As I write, rain is dashing the window pane and the blustery conditions are
scudding low clouds rapidly overhead, tossing tree branches and swirling
smoke from chimneys. It has rained like this for the entire day; we had to
cancel the bouncy castle we’d ordered for my youngest 5th birthday and
move the whole party inside. It was only family. But due to the inconvenient size of
our families that means 30-odd people (and they are a bit odd). So 16 kids and 14
adults jostled for space and vied to be heard and shouted over one another and got
under each other’s feet and perched on the corners of furniture and trod cake into the
carpet, in a noisy steam-up house, all afternoon. Rain drummed down so hard on the
conservatory roof that conversation was impossible. Thank goodness for the “big girls”
in the family who organised, musical statues, musical bumps and musical whateverthey-
could-think-of, to keep the younger ones entertained.
And do you know, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Really good friends of ours have just moved to Dubai for 2-3 years and I don’t envy them one bit. It’s not just the upheaval of the move but
there are so, so many other things I would miss about being here. Just being able to throw a family party for a start. Or a walk on a crisp, sunny autumn day, or lighting the woodburning stove on a
wet, blustery autumn evening, blackberry picking, Strictly Come Dancing, that wood smoke smell, a comforting soup or baking infused with nutmeg and cinnamon… all these things are part of the
rhythm of life in this country. I’m sure Dubai has its attractions and highlights but I am far too unadventurous to even contemplate them. And thinking of such good friends of mine being out there has only served to make me realise how glad I am to be here. So no matter the minor irritations of the day, the stresses of my print deadline, trying to keep up with my three children going in three different directions and how annoying the weather is sometimes when it scuppers your plans, I don’t want to swap this for any other part of the world.
Note: before you go thinking I’ve become possessed by a ludicrous rose tinted view of the world, I should admit that this cheeriness about how wonderful our seasons are, obviously does not extend to the months of January and February, when of course it’s unbridled misery all round, tempered only by a steady intake of wine. (Although on reflection, that is probably the cause of at least some of the misery).
Ah well. Rough with the smooth.
Have a lovely autumn.
Publisher & Editor, Cheltenham Directories