It would be wonderful if this was a picture of my greenhouse and garden but it was actually taken in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh last week. Still I have been working on my own autumnal vegetation and, bit by bit, that end of season tidy-up is beginning to show results.
The dip in temperatures this week means that, with the weather staying dry, there has been time each day to devote to:
Chores and creativity indoors, and
Pruning, shredding, digging and creativity outdoors, once the air temperature has warmed and before the sun disappears in what almost seems like the mid-afternoon.
I know that there are people who insist that there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. However those same people generally don't go hot air ballooning when it's blowing a hurricane outside or cook a Sunday roast when it hits 30 degrees and everyone else is tucking into salad on the patio.
The great thing I've discovered about this time of the year, however, is that retirement allows you to take advantage of two hour windows of sunshine and I've begun to fit my day around the conditions.
With so much to complete before winter kicks in, I do feel as though I'm on a tight timetable. I am also conscious that since returning from Edinburgh my diary has not been as sociable as recently. As a result walking to the postbox seemed like a big event as I waved and chatted to a number of people and I even tried to strike up a conversation in the middle of a delicate balancing exercise in Pilates. A warning sign perhaps that retirement could become a time of splendid isolation were I to let it and that deadlines and the pressures that go with them are for those who work, not those seeking to enjoy life.
Suitably admonished, I have checked my diary but the last few days are definitely a blip. Free time over the next week looks as though it may be in short supply. Oh dear, clearing the garden when the weather conditions are right may not be feasible after all. There may be more flexibility in retirement, but there are still compromises to be made.