It’s wonderful to see you again. All summer long we slept on a bamboo mat with just a sheet, it was cool and delicious on sultry hot nights. Now I am gladly welcoming back the duvets. We had a thin duvet for about a week before it was time for the thick wintry one, the seasons change so quickly here.
There’s a nip in the air and it's quite rainy. True Brits that we are, we feel at home with the drizzle, it’s welcoming and familiar. My pale skin wasn’t made for all that scorching summer sun. Autumn is like coming home.
The leaves are turning and the boys are constantly collecting new favourites. As a family we painted huge piece of paper in autumn colours then cut out leaves to make an autumn wreath and leaf 'bunting' for the boy's bedroom. We’ve made ‘fairy sticks’ in the woods, tying on pine cones, interesting twigs and leaves and charging around the mountain with them. The sun which kept us indoors for so much of the day in the summer has faded to let us be masters of our surroundings once again.
This is the end of the third week of term, the old rhythms are back and we are embracing them. Next week the first year students will start their classes, I’m looking forward to seeing them out of the military fatigues they’ve been marching about in for three weeks and see them as people not little soldiers.
Soup season has made a triumphant return. Every weekday lunchtime is soup time now, with steamed breads and baozi (steamed bread filled with cabbage). Warming, soul nourishing and oh, so welcome.
Autumns of old swirl around my memories, newly sharpened pencils, cosy jumpers and bracing walks. I am thankful that our life follows academic years at the moment. Any September without something new starting has always felt a little strange. As the temperature gets lower, I feel more and more alive; autumn always feels to me more of a new beginning than spring. As the colours are set alight, the joys and hopes for a new year awaken.