Autumn – season of mists, mellow fruitfulness and flapping away at your face trying to wipe away those invisible spider-web threads that are floating about everywhere. Why do spiders do that?
They’re never going to catch a fly, surely, with a single little thread drifting in the breeze? Maybe they’re thinking they might snag a human.
“Good news, Charlotte, I’ve bagged one. Plenty of meat on it; get your mother round for Sunday lunch.” Perhaps an arachnid expert can update me on the thinking behind these sticky airborne irritants.
But that apart, like many of you I adore this time of year; the stillwarm days, softening light, crisp, dewy mornings and the change of colours as nature readies for winter. It is a time when our county glows with goodness.
And Mrs Castle and I are aglow too, I’m happy to report, as we celebrate the not inconsiderable achievement of staying married for 30 years. It was not a Norfolk wedding back in 1988, I have to confess. We had been planning the full schemozzle; church, reception, flowers, hats, handbags and all.
But one evening, exhausted by the sheer bloodiness of the whole business we looked at each other and, almost in unison, said: “Why don’t we get married, just us, in Scotland?”
We’d already booked an autumn holiday in noble Caledonia. A few secret phone calls and letters (it was 30 years ago) and a plot was hatched to get matched in Perth. We told no-one else.
The big McDay came; we hired a photogapher to provide evidence, borrowed a lovely lady from a next-door office to act as witness and we became Mr & Mrs, and not just for tax reasons. We spent the evening on a payphone, with a huge bag of 10p pieces, spreading the news.
Our 30th – pearl – celebrations have been a little more restrained than they might have been. A few weeks ago the lady of the house, exiting the property in a hurry, managed to trip, did a triple salchow with half-twist and pike and broke a leg.
So there has been plaster and now a huge orthopaedic boot and not a lot of easy movement. But we managed to haul up to Wells-next-the-Sea for a clump about on the quayside and some anniversary fish and chips in the sunshine, which was lovely.
Being a pearl anniversary any husband worth his Maldon Sea Salt would shower his wife with fabulous jewellery created from amazing natural gems handdrawn from the sea by mightylunged pearl divers. I, however, am worth a drum of Saxa and gifted accordingly, but it was still well-received.
Have a lovely October.
Autumn. Lovely, isn’t it?