Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Snippets (of life): Autumn is so lovely

Grampy Glyn is the person I mostly credit for my love of nature (you may remember him from this post). He has always been a quiet man, but when he speaks it's usually with a twinkle in his eye and a grin. He's great with animals, especially dogs and horses, and despite having only one functional arm worked as a farrier. Of course, he is in his 80s and retired now - he had to retire not long after a troublesome stunt involving a fall from a very high ladder onto a very hard floor. But that's another story. 

When I was younger we spent many hours either walking or riding over the mountains around my grandparents' home. He knew all about the animals and trees and could tell which bird was in the canopy above from the song, or from a glimpse at an egg in a nest. He would usually have a Mars bar (for me) and a hipflask (for him) in his pocket to keep us going, and we'd spend hours in the woods looking at trees, animal trails, watching squirrels and rabbits and when I was older arguing about fox-hunting. (Which he did, for many reasons country folk understand and accept and which I was very unhappy about.) We'd return hours later to a mug of sweet tea and the smell of home-cooked stew which we'd eat in front of a coal fire hot enough to melt our faces, whilst leaving our backs freezing cold. 
One Autumn, when I must have been just 5 or 6, it was the turn of my class to present an assembly to the rest of the school. Being confident and clearly-spoken (the only benefit to having a deaf mother) I was given the job of reciting the poem, and Grampy helped me to memorise it. The poem was called "Autumn is so lovely" and he liked it so much that over 30 years later, he can still recite it. My memory is not so good, but I do recall a few lines... 
Shiny conkers now we find, 
In spiky cradles, softly lined, 
Summer's gone, but I don't mind
Autumn is so lovely.

Leaves are changing, yellow and brown, 
Chrysanthemum has come to town, 
On her head a golden crown, 
Autumn is so lovely.

There's another verse about the Harvest Moon having "a golden face" but I really can't remember it. I've looked on line but I can't seem to find it anywhere. 

Every day as I notice the trees and leaves I think that Autumn really is so lovely and it also makes me thankful that I still have two grandparents, in the autumn of their lives. We're going to see them next week and I really can't wait. 


  1. That's beautiful. Autumn *is* so lovely!

  2. Mahalo for sharing such lovely tidbits - didn't know your mum was deaf - about you and your ohana. I LOL'd at your grandpa havin' a hip flask in his pocket during your walks! He rocked.

  3. What a lovely blog post. I can't resist the colours of Autumn, they're so beautiful.

  4. Birds fly off to a warmer place,
    Spiders spin a web like lace,
    The Harvest moon has a golden face,
    Autumn is so lovely!

  5. You've made me shed a tear! Brought back lovely memories with my grandfathers. Really beautiful blog post.


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