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Autumn In Spitalfields

October 3, 2020
by the gentle author

The rain is falling on Spitalfields, upon the church and the market, and on the streets, yards and gardens. Dripping off the roofs and splashing onto the pavements, filling the gutters and coursing down the pipes, it overflows the culverts and drains to restore the flow of the Black Ditch, the notorious lost river of Spitalfields that once flowed from here to Limehouse Dock. This was the watercourse that transmitted the cholera in 1832. An open sewer piped off in the nineteenth century, the Black Ditch has been co-opted into the drainage system today, but it is still running unknown beneath our feet in Spitalfields – the underground river with the bad reputation.

The shades of autumn encourage such dark thoughts, especially when the clouds hang over the City and the Indian Summer has unravelled to leave us with incessant rain bringing the leaves down. In Spitalfields, curry touts shiver in the chill and smokers stand in doorways, peering at the downpour. The balance of the season has shifted and sunny days have become exceptions, to be appreciated as the last vestiges of the long summer.

On such a day recently, I could not resist collecting these conkers that were lying neglected on the grass in the sunshine. And when I got home I photographed them in that same autumn sunlight to capture their perfect lustre for you. Let me confess, ever since I came to live in the city, it has always amazed me to see conkers scattered and ignored. I cannot understand why city children do not pick them up, when even as an adult I cannot resist the temptation to fill a bag. In Devon, we raced from the school gates and down the lane to be the first to collect the fresh specimens. Their glistening beauty declared their value even if, like gold, their use was limited. I did not bore holes in them with a meat skewer and string them, to fight with them as others do, because it meant spoiling their glossy perfection. Instead I filled a leather suitcase under my bed with conkers and felt secure in my wealth, until one day I opened the case to discover they had all dried out, shrivelled up and gone mouldy.

Let me admit I regret the tender loss of summer, just as I revel in the fruit of the season and the excuse to retreat to bed with a hot water bottle that autumn provides. I lie under the quilt I sewed and I feel protected like a child, though I know I am not a child. I cannot resist dark thoughts, I have a sense of dread at the winter to come and the nights closing in. Yet in the city, there is the drama of the coloured lights gleaming in wet streets. As the nights draw in, people put on the light earlier at home, creating my favourite spectacle of city life, that of the lit room viewed from the street. Every chamber becomes a lantern or a theatre to the lonely stranger on the gloomy street, glimpsing the commonplace ritual of domestic life. Even a mundane scene touches my heart when I hesitate to gaze upon it in passing, like an anonymous ghost in the shadow.

Here in Spitalfields, I have no opportunity to walk through beech woods to admire the copper leaves, instead I must do it in memory. I shall not search birch woods for chanterelles this year either, but I will seek them out to admire in the market, even if I do not buy any. Instead I shall get a box of cooking apples and look forward to eating baked apples by the fire. I am looking forward to lighting the fire. And I always look forward to writing to you every day.

67 Responses leave one →
  1. October 3, 2020

    Here it is grey and gloomy from smoke from wildfires. These are the sorts of days that cause dread for the coming of winter. But, we all shall get through this with a little help from our friends, and the kindness of strangers. Anyway, love and hugs to you and Schrodinger.

  2. Pauline Dufaur permalink
    October 3, 2020

    And I look forward to reading what you have written every day!
    Its hot here in Sydney 28c today but I can visualise the rain tumbling down and the autumn leaves on the ground. Believe it or not my favourite time in London.

  3. Denis Graham permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Your writing creates such wonderful pictures. I too remember rushing from school and tossing my haversack, full of homework books, into the horse-chestnut tree to bring down my crop.
    Yes, I did drill a hole in the said nuts ? after having soaked them in vinegar.

  4. October 3, 2020

    Such an atmospheric and evocative observation of the incessant rain in the autumnal gloom that hung over London yesterday. Late afternoon I took a sodden stroll around Pitshanger Park, my local park that has become so very familiar throughout lockdown. I have painted the changing view of the River Brent from a particular bend in the path from March to late summer, yesterday the river looked on the verge of being overwhelmed, about to overflow its banks. It may well succumb in the next few days but there is hope and light for the future and it will be calm and settled again in time. Thank you, for we look forwarding to reading your thoughts every day too.

  5. Chris S permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Good morning, I would be interested to read in more detail about the black ditch.

  6. Nicola Munday permalink
    October 3, 2020

    We must not get too sad at this time of the year. The long hot summer has left our gardens and forests parched. Think of all the roots in the earth taking a long drink of this much needed rain. It is the time to pull on our warm winter jumpers and socks and curl up to read good books as the dark evenings draw in.

  7. Keith Leonard permalink
    October 3, 2020

    A lovely evocative piece. Thank you, it brings back many memories. Though I now live in sunny (mostly) Queensland, Australia I can still relate to Spitalfields in winter. I do miss my lunch time coffees in Hanbury St. Take care and enjoy the good things about winter!

  8. October 3, 2020

    And I always look forward to reading your posts every day. Particularly evocative ones like this. I grew up near Nonsuch Park in Cheam. The traffic free road through the middle was always “Conker Alley” in my young days. It still is. Lined with giant horse chestnut trees. We waited impatiently for the first conkers . Threw stick up the trees to incur the wrath of park keepers. I retraced those steps last week. It seems a good harvest this year but there they all were glistening on the ground. Unloved. Unwanted. I filled my pockets for a photo at home for my own story. And remembered innocent days long ago.

  9. October 3, 2020

    The rain is hammering on the scaffolding outside as I write and I think how lucky we are to have your daily diary to cheer us on- especially on these wet days when the nights are drawing in and we feel the lack of sunlight. A little publishing industry has built up around the Danish art of Hygge: baked apples by the fire- and bed socks (!) and candles and mugs of tea are a good start. Stay cosy dear Gentle Author and when the bloom on your conkers start to fade come up to Hampstead Heath and collect some more.

  10. Brian R Bird permalink
    October 3, 2020

    It seems to be a lost art with the children in London now having conker fights! We all did back in the 50’s. I live in Nottingham now not sure the kids here bother with them. The weather this Saturday is dull & rainy, real autumn weather!

  11. Jackson Sara permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Beautifully written.
    Thank you

  12. Deborah permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Thank you for your regular postings about life in London. Here in Dorset there are beech woods and conkers and blackberries in abundance and our neighbours put out their excess apples into a box in the street for passers by.
    However in Covid times it is the buzz of London we miss and visits to galleries and Columbia Road flower market and walks along the Thames. Your regular blog keeps us in touch and helps to lift our spirits until we can visit again.

  13. Jill Wilson permalink
    October 3, 2020

    I love this blog and I will always think of you whenever I see fresh gleaming conkers.

    This had always been my busiest and most creative time of year and so I don’t share your dread of Autumn and Winter. But I should imagine that many people do, especially this year when there is the horrible pandemic causing extra financial and health worries.

    Stay safe everyone!

  14. Peter permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Melancholy seasonal musings

  15. Sally permalink
    October 3, 2020

    As the rain pours down and the world is in chaos your posts are very much.a bright spot for us and looked forward to eagerly. Very best wishes for Autumn

  16. October 3, 2020

    Thank you for such an evocative piece of writing this morning, you have summed up the ‘shades of autumn’ so beautifully.
    I too can’t resist the shiny conkers left lying around and always bring some home to display for a while before their lustre disappears.
    As a child I lived opposite Victoria Park, my brother and I would rush there most mornings during ‘conker season’ to collect them. He would bore holes in them to string them up for schoolboy conker fights at school and I would polish mine and keep them.
    Today, the sight of shiny conkers brings back happy memories of my late brother and gathering them together in Victoria Park all those years ago. Thank you Gentle Author, I enjoy reading your words every day.

  17. lyn permalink
    October 3, 2020

    such beautiful and evocative writing, made me a bit sad for not being able to walk London’s streets in the twilight anymore. i love autumn but also begin to feel a bit impatient for winter and the comforts of a warm house, blinds drawn and cats on lap.

  18. Jean Clements permalink
    October 3, 2020

    And you have Schrodinger for company who will love the fire

  19. Howard Davies permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Thank you Gentle Author – wonderfully pitched evocation of the cosy melancholy of autumn. I enjoyed too the background about the now hidden river through Spitalfields. A pick me up on a dismal weekend morning.

  20. October 3, 2020

    Thank you TGA for this poetic & eloquent resume of this time of the year. You have put in words many of my feelings regarding the beautiful objects children used to collect – I too can not resist their sumptuous mahogany shine, as beautifully illustrated in your sensitive photo. One of the few pleasures of the colder months is unpacking the winter duvet, turning on the electric blanket & sleeping on a fleece sheet – like a cosetted child. Dark nights & lighted interior tableaus invariably turn my thoughts to the festive season which beckons.

  21. Beryl Happe permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Thank you for describing in such detail the joys of autumn and the relative dread of oncoming winter. An excellent piece.

  22. Anne Jackson permalink
    October 3, 2020

    I enjoy your daily writing thank you. Although I am on the other side of the world and heading into a different season.

    I live in Melbourne and am in isolation . Lockdown 4 for weeks which is a challenge.
    Keep writing and doing!
    Best Wishes
    Anne Jackson

  23. Nina Archer permalink
    October 3, 2020

    ….. slightly sad but sweet thoughts on Autumn … I am in my 70s but will still pick up a particularly glossy conker from the gutter and put it on my mantle piece to gaze at …kind thoughts to you and your lovely writings ….

  24. Annie Green permalink
    October 3, 2020

    I think we are all meant to vaguely dread the onset of winter, a hangover from our distant, distant past. But oh yes, the joy of being able to see into people’s homes as you pass by on a dark, chilly evening. Very reassuring.

  25. October 3, 2020

    And we look forward to your writings every day! Would love to read someday about how Shrodinger is doing. Thank you so much I so enjoy reading your articles every day.

  26. Anna permalink
    October 3, 2020

    What a beautiful reflection, thank you Gentle Author. I live in Geneva now but your vivid description brought back perfectly the familiar poignant beauty of autumn in East London, my home for 13 years.

  27. October 3, 2020

    What a lovely piece GA, a nice touch on a gloomy weekend. Best wishes.

  28. Gillian Tindall permalink
    October 3, 2020

    With pins, and some darning wool, you can make conkers into dolls-house chairs with polished seats and padded backs. Wonder if anyone does that now?

  29. Penny Gardner permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Thank you for your description. I’m an ex Londoner (living a mile from the nearest neighbour on the border of Shropshire and Radnorshire). Can’t put off a trip back to the evening streets much longer.
    Its not the yellow lights of my childhood anymore but walking on pavement will be a treat. Thanks for the snapshot.

  30. Mary permalink
    October 3, 2020

    How true that conkers were once such a part of our childhoods and how we looked forward to them beginning to drop to the ground, and even encourage them on their way with a well aimed stick thrown at the tree.
    Sadly we have to thank our ridiculous Health and Safety fears plus the sad fact that children are more interested in electronic games, that over the past few years our wonderful simple childhood games have been sidelined and almost forgotten.
    I had to smile at your mouldering pile of conkers, as many years ago I could not find the source of a terrible smell in my son’s bedroom. After days of searching I eventually found a box of decomposing conkers hidden in the bottom of a cupboard.
    That son now has his own little son and my husband and I have every intention of introducing him to a game of conkers.

  31. fede permalink
    October 3, 2020

    You write beautifully

  32. Ros permalink
    October 3, 2020

    AND I so look forward to reading your epistles-here in wanstead,east London
    No open fire any more but apples -yes- apple crumble this weekend I think!
    Keep well and safe GA and all readers

  33. Akkers permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Another good article but how I smiled when I saw your opening photo of conkers. It immediately reminded me of my Dad as he always picked up the finest ones and put them in his pocket at this time of the year. When I was a child I always thought that he played conkers with his workmates, but it was when he retired from work as a postman that one of his mates Johnno let slip what he actually did. Now my Dad had a sense of fun and when it was all quiet when the posties were in the sorting office and sorting the post out he would throw one of the conkers at the letters pile that one of his colleagues was sorting though then the quietness was broken with a who did that and the posties would all start talking about the phantom conker thrower. As the posties had their backs turned whilst they were sorting they never found out it was my Dad as he would occasionally also throw in a who did that to throw then all off the scent. The older ones always suspected that it was the younger posties doing this, but they were sometimes my Dads targets too. The only one who knew as he spotted him once doing this once was his mate Johnno who never let slip it was my Dad. I only have to see a conker at this time of the year and I am transported back to my childhood. I too now pick up the finest specimens when I see them, but not to throw at my colleagues backs. I put them in my wardrobes as they are meant to ward off spiders. Now I know it’s an old wives tale but this little trick does actually work.

  34. Jude permalink
    October 3, 2020

    As soon as the night start ‘drawing in’ you know Winter looms and its not my favourite season either. All the trees are turning different hues, a last hurrah before Winter. :(. But maybe the darkness of Winter makes Spring all that more beautiful when the daffodils emerge and primroses and tree buds and birds flitting about. New beginnings.

    Your bowl of ‘conkers’ are so beautiful – nature creates some wonders. How excited we were as children to collect them and so the battles could begin.

    Baked apples by the fireside sounds like a plan….. we enjoy your daily musings too!

  35. Georgina Briody permalink
    October 3, 2020

    There is an air of melancholy in today’s post, please don’t be sad GA. Keep Schrodinger beside you and those baked apples by the fire will lift your spirits!!

  36. Fiona scott permalink
    October 3, 2020

    I collected a bowl of green acorns recently and I love the conkers too and bring home pocketfuls of them. They are meant to deter moths but I haven’t found them to be very efficient.
    On Hampstead Heath nearby there is an annual conker match- though probably not this year.

  37. October 3, 2020

    What a delightful post!

  38. Lorraine Whebell permalink
    October 3, 2020

    A lovely and enjoyable read this morning GA
    thank you as always.

  39. October 3, 2020

    AUTUMN — this is the Time when Nature mourns. I still have a Chestnut Man on my Writing Desk, made years ago by two little Boys. I bought it from them … And of course: I still collect these Conkers, too!

    Love & Peace

  40. Pauline permalink
    October 3, 2020

    How your Autumn observations moved me this morning. I, also, was out yesterday collecting conkers from a chestnut lined lane where my twins walked every day to go to school (they will be 49 this year). I took the conkers home, as you did, put them into a lovely bowl after polishing them. They look wonderful, almost glowing, just as yours do. We have plenty of trees here in Norfolk, wish you could enjoy them here as much as I like wandering around Spitalfields when I get the chance. Keep up your lovely writing GA.

  41. Pauline Taylor permalink
    October 3, 2020

    This is a lovely piece of writing, dare I say that I think it is one of your best ever and I have been following you every day for years now. Thank you GA and thank you to everyone who has left a comment, I have enjoyed reading them all. I was particularly interested in Gillian’s description of conkers made into doll’s house furniture, I think the chairs must have looked a bit tatty after a time !! Personally I would never have dreamt of boring holes into them as to me that would instantly spoil their beauty and, strangely, despite all the botanical illustrations in my portfolio, I have never attempted to catch their sheen as here is something magical about it that I would find impossible to capture well enough to satisfy me, rather like the translucent blue of a summer sky, some thing that no one has ever managed to do in my opinion.

    Not much sign of blue in the sky today though here on the Essex Suffolk border but at least the garden is enjoying a long soak and everything is still very green with many of the plants still blooming, the fuchsias have been so beautiful this year and are still bravely putting on a show as are the anemones, the hydrangeas still have glorious enormous blooms and even a new clematis, only just recently planted in a pot, has a bud so I am looking forward to that coming out. All is not lost in the Autumn although I have to say that in general it is my not my favourite time of the year with the long dark days of Winter looming on the horizon.

    I am now watching Mrs Blackbird enjoying a big splash in a shallow dish of water just outside the garden door beside me. It makes me so thankful that I have a garden, what I would do without a green space to look out at during the long days that I am having to spend on my own at home now I just do not know. The garden, writing and the wildlife keep me sane, but oh how I miss my shop. My son is able to open three days a week now and people are buying books as if there is no tomorrow and it seems that lockdowns are encouraging many to take up reading again so every cloud has a silver lining but I miss the interaction with our customers.

  42. October 3, 2020

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, thanks for the great memory your piece brought of gathering chestnuts in childhood autumns. Efforts have been made in recent years to restore those beautiful chestnut trees lost in a blight decades ago in New England.

    Beautiful writing and picture of these gems…

    Let’s not forget dear Keats –

    To Autumn
    John Keats – 1795-1821

    Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
    To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
    And still more, later flowers for the bees,
    Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

  43. Pimlico Pete permalink
    October 3, 2020

    “my favourite spectacle of city life, that of the lit room viewed from the street”

    Oh yes. In the Netherlands and perhaps other countries it is the custom to provide a full view of the ground floor front room from the street, often right through to the back of the house and, if the resident is lucky, beyond to a usually tiny garden.

    But what is the custom for passing pedestrians in Delft and Den Haag? Are we allowed or even expected to stop for a decent gander, taking in the sight of ornaments and armchairs, perhaps an oak dining table looking clean and shiny enough to eat off without the need for plates? I have done that decent gander of course, suddenly moving on again when I realise that the luxurious wing chair which I am taking my time to admire has a person sitting in it.

    Pimlico Pete

  44. Linda Granfield permalink
    October 3, 2020

    A beautiful melancholy captured here that matches the cloudy dawn here in Toronto.

    The full moon is just starting to wane and the trees across the street are still golden but many have lost their leaves overnight.

    Thanks for a piece that reflects the mood on both sides of the Atlantic.
    Brrrrr. Yes, it’s time for quilts.

  45. Juliet Jeater permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Lit rooms always look so interesting from a train too. I loved this peeking into private spaces when I was a child.

  46. Claire D permalink
    October 3, 2020

    And I always look forward to reading your posts.

    It’s Apple Crumbles almost constantly in this house.

  47. October 3, 2020

    The value of an evocative piece of writing — it allows each reader to find different shadings and observations. For me, I read this beautiful piece and realized that I have gone to bed in the past months with “a sense of dread” about our national discord. (writing from the US) And, with optimism I am “looking forward to lighting the fire”, as we participate in our democracy in our rapidly-approaching election. Each day seems to bring a new whirlwind — and yet there is a constancy all around us — not unlike “the lit room seen from the street” that you so movingly describe. Craziness is tempered by community, and the incomparable beauty of our fall foliage in the Hudson Valley. We will abide.

    — and I couldn’t resist adding that my dear Dad had a penchant (oh, he had a zillion of them!) for dropping “buck eyes” (our word for chestnuts in Western Pennyslvania) into golf bags of his favorite golfers. He had the World’s Best Job for a while as the Official Starter at the Oakmont Country Club outside of Pittsburgh, and would encounter the world’s top golfers during tournaments like the US Open, etc. Without permission (no one could resist my Dad……) he would walk up to the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus and just
    happily pop a buckeye into their golf bag. “For luck!” Done! //// Hey, we all need a little luck.

  48. Nueybo permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Gentle Author, you are WONDERFUL. Such grace and humanity to brighten our days. Thank you so much. Your daily missive brings much cheer. With all good wishes, Nueybo xxx

  49. Adele Lester permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Although I live in busy New York City now, I was lucky to work for 25 years in one of the few ‘private estate’ areas bordering the city. I loved going for my daily lunchtime walk and collecting conkers ! My colleagues couldn’t understand my fascination with them, or the memories I described at searching and playing with them as a child on the East London streets.
    Thanks for the memories GA and keep those wonderful articles coming.

  50. Dave White permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Some fifty five years on, I vividly recall the long walk home from school with my mate, a good part of the walk being on the wide central reservation of a dual carriageway, thick with horse chestnut trees. We always eagerly awaited the autumn harvest and threw our satchels/cases up among the branches to dislodge the conkers…

    I particularly recall the occasion when the satchel got stuck and I attempted to dislodge it with a shoe…which also hung up…my mate was no use, collapsed against the trunk , convulsed in laughter, tears down his cheeks…rather than risk the second shoe, I stole his satchel and fortunately its greater mass did the trick, bringing down both my erstwhile projectiles…

    Sadly Paul has long passed and I alone carry that particular memory and many others…perhaps it’s appropriate to recall those far off days in the sad autumn…

  51. Pamela Bough permalink
    October 3, 2020

    The thought of searching for conkers is wonderful! They are not often found here in this part of Ontario but I have spied one or two in my travels.
    Much to the consternations of the owners I manage to find and bring home those lovely seeds and tie a knot between each one in nylon tights to be hung in my clothes closet and they keep out the moths. Looking forward to the Spring when the majestic plants wear their garments of white.
    Enjoy the winter!

  52. October 3, 2020

    Your comments remind me of the important link you provide some of your readers, a connection back to a mother country, we have not even seen.

  53. Christopher Borland permalink
    October 3, 2020

    I look forward to your daily posts which I find so interesting and so uplifiting. As an ex-londoner (having left some fifty years ago) your descriptions bring back memories which are so important to me. Thank you so much.

  54. John Arthur Daltrey permalink
    October 3, 2020

    I cannot put into words how valuable your daily writing is to me.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart

  55. Ian Silverton permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Loved the writing GA, and other followers stories of their childhood memoirs of Conker collecting, mine and the other mates bordered a Trolley Bus in Hackney Road and always headed to Woodford the turnaround for the Bus, and collect ours from the woods opposite the stop, then to the small Bungalow on the edge of the woods which served cream teas as a side line, Happy Times in such miserable era the 1950s for all East End People IMHO that is. Take care, stay safe.

  56. Helen permalink
    October 3, 2020

    What a wonderful, evocative piece of writing about autumn! I must say I was feeling quite sad about the quite sudden change in the season, the cooler, wet days and the nights drawing in but after reading your rich description of this time of year, I’ve fallen back in love with the season. I’m planning to try and get as many woodland walks as I can in my part of Kent, to rediscover the joy of seeing autumn’s golden gown (I pinched that description from one of my favourite songs by Justin Hayward, Forever Autumn.) If you want to make use of the lovely conkers, they make very good moth repellents. I keep them in the drawer where my wool jumpers live and they have not been attacked by the little blighters in the few years they’ve been there!

  57. Kathy permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Bless you GA. Your daily writing means so much to so many of us. Thank you !

  58. Alexa Rook permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Wonderfull evocative writing of that melancholy transition that autumn brings. I noticed Gillian Tindall had written about what girls did with conkers & I was going to
    say much the same, as I did too. The difference between that 1950s childhood & now is the appearance of so many tragic tree diseases, including chestnut canker and the premature shrivelling of its leaves; thankfully doesn’t seem to be affected the conkers. I think
    the word conker disappeared from the OED & stirred Robert Macfarlane to write his book of spells that has been given to every primary school. I’m sitting in front of a lit fire contemplating a larder of produce from the allotment that needs dealing with… such pleasures in autumnal abundance: “Season of mists & mellow fruitfulness”. The rain had been splendid for easy weeding today too.

  59. Amanda permalink
    October 3, 2020

    Thank you for this beautiful piece today. Autumn is hard for those who love the long days and warmth of the sun but when you have lit your fire and tasted the baked apple you will make, everything will seem so much better. I adore your delicate and sensitively written blog – in fact look forward to it and I am sure others do too. It is a special thing to make people happy every day.

  60. Sue permalink
    October 3, 2020

    As we look forward to reading you every day.
    Even at sixty seven I cannot resist a conker.
    Thank you for your beautiful words.

  61. Pamela Traves permalink
    October 4, 2020

    Thank You So Very Much!!?????

  62. Dianne permalink
    October 4, 2020

    Another lovely post GA, I so enjoy reading your words every day. It has been enlightening too to read the comments from others. No conkers here in Queensland and we are very much in need of some rain but the sun is shining and the weather blissful. It would be lovely to swap a little of our sunshine for your rain. Enjoy your Sunday and thank you again.

  63. Elaine Pink permalink
    October 4, 2020

    I always look forward to reading you every day …….

  64. moyra peralta permalink
    October 4, 2020

    Short comment. The writing is so beautiful. As is your photograph. Warm regards to you!

  65. Esther permalink
    October 4, 2020

    My husband brought me some chestnuts for 2 days in a row; he had found some in the park; I have sprayed them with clear spraylack so they stay shiny an put them on the table for the plants at our little balcony. Autumm is always such an enjoyement!

  66. beryl blizard permalink
    October 5, 2020

    Thanks for wonderful picture of conkers. I can almost feel the texture and the rich colour that comes through. I am in my 80s but still pick them up. There is a old wives tale that if you put some I a dish they will ward off spiders. A wonderful excuse for having them around the house. In quarantine for another week but my first walk will be to collect some and keep spiders at bay. Thanks so much for your daily beautiful writings with pictures to bring history alive.

  67. Jenny Atkins permalink
    October 9, 2020

    Here in Sydney as we approach another hot Summer and the dangers that go with it, I loved reading your beautiful atmospheric words about Autumn in Spitalfields. In fact I have read it and reread it.

    I love all my Spitalfields Life emails, so thank you

    Kind regards

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