Tuesday, 20 September 2016

arrival of autumn



Early morning yesterday I quickly went into the garden and for a moment sensed the arrival of autumn when I noticed the fading colours of the hydrangeas. Without wishing to sound dramatic, I almost felt a pang in my heart because the weather has been so wonderful lately - the proper Indian summer I wished for - and I'm not quite ready for colder days. It's a luxury to still being able to enjoy a cup of coffee on the sunny patio, but it seems to me that from this day forward I will be drinking it inside and looking out the window.

The arrival of autumn was very different when we lived in Iceland, where it arrives earlier and more rapidly. Going berry picking was essential and driving to the Thingvellir National Park to see nature dressed in its finest autumn apparel. Over here big and juicy blueberries from Poland arrive in stores, apple and plum trees bear fruit, and hydrangea shrubs start to fade well before the leaves change their colours.

For me another sign of autumn is Virginia Woolf. In August last year I started reading her diaries and this summer having just read a few pages of her diaries, and letters, I feel the need again to read a few entries before going to sleep. It feels as if she is always writing by the fireplace, which is particularly comforting. Speaking of Woolf! This weekend I saw new Woolf paperback editions from Vintage Classics. The Finnish artist Aino-Maija Metsola illustrated the covers (for a few years she has designed for Marimekko) and I think it was love at first sight when I saw the cover of Mrs Dalloway. The other books in the Woolf series are The Waves, The Years, Orlando, To the Lighthouse and A Room of One's Own that also contains the sequel Three Guineas.


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