November in Moominvalley - and the River Eden!

"The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all.  It's a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you've got in as many supplies as you can.  It's nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own.  Then the cold and the storms and the darkness can do their worst.  They can grope their way up the walls looking for a way in, but they won't find one, everything is shut, and you sit inside, laughing in your warmth and your solitude."

Tove Jansson:  Moominvalley in November

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons too - for much the same reason.  I love the darkening nights, the warm evenings curled up on the sofa, the sense of looking inwards, being safe within four walls, with the wind and the rain battering at the windows unable to get in.  Unfortunately at the Mill the rain often does find a way in - through the old roof usually, and sometimes through the back door and the front door when the rain swells the River Eden, which lives - like a wild beast - at the bottom of the garden. I like to walk along the river path through the little wood that grows on its banks. It feels different in autumn.

Autumn at The Mill (with heron!)

I read more when the evenings are dark, and I'm currently re-reading some favourite children's books, particularly the Moomin saga by Tove Jansson.  I love the characters, particularly Snufkin, who is solitary, a free spirit.  Every autumn he rolls up his tent, shoulders his knapsack and takes off into the unknown, to wander until the spring brings him back to Moominvalley again.  One of my favourite lines from Moominvalley in November is this:

"Snufkin entered his forest, with a hundred miles of silence ahead of him".

What I'd give for a little of that just at the moment!


  1. The Moomins .....aaah so lovely to see them on your blog this morning. One of my childhood favourites too. Thank you for this.


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