Saturday 6 October 2007

Mist and Mellow Fruit

For some time now we, as a family, have been meaning to go back to St Annes's Park. So today, waking to a blue October sky, we headed across to the north side of the city. We were not disappointed.

Within the Red Stables courtyard of the park a Farmers Market is held every Saturday. I love farmers markets. There are always little pieces to try for free - cheeses, fruit cakes, olive oils, pesto... And there is always a coffee stand set up. As I queued for a drink I had time to savour the smells of the various coffee beans for sale. There were about eight half-barrels containing beans from around the world inviting me to plunge my hand in and retrieve a handful of beans to savour the smell. Intoxicating! (I wondered if the people behind me thought that I should use the scoop provided, but that would be missing out on half of the sensory experience.) I've told you before that, if available, I will support coffee growers from Ethiopia so I opted for a fairtrade blend that did just that.

As my young children looked at the stall with the handmade wooden toys I feasted my eyes on the fruit and veg stalls - carrots with dirt on, apples of all hues, red onions, purple cauliflower and varieties of pumpkin I have never seen before, all combining to form a deliciously sweet smell that you could taste in your nose and throat. (I should have got a bottle of the pressed apple juice.)

Leaving the courtyard, laden with coffee, pear and cinnamon muffins, and the prospect of returning for lunch, we strolled through the trees to a really excellent wooden playground.

Across to my left a church bell struck its chords from within its fire-red ivy-clad tower. Ahead of me a mid-morning haze caused the golden, autumnal sun to cut through the trees in visible shafts.

This is why I love the Autumn best.

(John Keats does a better job of describing it than me.)

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