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Autumn: what does it mean to you? Help needed please

edited June 2013 in - Writing Problems
I write a quarterly piece for a dialect magazine and the theme for the next issue will be autumn related. In previous years I have covered apples, leaves, Hallowe'en, Bonfire Night. Struggling to find a fresh topic/angle. Suggestions please? Deadline isn't until early August but like to draft something early to avoid last minute panic and allow for life to get in the way!


  • Things to do in the garden, clearing up before winter, protecting plants from frost - it is a time of year when people take up new evening classes - begin a new hobby for the winter evenings
  • Walking through early morning mist, disturbing the strands.

    Driving to work, with the sun in my eyes, through a storm of falling leaves.

    Crumpets again. Smell of bonfires on the allotments. Conkers.

    So - you could write about autumn food. Or walks. Or memories.
  • Back to school.

    Shortening days.


    Christmas adverts. NO. Scrap that one!
  • Spiders' webs festooned with misty droplets; preparing for hibernation; beechnut mast underfoot. Sun getting lower in the sky each day. Pumpkin lanterns. Soup.
  • Changing clothes over to winter from summer... getting the warmer duvet out... putting the dog's coat on when going out... having to have the heat on in the day...
  • Picking the remaining fruit crop, seed heads on plants forming which will provide food for the birds in the winter. A smoothing out as the vibrant colours fade and start to mellow...
  • Back to school.

    Gorgeous colours in the trees.

    Change in the air, from warmth to a little chill on the breeze, but still plenty of sunshine.
  • thank you all, reading your suggestions has popped the block from my brain and I expect now to be able to write bits for the next three Autumn editions!
    Betsie, putting the garden to bed! now why didn't I think of that, it's such a big part of Autumn, I've done it every year for decades. And Mrs Bear mentioned pumpkin, yup, the annual problem of what to do with half hundredweight of orange pumpkin innards once your lantern is extinguished. As for you TN, you are banished for using the c word...it was actually the second time I'd heard it today, overheard a woman in Lakeland telling the assistant 'I'm looking for Christmas presents'. (I did wonder why she's leaving it so late) Lizy, the conkers are already forming I found one about the size of my thumb nail in the garden at the weekend - Autumn must be nearer than I think. Liz, getting the winter duvet out, I had to smile as we only switched to our 3 tog about a fortnight ago. I suppose that's the thing with 'seasonal' articles. My middle-aged brain is still filtering the news that it all just rolls into one now...thanks guys, your comments have helped and I appreciate them.

    Anyone have memories of harvest festivals?
  • [quote=doodle]Anyone have memories of harvest festivals?

    My son has to take stuff to school every year.
  • [quote=doodle]Anyone have memories of harvest festivals?[/quote]

    Morning out of school to attend church service where all our offerings were on display. Singing that hymn that starts "We plough the fields and scatter the good seed in the land". That's all the words I remember and I don't remember the name of the hymn.

    [quote=doodle]As for you TN, you are banished for using the c word[/quote]

    Oh Christmas! That c word! I wondered what I'd missed.

    No, autumn doesn't make me think of Christmas - the adverts start in August, which is still summer! But Christmas markets take place in autumn, so I wouldn't write off "the c word" all together.
  • thanks Carol, that reminds me to start saving paper bags to collect some seeds for next year sowing - I compensate for any I take with black sunflower mix so the birds won't go short.
    dora, I like the 'back to school' angle but I'm not sure I can remember that far back... new plimsolls with soles like tractor tyres, new pencil case, compasses (are they still allowed, sharp pointy da) getting a new rough jotter and writing really neatly on page 1 before it degenerated into idle doodling and playing hangman, covering books with Vymura wallpaper - this was the 70's, - garish purple/orange/lime/yellow/brown patterns (love 'em still) Oh, maybe I CAN remember, off to write some...thank you....
  • Onlinegenie - the hymn is called We plough the fields and scatter. I haven't heard that since I was at school but as soon as I read your post I started singing, earworm alert, thanks for that ;D. Also, All things bright and beautiful came to mind
  • In primary school we were just across the road from the local church, so we always had our Harvest Festival service in the church.
    We always sung 'We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land, where it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand...'
    And each class would proceed up the aisle to the front and our food gifts would be added to the rest in front of the altar in a nice display, and later in the day was distributed to the local OAP's.

    My son's primary began giving the harvest goods to the homeless centre in the city...
  • I wrote a poem about what autumn means to me a few years ago. It's not one of my best but it did get published in The Daily Mail it may help... :)


    Autumn is not about falling leaves,
    every shade of brown
    there can possibly be,
    or swirling mists twisting
    each and every way,
    or chilly nights and a shorter day.
    Nor is it about woody smoke smells
    imbuing the crisp air,
    or ducking for apples
    and ‘trick and treat’ scare.
    And it's nothing to do
    with mellowed fruit
    falling to dewy ground,
    when it can be bought
    in Tesco all year round.
    No, Autumn means only one thing to me,
    loads of new programmes on the TV!
  • Our children's village school children took the Harvest Festival food brought in to school round to all the elderly in the village - they made little boxes up and decorated them and went round with a teacher. The OAP's enjoyed the children's visits more than the food I think.
  • edited June 2013
    [quote=doodle]Anyone have memories of harvest festivals?[/quote]
    Golly, yes! Another thread within 5 minutes that brings back memories of my father, who was a parish priest.

    We used to help decorate the church each year - all branches of autumn leaves and huge marrows, bags of veg and bunches of Michealmas Daisies.

    "We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the ground" sung at top volume.

    The wonderful smell of an old church filled with fresh produce.

    Taking boxes of food to poor people and pensioners and the local hospital afterwards.
  • [quote=Lizy]The wonderful smell of an old church filled with fresh produce.[/quote]

    Complete opposite in my church.
  • [quote=doodle]Anyone have memories of harvest festivals?[/quote]

    My mother would not give fresh food away, harvest or not, so I always took something like, a small tin of marrowfat peas or something just as cheap. :D times were hard.
  • Yes, tins were a good stand-by. :)
  • [quote=dora]Lizy wrote: The wonderful smell of an old church filled with fresh produce.

    Complete opposite in my church. [/quote]

    You mean yours is a fresh church filled with old produce?
  • :)


    Not filled, partially empty.

    With old produce and not always at harvest festival time.
  • [quote=doodle]compasses (are they still allowed, sharp pointy da)[/quote]

    Never mind compasses - did anyone work out what a set-square was all about? (apart from an emergency ruler)

    Anyway, autumn. Home made soooooooop (lentil & ham or roasted tomato/pepper being my specialities)
  • edited June 2013
    [quote=jangod] did anyone work out what a set-square was all about? (apart from an emergency ruler)[/quote]

    For drawing right-angles from the edge of your drawing board.
  • Oooh, a drawing board. I don't think I've ever had one of those. No wonder I'd no idea what to do with a set-square.
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