What glorious autumn weather we’re having at the moment! Beautiful blue skies, lots of sunshine and mild temperatures albeit an occasional moderate easterly (which is always our coolest breeze). Went for a walk in Burnside Park at lunchtime on Thursday and Friday and it was very pleasant – the little bit of rain we had a few days ago has freshened up the playing fields and they’ve regained some of the greenness which they had lost in the long, hot summer we’ve had. Mind you, autumn is definitely upon us now – just watching the leaves drifting off the trees the other afternoon made me very much aware of that! Time to order in the winter firewood (done) and arrange to have the chimney swept (yet to do), and make sure the electric blanket is in good working order! 🙂 Daylight saving will be finishing in another couple of weeks as well (3.00am on Sunday 7 April is when we officially turn back the clocks) – that’s when it really hits home with me, because suddenly those lovely long evenings are no longer, and I know we’re definitely heading towards winter. However, just to keep things positive, in the words of the poet Shelley, “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” (I’ll have to keep reminding myself of this come June and July, as I battle a bitterly cold southerly storm or gingerly navigate icy roads after a good heavy frost – walks in the park at lunchtime might be few and far between then!!)
Just on that note of autumn, when I was going through my photos the other night I came across some I’d taken on 23 March last year of a tree just down the road from work which was an absolute picture at that time ..
And just to show what a wonderfully warm (and long) summer we’ve had, here are pictures of the same tree taken on Friday 22 March this year …
Quite extraordinary, isn’t it? I was really intrigued as to why there is such a difference, so did a bit of Googling and found out that once the hours of daylight start reducing, as they do in the autumn, it’s the combination of this plus cool nights which cause the autumn colours: and since our nights haven’t been that cool at all until very recently, that explains why no autumn colours yet. Still, it does mean that that pleasure still lies ahead! 🙂
Now, I don’t know about your Monday mornings, but if I’m to be honest, they’re not normally my favourite time of the week. Monday of this week, however, was a very different experience, as I joined 98 of my colleagues in the first round of presentations of long-service awards to those who have served at least 10, 20, 30 or 40 years of service with Christchurch City Council. Given that there are actually over 600 staff who are eligible, you’ll appreciate why it’s being done in batches rather than all at once! I qualified for the “at least 10 years” (I’ve completed nearly 16, but they’re being presented in decades of service rather than individual years), and I have to say it was a rather special occasion. I’d like to think that I might make it through to the 20 years legion as well, but after that … well, not so sure, we’ll just wait and see. We each received a certificate and a rather nice little plaque which, if I had a mantelpiece, would certainly be installed there with a fair amount of pride and pleasure. Really nice to have our contributions acknowledged, and it certainly started my week in the best possible way.
I had a lovely day at the Malvern Show today (oops, yesterday – yes, it’s after midnight again!) – lovely fine, warm day, with a temperature of 24°C: perfick, just perfick! I’ve just spent a couple of hours going through the 400+ photos which I took (thank goodness for digital cameras!) to whittle them down to a more manageable number, which proved a tough task: so much so, that I’ve decided to create a separate page just for the show, otherwise today’s post would go on and on and on! 🙂 That way you can dip in at your leisure as you please (or not, if agricultural shows aren’t your cup of tea). But just to encourage you to have a look (once I get them uploaded, which won’t be tonight now), here are a few to keep you going …
Take care in the meantime 🙂