This time of year, the ornamental vines on our west-facing verandah are a glorious riot of scarlet and every possible shade of deep pink. Our entire living area is bathed in glowing red light, especially late afternoon, when it feels as though there is a bonfire in the back garden. These last couple of weekends, I have been trying to stop my chores, make myself a mug of tea and just sit and take it in, this wild extravagance of colour, which only lasts a week or two before the branches become bare.
My enjoyment of our creeper is particularly heartfelt this year, as it may be our last autumn in this house where the family has lived for the last two decades. It might be our last autumn with a garden at all.
Like so many other baby boomers heading for retirement, we are downsizing. This time next year, we will be, if not actually in a small apartment, then in the throes of moving there.
The building site is two kilometres away, and I wander up each week to keep an eye on proceedings. The first sod has well and truly been turned and the corner block is a cacophony of cranes and trucks, earth movers and pile drivers.