country vegetable soup or a toffee apple, sold by the local Round Table.
Without meaning to sound like I am 80, back then fireworks were a once a year event - and created a real sense of occassion which was relished by the whole community. They are a regular occurrence down here now - often at weddings etc and maybe it's just because I'm not 8 and hiding behind my Dad, but these days I don't like them at all.
What I do like however, is a roaring log fire.......................just like the one I have this evening.
Back in the 1970's everyone had a coal fire - central heating wasn't that common and every morning my Mum would rake out the grate and set the fire for that evening. In Northumberland I'm sure we must have been very cold through the day as the fire was never lit until teatime so I guess that's why our Mums were always knitting lots of sweaters and tank tops to keep us warm.
When we moved into this house 3 years ago one of the first things that we did was get the chimney swept. The sweeps these days are very hi-tec and as much as I would have loved a Dick van Dyke look-a-likey to turn up singing 'chim chimanee' , it was quite a young man with a large vacuum cleaner type contraption with a huge long hose that he shoved upwards and it was all over in a few minutes.
Disappointing I know, but we LOVE our fire .
My hubby in particular loves it. ......infact he is quite obsessed by it. So much so that his caveman instinct ( ME MAN, ME LIGHT FIRE ) comes out. Noobody else is allowed to light it and woe betide any of us that places a mere twig on in the wrong position................He has quite a collection of intricate and useful fire tools on the hearth and spends ages rearranging the coal and twisted newspaper until it's just right while we sit and shiver in silence.
So with a nip in the air and a fire on the go, we are having a much deserved Chinese tonight ( sorry Slimming World!) and while my hubby goes to collect it..........dare I throw another log on?