Ipple-Pen Diary (25 October 2018)
Autumn has arrived not so much as with a bang but sneaked into Ipplepen over the past month bringing with it cooler mornings, rain, heavy winds and glorious sunshine reminiscent of a beautiful Spring day.
It is the time of year where we look forward to bonfire night, the lantern procession, damp cold dark winter evenings which as anyone who knows the English know gives us something to moan about for the next six months before we return to complaining about how hot it is.
It is also the time of year to yearn for and welcome Ginger Parkin, slabs of dark rich treacle toffee (for those who aren’t scared of losing their fillings), wood fires and homemade brew.
We may even enjoy the misery of listening to Leonard Cohen songs just to round things off.
Around the village and up on Orley Common the leaves haven’t yet cast off their ever decaying leaves which has been a problem in the high winds and heavy rain because as the ground has softened under the deluge the trees have acted like huge living sails resulting in branches being torn off and in some cases the trees themselves being ripped from the ground.
Ipplepen people – and especially the native Devonians – are pretty stoical about the weather as opposed to some of the “comer inners” who thought they were moving to a County of permanent sunshine, green grass, happy contented cows and beautiful healthy cream complexioned children.
All of which is true apart from the permanent sunshine.
Little did they think or know about what they were coming to.
If they feel they were misled it is perhaps because they only visited during the summer so there’s no point complaining after all a simple cursory look at the weather forecast tells the story, global warming followed by fine sunny weather, followed by global warming, followed by high winds and rain, followed by…… – you get the picture”
In Ipplepen we can experience the full gambit in a single day with in the winter the occasional snow shower thrown into the mix.
With two coast lines and Dartmoor the weather in Devon is what a meteorologist would call changeable and when it rains it really rains for protracted periods of time lashing down and usually accompanied by high winds that drive it relentlessly against the homes, lifting roof tiles and destroying ill-maintained fences.
We even see the occasional garden trampoline making its way down the streets of Ipplepen in an attempt to escape generally accompany the occasional wheely-bin.
It is the time of year when we find out if our study of the Blue Peter use of do-it -yourself, sticky back plastic, approach to house maintenance carried out during the summer months has paid off.
Will the fence stay upright or lean at a precipitous angle throughout the winter?
Will the windows and doors so carefully packed with draft excluder work this year having failed last?
Will the catch fitted to the cat flap really hold or will we have another winter of gales driving though the back door?
Only time and the weather will reveal whether we have prepared for the onset of winter.
But in the meantime Autumn is here, time to get out the waterproof coats and go to the Wellington where they have log fires, good food and excellent beer.
The walk home may be a little tricky – but Heigh-Ho – it’ll soon be Christmas.