October the first, and the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is with us again. How quickly the year goes by. We are so fortunate to be aware of the changing seasons and to be able to adapt our daily life in order to make the most of each season. At the moment there has been little change in the weather apart from an early morning and evening chill in the air. The farm is in desperate need of rain for the crops which have been sown and need moisture in order to chit (germinate} and grow on quickly, so that they can best withstand insect and fungal attacks, inevitable when there are such tight regulations on the fungicides and insecticides which may be applied. Gardeners, on the other hand, may be delighted to have mild weather as they tidy up for the winter and water is no longer an essential as the growing season is over for many plants.
Social and Local. Bumbles Tea Shoppe, in Epperstone, has benefitted from sunny weather, rising to the occasion with excellent tea, coffee, homemade cakes and light lunches. Popular with walkers, cyclists, and visitors in general it buzzes with life and has been a welcome meeting place for villagers with an hour to spare on a sunny morning. Another find, on a recent trip to Tuxford, was the cider producer at nearby East Markham. Sold under the name, The Scrumpy Wasp, some of their produce is sold in local shops, but if you want to try the full range you will have to find the pub in East Markham. If you need an added incentive many of the apples they use are grown locally. I have not yet had time to see the new, long-promised Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre but it is a “must” on my activities list.
Last Night of the Proms: an enjoyable fund-raiser for Epperstone church. Anyone who thought this might be too highbrow for them missed a rousing evening of music with the Nottingham Symphonic Wind Orchestra. Much of the music came from well-known films. Audience participation, in the form of clapping and singing (words provided for those who only knew the choruses) was actively and skilfully encouraged by the conductor. After a glass of prosecco and some delicious canapes it was not difficult to let your hair down, as they say.
The Women’s Institute, known for an interesting annual programme, organised a visit to the Brackenhust Campus of Nottingham Trent University. Shown round with enthusiasm and knowledge by a W.I. member who works in the poultry research department many of us were amazed at how Brackenhurst has expanded its research facilities on the site. In addition to numerous buildings housing the research departments much-needed repairs have been carried out to a historic house; the extensive garden has been restored; a wonderful place in which to study.