I have a guilty secret. I think my favourite season might be Autumn. This, I suspect, would not go down well chez Simian, as my wife is an avowed lover of the summer and dislikes winter with a pathological enthusiasm. Similarly Jet Jr will happily bask in the sun on our back deck when the weathers good.
Winter's fine by me - I have a July birthday and for me the season
is all about hearty meals, open fires, grey outdoors and indoor
comfort; a modern sentiment based on primal needs. But Autumn - ahh, now
that's different because it's al about the anticipation
of winter, and like spring it's a miraculous season being a
transitional one. Our alleged control over daylight hours slips and the
mornings and evenings draw in, shadows grow long and lean as the sun
sits low on the horizon, and sunlight acquires a watery
aspect, as though filtered through smoky glass. Sure, the washing takes
longer to dry on the clothes line, but this year has enjoyed a
prolonged Indian summer - a period of clement, even quite hot weather
that is long-staying but not quite endless, broken
by hints of cooler days to come. I've given this time of the year
'Sortumn' - sort of summer, sort of Autumn.
The other great thing about this time of the year is the discovery
that like Halloween we've actually got the good deal with regards to
Easter in the Southern Hemisphere. If you ignore the near-certainty of
crap weather over the long weekend and of course
the northern Spring associations of new chicks and rabbit eggs and what
have you, there's really no better time of the year to enjoy a good
buttery spicy hot crossed bun than Autumn.
Autumn gets a bad rap. It's a season of promise for the prepared,
the self-sufficient, a tap on the shoulder for DIY and outdoor house
maintenance. In the weeks to come the lead mountain within the
Monkeyhouse will be eyed up for winter modelling and
painting, and a new indoor ascent will be planned up its precipitous
slopes. Outside the town belt is turning a golden amber, and branches
are fingering their way into the fading light. Sure, there's a bit of
work to tame the garden and patch up some weatherboards
before winter arrives - but who wants to think that far ahead? Autumn's
here to be enjoyed!