early one morning

People laugh at the British because we talk about the weather so much and so frequently. But having lived in Spain for many years, in an area where it might be hot, sunny and dry for months on end, I think I appreciate why the weather is such a popular conversation topic here. Not only can it change radically from one day to the next, but it can be completely different in two places that are only a few miles apart.

All over the festive break, I was enviously watching the social media feeds of people I know well and consider to live “locally”, as they posted the most amazing scenes of frost and snow and talked of sledging and snowmen. But until this week I didn’t have anything of the sort to post myself.
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autumnal colours

It’s the time of year when all the blogs and social media feeds of the northern hemisphere are filled with spectacular photos of trees and leaves in wonderful autumnal colours – all warm red, rust and russet, yellow and orange vermilion. Personally, I have a bit of a problem with this.

I don’t deny that the leaves turn colour. But it seems that when I stop to take a photo of what looks like a promising heap of leaves, on closer inspection it’s actually a muddy pile of decay, quickly turning into mulch.
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flowers and leaves

In the UK, we have had the most glorious sunshine for much of the last week, although some days have been quite blustery. It’s been the sort of weather that calls to you through the window to get out and blow the cobwebs away.

Although I don’t have a garden, I’m fortunate enough to have a park just across the road. It’s a small, semi-wild park, without much in the way of attractions: no café, no boating lake, no rides for children, no exercise circuits etc. It’s a short cut for me to get to the station or to the doctor’s, and the picturesque route to the supermarket. In fact, I find plenty of excuses to go there, and it’s not usually very busy.
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of taxis and trees

Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken a number of photos of trees in their autumnal finery, but for the last few days it has hardly stopped raining and most of the trees are now bare, which makes them less photogenic. Not only that, but when it’s pouring with rain, it’s not always easy – or appealing – to stop and take a photograph. So this post intersperses some thoughts I had during the recent rain with photos taken during brighter weather.

I was brought up in a London suburb, but taxis were not a common mode of transport except when we went on holiday as a family, or on occasional excursions in the capital when we would hail a Hackney in the street – always the old black cab that could turn on a sixpence and that was driven by a bloke who had done “the knowledge”.
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no more tulips

I recently wrote a couple of posts inspired by a bunch of tulips I had bought. I talked about the personality they reveal when they are picked and subjected to the constraints of a vase, and about the way they twist and writhe in a kind of dance of death.

Unsurprisingly, those flowers have now been discarded – even I can’t live with dead flowers on the kitchen table for very many days, however interesting the photos of decay may be – and I don’t suppose there will be any more tulips to be found at the supermarket until next Christmas.
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