You can take the girl out of Britain but you can't take being British out of the girl and the weather remains an ongoing fascination. Like much of Europe it's been a bit blowy here over the past week or so and the winds have had quite an impact on both the scenery and cycle of life here. Having talked about my intention to sweep up the fallen leaves for a couple of weeks, I was thrilled to discover they had been lifted, whisked around and then deposited in neat little piles by the breezy gusts. I was even more impressed to discover that the size of each leaf pile was such that they fitted neatly into a bin liner - remarkable. We have a maple tree at the end of the garden (the most beautiful tree in the valley at this time of year to my mind) and I tirelessly watch it's fallen leaves frog hopping over each other as they chase around the lawn. What a show of colour and energy! The wind has shaken the remaining apples and quinces from our trees which were then washed by the rain before finding their way into a glut of pies and crumbles. The pods from the wisteria have shaken their black button seeds onto the ground (Warning: these closely resemble chocolate Minstrels and should not be eaten) some of which will find a suitable nook to start the process of becoming new plants. As the trees shake off their coats of leaves and prepare to face the winter months, previously shielded views open up around us, I can see the hedgerows dividing the fields, I see more cattle grazing, birds are more easy to spot (I have guests staying at the moment who are keen twitchers - I hope this is the right term, and they're preparing a list that I will share shortly) and sound travels unhindered. We hear our neighbours donkey, the cows calling to each other when the farmer deposits some hay or a salt block, the chug of tractors returning home at the end of the day and me letting Mark know that his tea is ready.