I’ve always preferred the Northern American “Fall” to the Anglo “Autumn” as the descriptor for that season. No one, it seems, its quite certain of the etymological origins of “autumn”, although one related meaning was, romantically, “dried up”. The original European settlers of Northern America, and those beyond for some time, referred to the season as “Harvest” for obvious reasons. As cities grew and people moved into them, “harvest” wasn’t a particularly relevant term, and so “leaf fall” and then, finally, “fall” fell (tee hee!) into common usage. I just think it’s beautiful and evocative.
It is, whatever you choose to call it, thank goodness, almost upon us here in The ‘Ville (and beyond, astonishingly). Depending on which meteorological information one reads (and who doesn’t?), Sydney is classed as being located in either a “Temperate” or “Subtropical” zone. I know all you Monty Python fans out there are now saying:
SOLDIER: The coconut’s tropical! This is a temperate zone.
ARTHUR: The swallow may fly south with the sun, or the house martin or the plover seek warmer hot lands in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land.
SOLDIER: Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
Let us move on.
Whatever climactic zone Sydney’s in, it gets rather humid for a few weeks each February. And I hate it. I hate the feeling of walking through thin, lukewarm soup. I hate the feeling of it being too hot to wear pyjamas to bed, but then having limbs glued together by perspiration whilst one’s bare flesh is attacked by mosquitoes.
All would be well chez moi if only we had air-conditioning. But we don’t because The Husband is a meany poo poo head. And to all of you out there who DO have it, I am going to quote Monty Python at you once more: “You lucky, lucky bastards!”
During the last few mornings there has been the first hint of autumnal crispness in the air before the sun commences its arc across the sky. I love it. It fills me with the anticipation of slippers and soup, jumpers and blankies, Scotch and Stilton, casseroles and hot buttery wedges of bread. The children will make collages of warmly-hued leaves. I will make steamed golden syrup puddings. I will once again resolve to take up knitting but not actually do it. I will dream of sitting at my garret window gazing over Paris under a slate-grey sky. I will sit in my car by the ocean and watch it roil like agitated mercury.
The Husband and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary – we deliberately chose autumn because we both love it, and the deeper, clearer blue of the sky on its sunny days.
Bring on its golden, misty, atmospheric wondrousness, and bring out the cosy scarves and thick, woolly socks. I’m ready!
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