It’s that time of year when writers look forward to getting more writing done. Northern Hemisphere days grow shorter, helped by the man made device of putting the clocks back to Greenwich Mean Time. My Australian relatives are now eight instead of seven hours ahead, making that very modern tradition, Skyping, more complicated. All our traditions at this time of year go back further than we imagine; from Diwali to Bonfire night it is light we cling to. Imagine our ancestors in the long nights; when they looked out of their huts or caves they would see nothing but impenetrable darkness – no Kurling up with a Kindle for them.
Halloween, Monday October 31st, the day after the clocks went back, was a day of brilliant sunshine, winter had never felt further away. Enjoying an outing to Kingston Lacy, a National Trust owned house and grounds, the sun was blissfully warm on my face, the autumn colours beautiful. On Friday we had a journey to make from south coast to east coast; it rained heavily all day long, it was hard to tell when dark day turned into early evening, but the car lights shining in the teeming rain had a certain beauty of their own. Saturday found our family gathering freezing in the garden for fireworks. Anyone too cold used the excuse of going back in the kitchen to comfort scared dogs or children. Sunday brought bitter but exhilarating winds on the beach.
Back home, Monday night brought the first frost in our area.The weather had changed so much in one week, but this was not a surprise; accurate satellite weather forecasts are broadcast endlessly and even before you get out of bed you can look at you smart phone. If mine says ‘Bournemouth Rain’ I know it will be a good writing day, even if it clears up later there will not be time to get out in the garden to plant spring bulbs before it gets dark again.