Well, Queen Elizabeth II finally died. My country of birth has a new monarch, King Charles III, and a new national anthem lyric. I still feel strange about it all. The Queen's head was on the currency and postage stamps for my whole life. Thankfully or sadly, I won't have to deal with that.

We have finally seen off the heat waves that plagued the Central Valley for seemingly months. At last this cold-climate Englishman won't have to fret about being turned into jerky every damn' day, as hopefully the days of over 110°F (43°C) are behind us. Autumn crops are starting to appear; the daikon, turnips and radishes are in full flow, salad greens are abundant and it can't be long before we see spinach and all the kales. I have probably said this about other seasons, but this one is my favourite just now. We still have some melon and tomato production and our stock of potatoes is (for now) still good.

Farmers' markets continue to be busy. The return of the university students means an influx of fresh customers, even if they're freshers who still need to be educated in the ways of the market. Despite our hanging "Cash Only!" signs everywhere, these people still want to do odd things like using their watches to pay for food ("only if you give it to me, mate!") and asking if we accept Venmo, whatever that is. It's certainly not cash, love.

This last baffles me. How can anyone not carry at least some cash for emergencies? All the credit cards and Apple Pay in the world is of no use if the internet or power goes out. And because we are but simple country folk who like to take cold hard cash because we can count the bugger up at the end of the day, we have no use for a third party who is frankly going to fleece us of money for a $3.50 transaction. I'm probably going to get some hate for this, but I can't get into the mindset that a wallet these days has no place for folding stuff. We've had people begging us to take their cards, and most of them laugh when I say, "Sure, I'll take it to Reno for two weeks!", but some don't, and ya know what? I don't care. This is the farmers' market, where traders still barter for goods amongst themselves, as God intended.

I digress. My car is being a problem and no fix is in sight because the various departments in the dealership I need to take it to seem to communicate with one another using pheromones or something. Certainly they are incapable of using email, or walking across the yard to talk to someone. It's taken three days for me to discover that there's been a fault with whatever machine they need to use to reset my security system, and that they're so backed up that it may be another week until my fix. So my anxiety levels are still up there.

I also have to admit that despite all the apparent advantages of city living, I miss the country. Having spent a couple of nights this week back out at the farm, I realise that there's nothing quite like sitting out and watching the sunset to soothe the soul. Even in the most expansive city park I am losing out so much skyline, and my inner nature pagan is sorely vexed by that.

I've also failed in one of my endeavours, namely to write more fiction and poetry in September. My writeup tally last month was ten. Four daylogs, five short factuals and a personal vignette to fill a nodeshell connected to one of the new writeups. I need to do better. Perhaps the Hallowe'en Horrorquest will provide the impetus.

That said, I'm happy with the Brevity Quest, which produced twenty-nine new writeups. Soon I will pass judgements on my favourites and get quest rewards handed out, and meanwhile I'd like to thank everyone who participated. (Actually, if you want to help with the judging, this is your final chance to let me know!)

I also finished my personal E2 project to catalogue all my daylogs on my homenode. It's a small victory, but I have to count all the wins I can.

Now that I've watched what passes for a city sundown I will go and read my new book (Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf), have a nice beer and take an early night.

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