A whole season has gone hurtling by since I posted the picture of the flowering granadilla creeper outside my kitchen window. (look-see here.) The fruit it coming thick and fast. The haul in this picture is just a taster.
Seeing granadilla and ripe avos in the fruit bowl means summer is officially over. The light fades faster in the evernings, I’ve replaced my summer cotton blanket with a down one, and there will be no more lolling around in the hot early morning sun with my coffee and paper. No more falling into the sea to cool off on days when it’s too hot to move. No more Sunday afternoons where the smell of braai, frangpani and kelp rolls in on the breeze. That cocktail of summer smells.
I’m a summer person. But aren’t we all?
Well, no, apparently not. It took me by surprise when I realised not everyone rates summer like I do. Some of my friends love the covering up, the rain, the coats, the orange boats, the internally focused business that winter is. I’m grateful they feel that way. Really I meant it. I think there’s a lesson for me in their winter-love. There’s a lot that happens now that’s actually spectacular. You get to stay in more. Read the books you’ve been feeling guilty about ignoring. Cook. Read some more. Walk around the house in blankets. Ramp up the slouchiness. Read some more. Cook more beautiful things. Get fatter and not care.
Winter takes the pressure off. It gives you permission to do less, to just be.
If you stockpile wood in advance and look beyond the diminishing light, it gets very beautiful now in a Rembrandtish kind of a way. The more oblique aspect of light is gentler and easier and richer. There’s another side to life now too. There are music festivals, arts festivals and all the stuff that dares not appear on the summer calendar because it would just get wholeheartedly ignored. Nobody would go.
And look, my granadillas. It’s harvest time. I’m amazed. It’s wonderful to think that every granadilla flower turned into one of these rotund little crunchy fruit-bombs. The range of colours, which goes from raspberry to aubergine, is beautiful. Every day they go deeper and redder and purpler, and more like aubergine than an aubergine itself. I’ll have to make granadilla icecream before the rain comes, and open an ice cream shop. Or maybe I need to think what Yotam Ottolenghi would do if he had my garden wall?