Perhaps it is because of the cooler temperatures, but I also feel the colours are just 'me'.
I can remember the little church, where I used to go to Sunday School, & the way they would decorate it, with pumpkins & fruit & flowers, as well as vegetables. I never really understood the church's relevance to the Harvest season, but I suppose it was to 'give thanks'.
Autumn reminds me of the end of the Apple picking season, when BFJ & I hitchhiked down to the Southern City for Easter weekend. The weather was perfect, & it seemed a magic city somehow, so pretty with the river running through the centre, & the wonderful trees, with all the turning leaves, beginning to fall, & lie like huge curdled carpets all over the wonderful parklands, and green river banks.
We had hitchhiked down, & were lucky enough to get a lift with some young lads, who offered to take us back, if we were out on the Highway by a certain time, on the Easter Monday.
Somehow we got a bit late getting out to the Highway, & we were walking along, with our 'weekend bags'. I think we got a lift out to one of the small towns to the north of the city, & we continued walking, hoping to see our 'lift'. Some young chaps offered to take us to Kaikoura, & we were a bit doubtful, but got into the car. They turned out to be local lads just out for a laugh, & as we discovered this, & were getting out of the car, we saw our 'ride' go flying past!
So back onto the road, & trudge trudge. Finally, a smallish car with a huge car engine roped onto the boot, stopped & the two men offered us a lift. As the day was moving on, & we were a long way from our destination, we accepted.
Imagine our horror when we realised the 2 men were both drinking beer, as they travelled, & the driver would take large swigs out of his bottle, & offer it to us. We politely declined. As we travelled, we became very worried about the state of inebriation of the driver, & the road along the coast & through some gorges, is very rugged, & steep in parts, & very winding. The weight of the car engine in the boot, seemed to make the car hard to control, & as we skidded & slid at breakneck speeds, we began to fear for our lives.
The beer kept flowing, with more & more bottles being opened, & more & more offers to us to "Go on have a drink!" We kept refusing, & in truth were too terrified to think about it!
At last we arrived at Kaikoura, & we have never been so glad to get out of a car & lurch about to get the terror out of our jellied legs. As we stumbled out of town, we got offered a lift on the back of a truck, going to Blenheim. We accepted, & felt much safer on the truck, & even though we were a bit chilled, at least the driver was sober. The young man driver stopped at a hotel for a drink, & must have taken pity on the windblown girls on the truck tray, as he brought us a lemonade.
Once we got to Blenheim, it was getting late, & was in fact almost dusk. But we decided to keep on travelling, & got a lift to a small town called Havelock North, where we found a Youth Hostel, & decided to stay the night, as it was now dark. On entering the Hostel, we were met by a large hearty girl with blood all over her face, & front.
"OH Hello har har," she bellowed heartily at us, "Sorry about this, har har, just having a nose bleed!" She then told us she went mountain tramping, & it always gave her nosebleeds. We went sniggering off to our hard pallets to try to get some sleep. We couldnt help wondering why she continued to go tramping.
It was a very cold night, & we didnt have bedding, so we slept with almost all of our clothes on, in layers to try to keep warm. In the early morning, after a cold wash, we left, & found a bakery, where they were making beautiful fresh bread. We begged to buy some, but they wouldnt sell us as much as a crumb! We could never understand why. I confess, I think we would have knicked some, if we had had the chance!
So we got out on the road again, & managed to get a lift with a truckie, who was not going as far as we needed to, but at least it was warm in his truck. When we had to leave him, at another village, we found a phone to let our employers know we were still enroute from our trip.
We managed to buy some sandwiches, & continued on foot for some time, walking along by some bush. A call of nature was needed, so off into the bush we went. Imagine my horror when the seam of my jeans split, in the backside, & so I had to rummage around in my bag for my cleanest dirty pair of rumpled jeans, to change into.
I cant really remember how we eventually got back to the farm, but I am sure there were no apples picked by us that day. It was almost the end of the season, & we were soon to leave for the last time, & move on down the Island to that Southern City.
To meet our 'fates' you might say, for we both met & married men in that beautiful city of Christchurch.