The Cornish wind and rain have started their true onslaught on our windows now. Still at least it cleans the salt off the windows briefly and makes us feel less guilty about our shoddy lack of window cleaning ourselves throughout the year. It never seems worth it anyway as immediately after, if the salty wind doesn't dirty them again, the local seagulls seem to manage it with stunning regularity.
Along with the Cornish weather showing its true autumn colours comes the first lighting of our open fire since last winter. It is one of the saving graces of facing the long winter ahead. It was the only form of heating we had when we first moved into our house 13 years ago. Now though, even with central heating fitted, it is still a more cosy and very much important part of us psychologically surviving the winter. There is a primordial comfort to just sitting in the orange glow of the roaring fire in your living room cave whilst the wind and rain argue it out with each other outside. Driving back into the village after work, the smell of woodsmoke in the air and the sight of home fire smoke being sent sideways from chimneys by the onshore winds, has you scuttling inside with a certain amount of glee.
Unfortunately our fireplace isn't the sort that you can make use of for cooking, with the exception of chestnuts that is. Where we live on the north coast of Cornwall, we don't have a proliferation of chestnut trees but in a recent visit to my mum in Kent, where my childhood village is surrounded in forest, fruit trees and hop farms, chestnuts are just one of the many foraged foods available at this time of year. Phil took full advantage of that and we came home with a bagful just in time for the lighting of our fire.
Granted the fire has to be just right; not too hot and not too cool, but with the bottom ashes raked aside the chestnuts can be cooked to perfection. You also have to make sure you have cross slit the tops so that the chestnuts don't explode out of their shells, and this can be quite time consuming. However, with just a few here and there roasted on an open fire, there is no doubt that the vegan caveman can definitely and deliciously be bought out in you.
Just remember though that too many and the forecast for wind may not be just for the outside weather!