Today, scurrying to post a letter, I realised that The Nip had arrived. Everyone knows The Nip. It turns up unannounced on one of those fine October days when the Virginia creeper glows warm paprika and the cherry tree leaves are starting to hang like goldfish from a rod off their blackening branches.
October is one of the finest months, full of change and melancholy and so many appeals to every sense. But The Nip is the sign that it’s getting colder, the frosts are on their way and your summer vegetables have been served notice.
So I’ve brought in my tomatoes. One of the many things that has surprised me about living in London (along with the fact that I actually like living in London, something I never thought possible) is that my tomato crop has been the biggest and most blight-free that I’ve ever had. And I’m just growing on a patio.
Look how many green tomatoes I have left! I felt sad as I pulled them from the vine, that wonderful musty scent of the foliage filling the air. But then I remembered: now I can make green tomato chutney. And that is one of the finest things about autumn.