Saturday, 19 September 2015

From little acorns...

I guess it’s time for me to wax lyrical about autumn again. I’ve been smelling that autumny smell in the air for a few days now, listening to the cawk of the magpie and watching the swans as they whoop-whoop-whoop their way high in the sky over the house. There’s a chill this September, the year almost in its last quarter, and this morning I walked down the road through the first street mist of the season. Yes, it’s coming. There’s a sharp chill in the air and the plants in my backyard are looking end-of-summer tired, all straggles and fading flushes.

As I walked in the crispness I noticed a small green acorn cup on the pavement. Of course I had to stop, pick it up, and slip it in my pocket. I guess there’s still the dreamer in me and I can’t see an acorn cup without visualising a fairy wearing one on his head for a hat - Puck maybe.

As a boy we always had a nature table at school in the autumn. I don’t know if schools still bother with them, but I would go for walks along Moorhen Lane and collect whatever I found; berries and conkers, dead leaves, teazles, and piles of hard, green acorn cups. Of course not many seven year olds would be allowed to wander for miles on their own today, but I enjoyed my solitary country walks and learned a lot about landscape and nature.

It seems such a long time ago now, another world in a simpler time and gilded by nostalgia and a convenient memory. But acorn cups will always be worn by fairies in my dreams. Oh well, it’s good to dream, remember and reflect I suppose.


  1. Lindsey Messenger on FB
    Oh I loved the nature table at school ... And totally agree about the acorn cup and fairies

    1. Andrew Height
      Do you remember the pressed flower competition in the Summer Holidays once. We were in Mrs Mathews class and we had to collect as many pressed flowers as we could and put them in a book. I got about 100 I think, but you got more. Then neither of us won it because Caroline Jones (teacher's pet) wrote about the flowers in her book. She had far less flowers but still won despite you having more and me having a Meadow Cranesbill. Happy times.