I can’t help it. I know it’s superficial but I’m revelling in this late, short blast of summer weather. Those uninterrupted blue skies over London make me happy. I love the strange sense I have of my childhood Australian summers revisiting me in London in October. I never thought I’d be lowering the blinds to keep the sun out, chilling a jug of water in the fridge, remembering to walk on the shady side of the street (in London, more often than not what shade there is comes from buildings not trees). When the dry wind gusts through the plane trees, I remember the carol we sang at school, from an Australian nativity play:
The north wind is tossing the leaves.
The red dust is over the town.
The sparrows are under the eaves
And the grass in the paddock is brown…
– John Wheeler
Enjoying the simple pleasures of bare legs, sandals, painted toe nails. Getting my sun hat out. Thinking about swishing over the road this afternoon to buy an ice cream. I’m lifted by the weather, even though I know it’s out of kilter. The leaves on the trees are brown and parched, not the usual autumnal shades; it’s wrong, but I’m singing that carol to myself. And another strange aspect of my response is that I said goodbye to such weather when I moved to London all those years ago. It wasn’t a major factor in my departure, but at the time I didn’t miss the weather (contrary to most British people’s expectations). It was tied up in the package of all things Australian that I wanted to leave behind. Now, I’m just going to enjoy it while it lasts, because it will all be over by Wednesday. And we’re still having leftover apple crumble for tea. Best of both worlds.