Wednesday, 26 October 2011


I love autumn.

When we lived in Norfolk autumn arrived like a wild beast, roaring and howling.  We lived at the top of a small hill, but it might as well have been a mountain, because the gales rolled in with few obstructions until they smacked into our house.  We were lucky enough to have a mighty elm on our field boundary - a lucky survivor of the terrible plague that took so many of its kind - and it would roar in the wind like waves crashing on a shingle beach.

Huge flocks of geese would fly over our house to mark the change in seasons, their honking sounding like an enormous rusty gate creaking to and fro in the wind.  And they would fly away again at the end of winter.  But I don't miss the power cuts, the leaking roof or the floods we frequently had as rainwater seeped under our doors.

When you live way from the cities and towns, the seasons are much more clearly defined, especially living in an exposed part of the country like Norfolk, with its huge skies and violent weather changes.  I miss those skies - especially the crystal clear, star strewn night skies.  Coming back from a long commute from London, after a stressful day at The Economist or The Independent, I would park the car and look up at the Milky Way for a few minutes before walking into the house.

It was like a palate-cleansing sorbet.

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