After another hour and a half long appointment at the dentist I wasn’t certain if Lou was gonna have the energy for any adventures, but the changing seasons provided enough bait to get us out. It’s very easy to get to the Great Wood at Stanmer if you have a car, even though Brighton City Council have finally caught on that they can make money by charging people to park nearby. A year ago all the car parks were free – and most of them didn’t exist. Now people have come with diggers and they all carry a price tag. We used to throw the car up on a verge just by the derelict house, then wander past the church and see if juicy Simon was there for apple juice before striking up the hill. Now we either have to get into an expensive car park just down from the refurbished house, or – much better – to go to a reasonably priced car park a bit further away and then walk through the woodland to the same places.
I’ve been quietly aware of it even in London, but these are the days of spectacular autumn, upon us now fully. The wind and the rain have not yet been foul enough to strip the branches so we are at equilibrium. Half the leaves are still attached, dramatically dying like sopranos – shocking with their colour and beauty even as they take their long last gasp. The other half are down already, dead in the first act, coating the pathways and waiting.
Last time we went to these particular avenues it was the bluebells and the hope of a good summer to come. Today it was the leaves, so many, so bright as they go back to the soil. The cycle. And yes, the promise of a winter very soon now. Maybe snow. The cold. A time of rest, and nurture. Or panto.
I’ll be in Jersey so soon, so soon. God. Before I know it. Not quite panto but a Christmas show. And I’ll be there until after Christmas. I’d better make sure I’ve packed or everything’ll sneak up on me again and I’ll do my usual thing of throwing everything close to me into a case at random and arriving with no socks.
For today though, Stanmer and the woodland.
Not many people about. It was a damp afternoon, and a working day. I’m just done for the week and lucky enough to be self employed and knowing loosely how my next month will pan out. We just slowly walked through shocks of colour we found, enjoying one another’s company. Lou won’t be in Jersey for long so time with her is at a premium. I was supposed to be going to the theatre this evening but I gave away my ticket when I looked at my diary and realised how little we would be able to see each other before I leave. Better to wander around and exist alongside each other. It’s a full moon as well. I love the autumn. If only it wasn’t getting so damn cold.