Mid September and the countryside feels tired; the greens not as green as they were, the air heavy, streams dry (the pebbles in Great Langdale Beck don’t look like they’ve felt water in weeks). The land waits for cool, for rain. But still there are a last few dog days of summer to be had. We pick blackberries and apples and make them into crumble. The children play hide and seek in the shoulder-high bracken. We lie in the grass alongside the near mirror-flat surface of shy  Lily Tarn. And when we get back to Tarn House, the shadows lie long over the garden, a couple of late-season butterflies outlined in gold.



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