Town Mouse

Lon­don au­tumn

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

ATRIP to Northamp­ton­shire in glo­ri­ous late-au­tumn sun­shine brought the work­ing week to an un­usu­ally mem­o­rable close. The leaves of the oaks and beeches in the hedgerows turned the en­tire coun­try­side gold and, on the way to a lunch at Lam­port Hall, I had the op­por­tu­nity to take in the re­cently re­stored Mon­tagu and Buc­cleuch mon­u­ments at Wark­ton church. The re­sult is a gen­uine won­der, the life­size fig­ures of the var­i­ous mar­ble mon­u­ments il­lu­mi­nated in cool sun­light, eerily draw­ing the vis­i­tor into the grief and loss they cel­e­brate.

These de­lights made me re­flect the next day on how distinc­tive Lon­don’s au­tumn is. The plane trees turn a distinc­tive yel­low and shed their leaves less con­clu­sively than their coun­try cousins. More­over, rather than melt­ing with the first frost into a brown por­ridge, the drifts of their fallen leaves are re­mark­ably re­silient. Their sur­vival would be less notable were it not for the de­ter­mi­na­tion of the chil­dren to wade through them at every op­por­tu­nity. I now feel re­signed to what­ever they might pick up in the process.

Mean­while, the postage stamp of ground that is our gar­den has yielded its last home­grown pro­duce: a very sorry clutch of rhubarb stems. Lon­don winter be­gins. JG

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