This Friday gone was Lammas, and to celebrate the old festival R and I climbed Winter Hill near Cookham and sat looking out at ripe wheat fields while drinking wine and eating strawberries. It was lovely, and I’m going to write about it… but not yet. On Sunday we had a more personal celebration and collected a small harvest from our garden – spinach, the last of our broad beans, blackberries picked from the wild bramble that insists on growing through the fence and into our garden, and perfectly ripe golden plums from our plum tree. Really, it hardly seems so long ago since that tree was smothered in delicate white blossom like the one you see on the left, and now it’s covered in golden fruit. it’s been an excellent year for fruit it seems, the fat berries I’ve noticed clustering on almost every shrub along the River Lee towpath, the spill of yellow and wine coloured plums upon the ground. It’s still summer and I like to think that we haven’t had the best of it yet, and yet… Already the garden is slowing down, with much gone to seed, and many things grown straggly – when did I take my eyes off them, when did this happen? The year has turned, and I am feeling it shifting. It’s as if we’ve finally crested a hill and are no longer poised at the top but already started on the way down. This sounds melancholy I know, but after the work of summer we all want to stop and reap the benefits; the birds who sang and worked themselves ragged to raise their chicks can now be found in hedgerows silently gorgeing on plenty. The sun when it appears is still hot, the days still relatively long, and now is the time to enjoy the fruits of the season.