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The North Wind doth blow…

Yesterday was the first day I felt a little cold wandering out on the way to Brussels. After a summer that could best be described as ‘meh’ , neither really terrible or particularly good, we’ve had a rather nice little space of sun and blue sky in early October, but while the sun itself is warm enough the breeze accompanying it whispers ‘October’ in a way that is hard to ignore.

In Brussels it seemed even more bitter, and a big contrast to only a few weeks ago where it was still very much T shirt and shorts friendly. But autumn appears to have arrived and you would assume that winter will follow, although on the basis of recent year’s maybe that is an assumption that may or may not prove accurate.

Back in the late 80s the rock band Marillion put out an album titled ‘Seasons End’. The title track put a fair amount of emphasis on the blending of the seasons in the face of the (then) still vary nascent views on global warming, on Seasons ‘we would never see in England’. Since then we have had a few slightly harder winters (unhappily for me while training for my last London marathon) and the odd hot-ish summer, but there is a nagging feeling for me at least that we are going through a period where if we do have a cold spell it will be short and sharp, but otherwise it will just be nondescript grey and a bit damp and chilly.

What I wrestle with personally is whether I think this is important enough for me to wory about. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not discussing global warming. Fact is that the planet has warmed up and cooled down many times and long before we came along, although the question as to whether we are impacting on the natural process in a significant way is one that will perplex us for some time (and whether those impacts are local or global, or short or long terms adds additional complexity that I do not think will allow me to do justice to the subject in a few hundred words).

But I do wonder what the young folks today will think about as they grow up. Personally I have very vivid memories of heavy snow falls and massive drifts and ice incrustations, but then I grew up in the North East and the 70s. These days for a kid to see snow where I live now they probably have to go to the nearest indoor winter sports centre and indulge in a little bit of artificial icy fun. Possibly just as well as even the pathetic snowfalls we have had seem to cause increasing levels of chaos in our growing inability to be able to manage them. We live on the commuting route to the station and watching from the window can be interesting, with a never ending supply of inappropriate shoes and clothing and worse, terrible driving in adverse conditions. I feel allowed to say that as I am well aware that in snow and ice I am a liability, unlike the Lovely Wife who has far more technique and patience in such matters.

For all the frustrations it causes I am hoping we will have some kind of recognisable winter this year. I appreciate that is very selfish but there is something special about each of the seasons and you can feel a bit cheated. A hard winter makes you love spring all the more I think, and those short days and long nights build up the excitement for the long days of summer. We once discussed what it would be like to live in the Caribbean where the days are more or less consistent in length and decided that we would soon get bored with the monotony of that all the year round.

I guess I’m just awkward.

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