What the F … happened to Summer! Still waiting to wear the Sandals, and as for the bikini (what is that again?) – I have been duped. Come to think of it I can count three days of complaining about the heat, this entire year! This is why they say ‘I cannot live in the UK’, which is something I hear ALL the time. Sometimes I feel I am mourning an unborn Summer child, but then, apart from the Hades of Winter, the season changes do become poetry. I am a poet in my secret life.
So the other morning, it was obvious that the early light had deserted Mud Island. We were slipping into long nights and short days. Was it time to reach for the Vitamin D pills? Already???. I needed to up the mood, rapidly, and decided to walk into Wimbledon. For those uninformed, there is Wimbledon proper and Wimbledon Village. The former is the place of town and the latter of village. The latter is chocolate box picturesque, avec horse riders clopping through the village, dogs and Dubarry boots.
Walking past All English Tennis courts, Wimbledon is passed, all is quiet. A few impressionable tourists still ‘Ah’ at Wimbledon and the museum and cafe remains open throughout the year. Not the best picture, but if you look closely you can see the changing of leaves from green to jewels of ochre and crimson. The purple and white petunias are almost done, and it is ok, the new colours are classic in themselves.
Quite a hefty walk up the hill to the Village. Not impossible. Change of scenery and atmosphere. This is a Village, held together by families with heritage, yuppie mums and plenty of money. Property values here place it well out of the reach of most, talking of Millions of pounds. Beautiful homes lined up in leafy streets, quaint shops and plenty of coffee shops to spend the afternoon people watching.
Hues of mist and mists of grey before St. Mary’s Church, the pinnacle of the village. This is country England in the heart of the city. As I said, the stuff of poetry. As I begin the easier walk into Wimbledon proper, I do pass the cyclists (including the Miss Marple types), mothers with buggies and yes, the much beloved dogs out for a walk with their owners.
The grey of Autumn, highlights the gold of gates.
I remember so clearly asking my English friend if she does not miss a longer Summer, and she said what she most loves about England are the dramatic changes in season. For three out of the four I agree with her, the wretched winter she can keep.