Summer winding down

September, when summer is winding down and there’s a quiet feeling of beginning and change in the air. Elevate artist David Davies takes a look at the words and images that this time of year makes us think of.

September means

Here are some words about September that I have collected through talking to people during my Elevate sessions on the wards:

“September means…
skys that fill every window, there’s a newness
when clouds become paintings
slow steam train excursions to the seaside
afternoon tea on hotel lawns
promenade walks at the seaside
learning something new
iron-red moons and swimming in big tides
I begin home-baking
fruit picking, blackberrying, walks along hedgerows
rock-pooling on a warm clear afternoon
late afternoon sun makes shadows from the garden flutter and dance on the bedroom wall
apple picking and the smell of fall-downs
the beginning of drifted leaves, that lovely crunching
bonfires and wood smoke
morning mist and dew on spiderwebs.”



painted hedgehog bursting through ring of autumnal leaves


Hedgehogs usually hibernate over winter, from about November to April, in a nest of leaves or logs – their ‘winter quarters tent’. In September, along much of our wildlife, the hedgehog spends time eating as much food as possible to store as fat needed for the long sleep. Woodland and garden birds go rather quiet – this is because there’s no need to make songs or calls about territory, finding mates and protecting young. Being quiet also helps avoid predators whilst they generally keep a low profile during preparation for winter.

I like the fun and hope in this art work by local artist Teresa Rogers, especially how her composition has the hedgehog bursting from a dark background through the leafy hedgerow with those lively and free white brushstrokes. There’s both a a crunchy and soft texture to the piece.


Starting school

watercolour of cottages with stone walls along a lane, orange leaf trees behind and hillside in background

Image: James Thompson

Starting school is often a theme that comes up from conversations and memories about September. This painting, ‘Borrodale, Cumbria’ by local artist James Thompson, reminded me of the journey to school sometimes described in memories about starting school.


Starting School

I remember my teacher, Miss Blake, who wore
glasses on the end of her nose (which she was always
pushing up as she leant over you). We all
sat in rows, in twos side-by-side, with tip-up seats
so we could all stand up quickly
when the headmaster came in.

There were Oxo tins with
wax crayons and chalk on each desk.
We each had a slate and a mini board rubber.

I cleaned the blackboard sometimes. Afterwards,
you had to take the rubber outside
to bang it on the wall to get the chalk dust off.
It left a pile of chalk dust for the
rain to

My First Day At School

I was about four and our mother brought me to the gate with
my brother who was about six. I was wearing a shiny, brown oil skin hat and a
brown Mackintosh. I felt pleased to be going to school and proud of my mac.

On my second day of school I decided
I didn’t like it and walked back home; so,
of course, I had to be taken back again.

More from David and the Elevate artists

Download ‘Elevate your mood’ September 2020 edition (pdf)

Send us your contribution

If you get the chance, talk about or write down your September-time memories, or ask someone and listen to their September memories. Send us your autumnal memories, reflections and recollections, as well as copies of old and new photos that go with your stories, to include in future posts and in our monthly print edition of ‘Elevate your mood’. Email to ArtCare or send to ArtCare, Block 29, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury SP2 8BJ.