I have just been down to the sea with the dogs.
It's a beautiful September morning of cloudless skies and surfer-seas.
Even the tearing gale has abated, and for another day at least, the house still nestles under an ever-reddening blanket. Another gale and the leaves will disappear.
The coast road and verge were littered with surfboards and people pulling wetsuits on or off. As I came round one corner, there was even a bare bum mooning at me as someone struggled to pull his feet free.
But it's so cold it feels like December. The dogs even declined a dip at the headland, but then they hadn't brought their wetsuits. Instead they played in the rough grass while I watched the crisp sets of breakers streaming in, and the breeze ruffling out of the North threatened to slice us into very small dice.
What is going on?
Last night I picked some beans for supper.
I had a jacket on and the hood firmly pulled up. The dogs stood waiting by the gate with their backs to me, letting it be known that coming outside had not been their idea in the first place.
I felt sorry for the bean plants as we hurried back to the warm kitchen, and don't hold out much hope for the flowers and baby beans still trying to grow.
I hold out even less hope for the third brood of swallows eagerly trying their wings in the turf shed. Any day now, the skies will be empty, the roof ridges silent of their hauntingly lilting song and - like last year - we'll be left with straggling youngsters who aren't quite sure what happens next.
The In-Charge says they catch up, that by the time they reach the south coast the adults will be there, waiting.
The triumph of hope over reality, possibly, but let's go with it.
As I headed homewards this morning, I passed a friend walking her dog Maximus. She said her husband had gone in amidst the surfers for a swim.
'He doesn't even wear a wetsuit,' she said, her expression conveying the craziness of surfers in general and swimmers in particular.
I've heard of mad dogs and Englishmen, but he is French and surely ought to know better!