The glamping season’s over for this year and the first leaves are falling.

Now tomatoes in the poly tunnel need roasting with garlic and blending for Winter sauces. Courgettes need turning into gratin and garlicky sauces. We’re waiting for the mushrooms to come through (while walking past lots of possibly edible mushies on the land, which is frustrating). And the temperature has dropped enough for me to do some of this:


It’s an oak the previous owner felled at least seven years ago (and tried to burn in situ!). I had hoped it might be dry enough for this year, but some of it was still wet in the middle. One morning with a chainsaw and splitter and it’s ready to keep us warm for a few days next year, or the year after. I’ve already stashed a few weeks of firewood under tarps or I’d really be panicking. One day I’ll be well ahead of the game, but this is not that day.

Her Outdoors, meanwhile, is working on her Christmas collection:


This is her third year of making decorations and it’s become part of our seasonal pattern. Fabric tree decorations will still be available and she’s working on some paper ideas. I’ll make details of her new Etsy shop known as soon as it’s open.

Pepito, meanwhile, is mowing the grass now the guests have gone. I’m currently wrestling with a new-used iPhone and shot a one-minute video you can see on the écovallée facebook page. The above photos were also shot with the iPhone. I’m yet to be convinced by the technology, as it doesn’t work – at all – as a phone. I can’t help feeling the product is badly named.

That’s the increasingly distant echo of the Spring that sprung a few weeks ago.

To be fair, I’ve been wishing it wasn’t so. (I need winter to carry on just that little bit longer so I can butcher our remaining pig without worry about the flies.) But I can no longer ignore the signs: the snowdrops Her Outdoors planted have been and gone, the crocuses are still here (but only just) and the daffodils are showing distinct signs of wilting. The days are consistently warm and sunny, heralded by more and more delirious birds, the beeping Petit Duc owl has been announcing the need to procreate for a few weeks, the number of grue migrating to wherever they go for the summer is diminishing and the polytunnel is looking better than ever.

It seems early but nothing’s certain in these days of climate change, earthquakes and revolutions. I’ll log it here and come back and check next year. I’m glad I got the coppicing done.