Country mouse awaits winter

Normally, the battle to turn on the heating hots up around the start of the month, but not this year. Windows are still flung wide open. The weekend weather was perfect for raking leaves, bonfires and country walks. I don’t recall having a barbecue in November-I had never previously cooked partridge that way.

The full Moon of last week usually heralds the arrival of woodcock, which fly westwards underneath its glare, but, with everywhere so warm, they haven’t bothered catching their flight to Britain. They simply don’t need to.

The weather makes it strange planning the Christmas issues of the magazine; looking at pictures of snow, ice and plum puddings seems surreal. It is hard to believe that the school holidays will be starting in less than a month.

It’s only six weeks until the turkey needs to be in the oven. But at least Country Life is not a monthly magazine-this week, those editors will be closing their March issues, when the daffodils will be out. I could do with a cold snap, just to get myself in the mood, but not for too long, as every day the boiler slumbers I feel a little richer.