That autumn back-to-school feeling never really goes away. And it feels especially acute after a long weekend. The trees seem to have started shedding lots more leaves just because it's the official first day of autumn; Radio 4 is glumly predicting the onset of winds and bluster.
What happened to the joys of an indian summer? Against the odds, I am clinging onto a faint whisper of optimism. Autumns have been so mild in recent years, that I have planted bulbs in short sleeves on the second weekend of October for at least the past two, into ground hard as concrete because it hasn't rained for weeks.
So today I celebrated September by planting out some basil. Excuse me? Yes, any book will not have in its timely advice that now is the season to plant out basil. But I had two pots, one supermarket bought and one grown from seed that never made it out into my garden, and deserve a better end to the season than languishing on the kitchen windowsill. So I thought I'd see if six weeks more growing time outdoors will generate enough new leaves for a jar of pesto.