The nights are drawing in and autumn seems to have ousted summer. It wasn't so long ago that it was still light at 9pm but now it's getting dark by 7pm. There's a definite chill in the air.
At this time of year, in many British communities, people still give thanks for harvest time - in schools and churches. For me, growing up in a village that was surrounded by productive farmland, the idea of harvest festivals seemed perhaps more pertinent than it might have done to city dwellers. We saw combine harvesters scything the wheat and we helped to pick the potatoes and the peas. We knew for certain that our food came to us from the very earth that we walked upon.
As an erstwhile choirboy in Holy Trinity Church, I knew the harvest hymns by heart and watched small children bringing baskets of produce to the altar. It was a time of celebration.
For decades, a BBC TV Sunday institution has been a programme called "Songs of Praise". The format is quite simple really. The cameras visit different churches to record congregations singing hymns in unison. Of course, unlike ordinary Sundays, the pews are always filled and people are always nicely attired. They are clearly told to ignore the cameras.
I now invite you to sing along to "We Plough The Fields And Scatter" - Britain's favourite harvest-time hymn (written by a German). And while you are singing along please observe the multicultural nature of the congregation - like a beautiful rainbow pattern... See Michael Caine at 2:22 - he has been putting away the pies.