Friday, 2 November 2012

Welcoming the Dark

It doesn't seem like six minutes since the equinox, let alone six weeks, and it's November already!
The third and last harvest, Nos Galan Gaeaf (the first of winter), Halloween, Samhain, the start of the dark half of the year - quite literally, too, now that the clocks have gone back to good old Greenwich Mean Time.  Mostly the weather is still grey and wet, so it seems to be getting dark from about mid-afternoon.  It's also chilly and the itching caused by my cold-induced urticaria has been driving me mad.  It just makes me want to find somewhere warm to hibernate

In the past six weeks, the last of the swallows have fled to warmer climes, and the starlings and thrushes have appeared, chattering, restlessly moving between fields and trees.

I was idly wondering about the traditional Halloween colours of orange and black. Orange is so hot and lively, in strong contrast to black, which is an absence of colour, void, darkness. The glow of a fire in a dimly-lit room, or autumn bonfires, flames against a night sky.
Pumpkins appeared in the supermarkets, ready to be carved for Halloween. It makes me cross that the pumpkins are removed from the shops as soon as it's November.  It's not as if they don't store well. I bought a couple to cook with, and used one straight away, popping some in a vegetable curry and the rest in a warm and spicy pumpkin and pepper soup. It's so cold and dreary, I can't bring myself to eat salads, but I'm making up for it with fruit.
Apart from the seasonal apples, I found some persimmons, which I love when they are ripe and meltingly soft. I also picked up a pomegranate, but it's not as huge and glossy-skinned as the ones growing in Cyprus.

I usually dislike air fresheners, preferring to burn incense, but couldn't resist a scented candle which changes colour. Presumably there's a colour changing LED in the bottom of the glass which has some sort of sensor to switch it on when the candle wick is lit, and off when the flame is extinguished. It is very pretty on a window ledge, glowing, changing colours against the darkness outside the window

A trip to one of my regular charity shop haunts turned up a pair of earrings in 'antiqued' brass and crystals in autumn shades of brown and gold.  One of the dangles was hanging wonky, but all that was needed was some work on a jump ring. I noticed that the pair weren't well matched - one is brassier than the other, but they sparkle more than the photo shows and are nice to wear.
Another found object was a gold ribbon, discarded as part of some packaging. 
So I put together a little autumn-orange-themed group - persimmon, pumpkin, ribbon, earrings and candles, a cheerful blast of colour to welcome the dark.

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