02 November 2006

And before you could say autumnal...

It's taken quite some time for the leaves to change this year. Summer lingered well past its expiry date and this has left the trees confused. In some places autumn blazes with its brilliant burst of yellows, oranges and reds, luminous against the green grass. In others the leaves stay green with stubborn refusal to accept seasonal change. Ducks and geese alike have yet to bugger off for warmer climes. I've been watching it all with interest. I'm fond of autumn - being from New England the appreciation of it was drummed into me before I could walk. I like observing the quiet changes, everything getting ready to hibernate or depart for the duration of the winter. Cozy jumpers come out of the closet (or would, were they not in a duffel bag on a moving van somewhere in North London) and the fires get lit that bit more often. It's a bit chilly but not bitter.

So you can imagine my disappointment when, after all this anticipation, autumn lasted one day. It was Monday, to be exact. Monday was cloudy and mild with lots of gusty, billowing breezes kicking the fallen leaves all over the cobbles. The air smelled of earth and leaves and, when a taxi passed, diesel. The occasional shower would add a damp mustiness to the scent and while there was a nip in the air, it was just a nip, not a bite. The trees in the breeze made noises apt for the night before Halloween, rustling and howling followed by whispers and a murmur. Tumbling into the warm pub from the bluster felt brilliant, as did the ale that came next. I marked it in my mind as the first proper day of autumn. I went to bed with a nice buzz from wine, beer and chat and woke up on Tuesday to find that the next ice age had arrived in Edinburgh.

Certain vestiges of the short season remain: the leaves are still lovely. But their scent is replaced with the crisp nose of winter. The wind remains, but is not billowing or blustery, it's biting and vicious, a lazy wind that cuts through you instead of going round. T-shirts need to be tucked in and it's a three layer minimum to step foot outside. The nights near zero C and while the sun shines brilliantly, it doesn't stay out for very long. My jumpers can't arrive soon enough.

In non-weather related news, I'm sketching the final chapters of my book. It's scary but makes me giddy. Once they're sketched, it's still 35,000 words to write. Close, and yet so far...

Some pics from my running route (not taken while running)

Beneath Stockbridge
Crazy rainbow cirrus cloud. I saw the colours only when wearing my shades. So I put my shades over the lens and Bob's your uncle. It's quite a wintry cloud as well...
Water of Leith heading towards Stockbridge

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