If Mr. Vivaldi was alive today and living anywhere south of the north of England, he'd have to re-write his Four Seasons masterpiece as the Two Seasons, because that's all we seem to get here these days. Spring when it arrives, seems to last for six months, rarely changing into what could be called a long, hot summer. Then sometime around October, autumn begins and drags on with it's mild, gloomy, damp, and ever shortening days for the next six months. Traditional winter with it's frosts and snow seems to becoming an ever distant memory, consigned nowadays to just Christmas cards and television Christmas advertisements. I always groan when sitting at home watching those advertisements now, still seeing people turning up at warm, snowbound houses in coats, scarves and gloves when in reality these days, it should be an umbrella and summer clothes.
Today, and by the look of it all this week, the days are not going to be any different. Grey skies, poor light and a mild dampness look set to continue the trend of the last few months. I imagine that the best and most useful Christmas present many people could receive this year, before they slit their wrists, is one of those daylight lamps that are advertised for SAD sufferers.
Personally, I have loathed this time of the year and Christmas in particular, for the last 50+ years, it does nothing for me, I don't know why. I assume that I liked it when I was a child but I had an unhappy childhood and much is locked away and forgotten as a result. I spend most of it these days looking forward to those first, warm Spring days and that whole plethora of wonderment that Spring always brings. Christmas Day this year will mean, as it does every year, having Christmas dinner at my wife's house with her and her parents, (we've been separated fourteen years but still remain firm friends) and then, a fortunate and happy event for the last four years, off to my girlfriend's house for Boxing Day and the New Year. That might seem odd but then my tangled, confusing, amusing and at times sad, love life over the last fifty years would merit a whole blog on it's own, but it's unlikely to happen. What I do do, is to often look at this photo of me, taken about 64 years ago, and with 68 years hindsight, mull over the lifetime that that innocent face had yet to experience and all the different directions that it might have taken, but didn't.