• Deborah A Allen

There's a nip in the air..

Its seems the summer has hardly started and yet the autumn is now creeping in.

For me the end of the summer is marked by a fantastic firework display. Ever since coming to live in NL we have made the trip over to the little seaside town of Harlingen at the end of August to join the throngs of people who go to see the fireworks on the last evening of the town’s visserij dagen.

When the children were young this would coincide with the end of the summer holiday and the return to school and now days for me it serves as a reminder that the summer (however brief) is coming to an end.

These days it’s normally just my daughter and I who make the 25km trip but we wander through the funfair, try our luck at the grab machines hoping to win a teddy or two and then make our way up to the harbour where we wait for the start of the fireworks. Anyone who knows me knows that in general I hate fireworks and this is the only time of year that I enjoy them. This is because it’s a wonderful well organised display that is close enough to thrill but far away enough to be safe and of course its professionally done and not left in the hands of drunken yobs chucking the darn things carelessly around the street as it is at New Year.

I enjoy every second of the display and as the fireworks finally die I sigh and resign myself to dark mornings and darker nights, cold weather and slippery pavements. It’s funny how we make associations, red roses must mean valentine’s day daffodils are mother’s day ect. For me the summers end is marked by fireworks.

This week I have been busy in the garden and sure enough even though September is only a few days old the first signs of autumn are there, my climbing plant is beginning to show tinges of red and the summer flowers are fading, the mornings are slightly cooler and of course it’s dark by 9pm.

I feel as if I’ve eaten enough salad to last a lifetime and I must admit I’m looking forward to the more hearty meals that mark autumn and winter but I will miss sitting outside watching the clouds and the glider planes overhead, our swifts have left us now as well, abandoning us in favour of the African sunshine.

I now look forward to squishing through muddy fields in wellington boots kicking piles of brightly coloured leaves and drinking steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Each season has its charms and Im happy to live in a place where those changes are still very obvious. In a society where we are constricted and forced to conform to a uniform of bland sameness it’s nice to know that mother nature refuses to be pigeonholed.

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