Isn't it funny how the weather can affect your mood so much? I have been feeling generally crapulous for the past 10 days or so, but today I can't help marvelling at the way the sunlight filters through the bare branches of the woods and turns the carpet of dusty green ivy leaves to gold; and how perfect and fluffy the clouds are against a sky so brilliant blue, it must have been freshly painted this morning.
Walking back from the library today (yes, I am a nerd! Why thank you!), I came across some kind of squirrel convention, with at least 10 of the critters running rampant around a particular fallen tree trunk. Usually these little grey fellas get all "eek! a human! run away!" when you walk within 10 metres of them, but these squirrels were obviously in the middle of some deeply important squirrel business, because they didn't pay me the slightest bit of attention. They just got on with the urgent task of chasing each other around tree trunks and skittering amongst the dead leaves.
It got me to thinking - you know, London would be a perfectly lovely place to live if it wasn't for all the other people crammed in here. The weather is really fine for someone who doesn't like the baking heat of an Australian Summer. The insects are benign to the point of insignificance, compared with the constant annoyance of flies and mosquitoes in Oz. And the countryside here is undeniably pretty. I don't think you could apply that particular word to anything about my home country (Rosellas? Kangaroo Paw flowers? Hats at the Melbourne Cup? Pink possum noses?). Dramatic, stunning, beautiful, yes - pretty, no.
There is something to be said about the charms of going for a walk through the Wintry woods, with your hands in your pockets and a scarf about your neck, and coming home all pink-cheeked and fresh. In an ideal world, you would have some freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream waiting for you. I guess I will have to make do with yet more Mars Bar slice.