Catching up with my blog for September
A fraught September culminated with a certain inevitability in a debilitating cold virus, which sent me into near-hibernation for a few days. This has put me woefully behind with my blog, even to do what I regard as the bare minimum: to keep it as a central archive of what I’ve written elsewhere online or for printed publications.
So if you’re a regular reader here, please forgive the prolonged silence, which will now be followed by a sudden flurry of posts before I run out of September!
I’m kicking off with the column that I wrote for September’s Hawkesbury Parish News, when I was in Scotland on my summer holidays. Seems like light years ago now!
Stretching the Summer
In August, we head for the Scottish Highlands, whose soaring mountains make the Cotswold hills look like speedbumps.
It’s not just the landscape that is on a grander scale here. This far north, the daylight hours are significantly longer than at home.
From Mallaig, we watch the sun set over the islands of Skye, Rum and Eigg a good hour after Hawkesbury’s nightfall. On the Cromarty Firth, despite the absence of light pollution, it’s only just dark enough at 11pm to discern the Perseid meteorite shower at its official kick-off time.
It is as if we have travelled back in time to the summer solstice.
Although I have been a frequent visitor to Scotland for the last seventeen years, the difference in daylight hours never fails to fascinate me. In the same way, every time I stand on a beach (in Nairn, east of Inverness, this holiday), I marvel at the way the moon pushes and pulls the tides.
Returning home in time, as always, for the Village Show, I know the earlier nightfall down south will come as a shock, as we’ve been away long enough to acclimatise to northern nights. But it’s not as if we’ll feel fast-forwarded into the fall, because whatever the sun or moon might do, everybody knows that the day after Hawkesbury Show is the first day of autumn.