The great stirring is about to get underway again. The National Ploughing Championships are with us as we try and comprehend how another year has flown by. It is back to Screggan near Tullamore for the annual carnival and the celebration of all that is good about rural Ireland, when the three-day event will be staged on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (18-20 September).

The English poet William Wordsworth captured some of essential traits of autumn, or fall as it is so aptly named in America, when he reflected: What pensive beauty autumn shows / Before she hears the sound / Of Winter rushing in, to close / The emblematic round.