A great turn around in the weather today, had the shorts on (guaranteed to make the sun go in - but it didn't) and enjoyed the warmth even though there is a nip in the air out of the sun. I even sat out for an hour reading after cutting the grass, not that it's grown much because of the lack of rain recently. I even planted out some winter flowering pansies in a basket which hangs near our front door ready for a bit of winter cheer for the bleaker months.
The picture above shows the amount of berries on just one small part of my Yew Tree, the most I have ever seen at this time of the year.
I got to thinking this might be an Indian Summer and wondered where the phrase came from. Well it seems you can only have an Indian Summer in October or November and before the first snow falls, so I suppose what we're experiencing is simply a late summer! The etymology of the word has its origins from America and mostly relates in one way or another to native American Indians as their traditional time to harvest their crops, or raids by Indian war parties on European colonies in the late summer, both unattractive explanations even if true.
In England, before the phrase Indian Summer became popular, it was apparently known as St Martin's Summer, 11th November - the end of summer. In Bulgaria, it is Gypsy Summer - an unexpected warm spell in late Autumn. In Germany and Austria it is called "Altweibersommer" (Old Ladies Summer) because the many white spider silks seen at this time of the year have been associated with the norns* of Norse folklore or medieval witches. I like that one and if you venture out just now first thing in the morning, you get covered in spider's webs.
Thanks to Wikipedia for some of these fascinating facts.
We haven't had a list for a while and I thought I'd give you some of my favourite Ann Robinson put downs from the BBC series, The Weakest Link:
"Who is about as useless as a rubber beak on a woodpecker?"
"If ignorance is bliss, who's in heaven?"
"Who is denser than Sherwood Forest?"
"Whose intellect is on a diet?"
"If brains were taxed, who'd get a refund?"
"Who would come third in a duel?"
"Who thinks Plato is a friend of Mickey Mouse?"
"Who'd win the Sweet FA Cup?"
"Who's more twit than wit?"
"Who thinks propaganda is 'having a good look?'" (think about that one.)
Time to vote off the weakest link.
*Female beings who rule the fates of the various races of Norse mythology.