The end of summer seems to be approaching fast in the garden and the fields, even if not on the calendar.
The buddleia has been out for long enough to need dead-heading, the raspberries are not as plentiful as last week, and there's a combine harvester trundling up and down the field behind our estate.
The schools have just broken up for the summer holidays - this means lots of families have gone away, leaving the burglar alarms set and malfunctioning, and the ice cream van can be heard all day playing "The sun has got his hat on".
And the surest sign of all - a fortnight ago I noticed the first banner in a shop - "Back to School".
Am I jaded and cynical, or what?