I love the changing of the seasons. I came back from my summer holiday at the weekend and the very next morning I could sense the change in the air. Autumn’s on its way. It was cooler in the morning, a lovely breeze coming in through the window. No need for the fan. It’s darker in the mornings, cooler in the evenings. Easier to sleep.
Already, whilst I was away, I’d noticed leaves starting to fall, creating an autumnal vibe even though we were still in August. The city I was in, San Sebastian, though a seaside place, seems suited to the autumn months. A lot of the buildings in the city centre have a slightly dull, darkish sandy colour, running along wide boulevards. I could imagine myself walking briskly along, bundled up with a scarf, through the rain.
It’s funny how you want what you can’t have. The summer months in Valencia are hard work. You become hermit like, not wanting to leave the flat during the heat of the day, only venturing out come 7pm when the sun has lowered. If you want to go for a long walk you have to save it for early mornings or evenings. I’ve spent much of the summer dreaming of autumn and winter in the UK – sitting cosily on a sofa, wrapped up in a blanket, drinking tea and watching tv.
And then, on my trip to the north of Spain, I found that the evenings were chilly. Luckily I had a light jacket with me, but suddenly I missed the balmy nights of Valencia, where you’re still hot even when naked. No need to carry round an extra layer ‘just in case’.
One day we had torrential rain. While exciting to watch, and the bold grey clouds were beautiful to see over the sea, suddenly your options dwindle. What can you actually do when it’s properly raining and you’re on holiday? We ended up watching young surfers brave the swirling waves, congregating in the water alarmingly close to the rocky edge of the beach. Huddled together under an umbrella, with wet feet and legs.
I suppose the solution to all this is to appreciate what you’ve got as you live it. Adapt. Accept. When it’s rainy, give in to it, do rainy day things, which is sometimes not very much at all. Maybe just watching the sky and the rain. And on overwhelmingly hot, sunny days, give in to that too, don’t do much at all. And then when the temperature lowers and the sun starts fading, enjoy the moment. Go for a late night walk, enjoy the warmth on your skin, the sounds of the city.
And on those in between days that make up the majority of life in the UK, when the sky feels low and grey and there’s the threat of drizzle at any given moment, well, accept that too. Get out there and do the stuff you can easily do. Or curl up on the sofa and drink tea.
Written during Writers’ Hour. Join me on the next one.