Coming back from summery 25°C in Kyoto last weekend, the air in Brighton felt like it had almost reached the freezing point. I wrapped myself up in winter clothes, shivering regardless, and felt rather sorry for my ailing throat. Air conditioners and a cool evening breeze, alongside with a rampaging virus, had left almost all choir singers rather vulnerable, which in my case took its toll on the last evening in Japan, when what was essentially a farewell party left me quite literally speechless. On the flipside, the same party shortened my sleep enough to turn jetlag into a non-issue – as it turns out, a 4-hour night followed by a 24-hour waking day is quite adequate to readjust my body clock.
But anyway, about that dreary, cold weather: I've acclimatised sooner than I thought, and after my initial dismay at summer definitely being over (I can't complain, really, as I've had plenty of very enjoyable weather this year before coming to England), I am now very much at peace with the clouds and their droppings. Indeed, I'm one of those people who, when asked for their favourite season, will give a difficult answer at worst; at best, I'll simply and honestly state that I like all of them equally. There's a time (and possibly a place) for every weather phenomenon from blazing sunshine to stinging cold rain, and I adore the variety of atmospheres generated by each. For all its depressive potential, the seemingly monotonous, rainy grey of the last few days is still a beautiful experience, if one dares to take it in fully. Vibrant autumn leaves peering through blankets of mist, puddles revealing the topography of even the smoothest pavement, wet asphalt glistening, playfully reflecting what strikes its fancy, low-hanging clouds betraying well-hidden lights yet silently shrouding hilltops, the music of the wind in still-green trees... Truly, there is no reason to bemoan even the dreariest of autumn days!
Also, and rather importantly, autumn brings with it other joys, such as juicy pears and sweet apples and festivals dedicated to them; such as opportunities to wear clothes long neglected; such as events like Halloween or the Bonfire Nights. Thanks to a good friend who happens to be involved in Seaford's bonfire society, I've already now been granted a first show of torches and fireworks, of smuggler costumes and Victorian dresses, of drums and louder bangs: of vividly remembered events in England's past, never to be forgotten. Seaford's celebration of the thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot, set last Saturday so as not to interfere with events in other towns, was highly enjoyable – a memorable event not just for the fact that I've finally gotten around to drinking a pint of local ale. I will certainly go to Lewes on the Fifth of November, armed with more knowledge about the historic event. To anyone with a liking for fire, fireworks, historic events and costumes, Lewes Bonfire is probably an unparalleled opportunity to revel – highly recommended! To give you just a little taste – the Seaford bonfire parade, snapped by Vidhi Sheth, a friend whose camera is infinitely better at moving night scenes than mine:
In other news, though I have quickly caught up with the course material I missed in the two weeks of absence, I have been very busy indeed, with plenty of reading, a couple of short presentations, and deadlines for larger coursework slowly, but steadily creeping closer. I'm not complaining, however – I would rather struggle with too much to do than end up bored. I am here, after all, to learn about (arguably) the universe's most complex single structure!
With that, I thank you for reading and wish you all the best.
Until next time,
This post has been read 291 times.