Ahoy Minshull-ites and other readers. Another month, another blog, and in September we welcome (perhaps) the arrival of Autumn. As you may have previously noticed himself likes precision and order, as opposed to rambling inaccuracy, so I'm allowing him one paragraph to talk/type about the passing of summer. My dictation to him starts again in the next paragraph and you may prefer to skip straight there – I wouldn't blame you! "Meteorological" summer finishes at the end of August when the season of autumn begins, "astronomical" summer ends later, this year on the 22nd September at 14.30pm. The latter day, the autumn equinox, occurs when the sun is positioned exactly over the equator at midday. OCD ALARM: equinox, derived from Latin, means equal night but but this is not the same as equal light – equilux. Refraction of light caused by the earth's atmosphere, the top edge of the sun rising before its centre and the top edge setting after the centre of the sun together result in 12 hours and 10 minutes of daylight on the equinox .....
That's his bit out of the way. Anyway I wanted to tell you about our sunflower competition. Around the beginning of your human lockdown herself's niece set up a family competition by posting sunflower seeds to all 5 families with instructions to grow the tallest, biggest seed head etc. Judging by WhatsApp photos took place a few days ago, and fortunately there were prizes for all. There were some impressive results and others that could, in end-of-term-report-parlance, have been described as "showing some potential" or "perhaps Andrew will do better next term". Tallest was 2.97 metres, biggest head 29 cm across the seeds and most bizarre an 11-headed Hydra. Themselves produced the earliest flowering plants by diligent feeding and positioning against a warm south-facing wall but, rather like a glossy racehorse getting excited at the first jumps, their examples ran out of steam and went all droopy. For some reason they got the prize for "sun-flowers most like their owners" – up early and collapse later on I added before discovering that my rations were reduced to dry biscuits!
News from Hucknall where my friend Finn has moved to: the Revs have lots of apple trees in their new vicarage garden and Mrs Rev now knows why my people always picked up all the windfall apples at home. The Hucknall Vicarage now has a fenced off garden section and Finn is back to dry biscuits only as well!
Okay, time to sign off: this month we've perhaps been a few weeks premature with the title "And the leaves that are green turn brown", which might sit more comfortably later on in the Autumn. Anyway its been typed so its all Water under the Bridge now. Can anyone remember its origin? A virtual gold star if you've got there, a chance to take me on a wet winter walk if not.
Madai, your rovering reporter
PS: just in case you haven't made the connection between the title and himself's feeble clue in the final paragraph follow this link and enjoy some 1970 music