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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the calm before the storm

I think a lot of people feel that 2019 hasn’t been the easiest of years. There have certainly been highs and lows in my own life, and I gather that even the Queen recognised something of the sort in her Christmas speech. I didn’t watch the speech, but the report on Time website says:

Talking about the need for reconciliation and forgiveness, Elizabeth says: “The path, of course, is not always smooth, and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference.”

Perhaps that’s why my attention was caught by the weather forecast this morning, which showed a constant and unexceptionable temperature all day long.
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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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watercolour morning

The idea of paintings and pictures as windows and doors into other worlds is fairly common in literature.

From MR James’ The Mezzotint to Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, pictures reveal secrets that are hidden from the real world; from Princess Rosamund in George MacDonald’s The Lost Princess to Edmund and Lucy Pevensie and their cousin Eustace Scrubb in CS Lewis’ The Dawn Treader, children step – or tumble – through into other worlds and places.
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towards winter

It was cold this morning. Cold and misty.

When I went out, it was into a world in sepia.

Misty autumn morning
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trumpets of prophecy

Last weekend, the UK had the hottest August Bank Holiday on record. Presumably that means it was also the hottest Bank Holiday of all on record, as I can’t imagine it ever getting hotter for the other dates – Christmas, New Year, Easter, or either of the holiday Mondays in May.

But even if it was lovely and sunny, it did seem a little late in the year for perfect rose buds like the one at the start of the post.
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old roses

The roses in the neighbour’s garden are bright despite the weather, which has not been kind to them this summer. There’s been far too much rain and wind after the recent short but intense heatwave.

Today it’s actually been so windy that the rain seemed to dry almost before it reached the ground. Yes, there has also been some sunshine, but it comes and goes and can’t be depended on.
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