We are now past the end of August and can finally see some reliable sun in September. Even though the nights are beginning to lengthen, this time of the year still makes me think of the phrase “dog days” which actually refer to hot and sultry days at the end of summer when the dog star Sirius was thought to influence the weather. Too hot and humid to do anything strenuous. This month for many is a new beginning, first days at primary school or “big school” now less than a week away, fresher’s terms at “uni” just 14 days later and for some older folk, empty nests in the family home. Significant watershed events in so many lives, and for once, in our increasingly fractured world, all at a similar time of year.
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
September for me, far from being the harbinger of autumn, is the most reliable of summer months. with its own special feeling. The trees no longer have that bright lively appearance, their appearance more of a uniform level shade of green. Some leaves are already on the turn, hedgerow plants show mildew and disease and the roadsides are dominated by the invasive thugs of Rosebay Willowherb, Oxford Ragwort and Himalayan Balsam (all 19th century arrivals , introduced partly by Victorian plant enthusiasts). But the light has a particular sharp quality and the sun remains warm. Nature knows the month as our house begins to be invaded by legions of Daddy Longlegs and fully grown house spiders frightening the OH and , if he could but see them, HK son some 6000 miles away.
We plan to lengthen this summer ( or perhaps experience it for the first time) by taking a few days in Spain towards the end of this month and the OH already has begun the process of planning what to pack. This is an alien concept to me as I like to pretend to be the spontaneous traveller and leave it all to the night before when I just grab whatever is clean and throw it in whatever luggage space remains. I tend to adhere to the Spectacles, Testicles, Wallet and Watch check list believing that if you remember these things together with travel tickets and passports anything else can be bought ( or perhaps it reflects that my Dad was nominally RC ). I have belatedly realised that for some, the planning, packing and anticipation is as much fun as the actual trip itself and so much so they now have their own website: I am packed