I absolutely love the autumn. It’s almost magical in a strange way. Gold, red, orange and yellow leaves dancing and swirling to the ground. I just love it. And the musky, burnt smell. Divine.
Wrapping up warm and going out walking. Well, that’s when it isn’t chucking it down that is. But it always takes me back to many years ago, when our grandkids were younger. We’d taken a couple of them off in the caravan just for a weekend. Oh, how they loved playing in the leaves.
Firstly, they carefully collected them together, scooping them into a pile. I can remember watching as the pile got bigger and bigger, as their little faces became redder and redder as the cold autumn air rosied their little apple cheeks. They then announced that a pen, paper and blue tack would be called for. What were they up to I can remember thinking.
A sign was made and attached to the fence where the leaves were. It read ‘Leaves for sale. Pay whatever you feel.’ We watched as they sat on the cold floor patiently waiting for customers. I just loved these little entrepreneurs. Did they really think that people would buy leaves? They even shouted! “Top quality leaves for sale. Fresh today.” It was like being on Barnsley market years ago. I mean who or what other than a hedgehog would need leaves. And they don’t carry cash. (Bit like a lot of folks now.)
After several minutes we could see them beginning to get bored of waiting. They announced as a group of people passed “buy one leaf get another free” obviously it was never going to happen. I mean have you ever been stood with someone, and they say “you’ll never guess what I bought the other day? Leaves a whole pile of them, dirt cheap.” I felt a bit sorry for the poor little blighters. But in fact, it was just the sort of thing that I would have done when I was a young un. So, after a little while longer these entrepreneurs decided that maybe it would be more fun to just play with the leaves.
They ran and divied amongst the leaves, scattering them all around laughing and calling to each other, throwing them high into the air and letting them fall, only to be scooped up together again. We watched having a little chuckle as they devised their next plan. I remember wondering where the heck had they disappeared to, then jumping out from various places they appeared with what looked like tools. One had a cardboard lid, and the other had a bucket and a fishing net. They then began to move all the leaves to another place.
We watched as in ant-like fashion they travelled backwards and forwards, singing and calling to each other and once again the leaves were built into a huge pile. We watched wondering just what in heavens they were going to do next. But they plonked themselves down as if they were sat around a campfire.
They were having a good old whisper and it seemed very intense. From where we were we could tell that very important decisions were being made. I remember watching as they suddenly jumped-up throwing hands full of leaves up into the air, then at each other and everywhere. They must have exhausted themselves because they flopped down onto the leaves laughing so hard that I thought that their tiny lungs would burst. They didn’t even mind when a neighbour came out with a sweeping brush and asked them to tidy the leaves up.
Not one complaint came from these poor cold dishevelled kids. Imagine the look on their faces when me, grandad and a couple of neighbours came out to buy some of the leaves. And how they enjoyed going down to the shop, money burning a hole in their pockets.