How do you feel about autumn? Do you dread the winter coming nearer, do you love the colder weather, or do you simply love the cosy autumn evenings with tea, lit candles and reading a book under a blanket?
Years ago, I loved autumn. It came with the feeling of new fresh starts, exciting projects, and I loved the autumn colours and going out to take photos of autumn leaves. In the ’90s I lived in Göteborg, which is a university city, and the entire city bubbled with activity, expectation and excitement. Later I moved to a smaller town but continued to experience the same kind of things in the autumn.
However, something happened along the way – the autumn became more and more stressful, and I also started dreading the winter a lot more. Where I come from, the winter can potentially start in October and it can potentially end in mid-April or even late April. What is that, seven months? That’s more than half the year!! Half the rest of my life…
I’m definitely not a snow person. Snow can be beautiful of course, but it makes life unnecessarily inconvenient, you can’t move around freely without risking to get hurt, you never know how long it takes to get to work (because of ice, and will the bus even arrive?) and a snowstorm may ruin travel plans and whatever. In addition, I love nature and colours, and so many months with the world in black and white… it’s not my cup of tea. Some 3-4 years ago I started getting in a depressive state in the winter, and that also meant I couldn’t enjoy the autumn anymore because autumn meant the winter would be coming soon.
This year is different. It IS true that I chose to move to Ireland partially because of the climate. Not that I love unstable and not so warm summers, but I do love a mild climate with small variations in temperatures. This is one of the reasons why we didn’t choose Italy instead (which many people ask us about) – the winters can be horrible there, although they are not as long as in Sweden. If unstable summers are the only sacrifice for having mild, short, green winters with usually no snow, then I’m all in.
This autumn will be interesting and different. The second semester of my Italian course at Lund University has just started, and it will be incredibly interesting and inspiring. Although I haven’t been able to take time to read books for a long long time because of too much stress in life, originally I’m a true bookworm. As a child, I could come home from the library with 6-10 books and I would read all of them in less than two weeks. Reading gives me so much joy and relaxation, and I’ve really missed it. Recently I’ve only been able to read books while I’m away on holidays or so. Now, I do a course in Italian literature history which also includes literature analysis and theory/structure. We also do Italian culture & society classes, and the studies will be very time consuming, but I totally love the content and if I can just dedicate the time needed, I know I will love it.
This has made me come to the decision to stop working for one of my website clients, which is a larger company that is growing very fast, they require more time than I have and I also think they need someone with more formal competence in web development than I have. It’s been a while that I’ve felt that they need more resources than what I can offer.
The autumn in Ireland can be fantastic, the weather can be lovely also during the late autumn, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the scenery outside our house will change, what colours will be on display out there. This time I can enjoy it all for real, knowing that the winter will likely be something I can put up with.
During the autumn there are also lots of interesting events. There is a trad music festival in Cork city during September, and next week we have an international guitar festival here in our town, with lots of gigs all around town. There’s also some kind of food festival, charity walks, and as usual regular interesting gigs at DeBarra’s. Later, in November, we’re going to the whiskey festival in Dublin, for the second time.
Today, writing this, we are suffering the remains of tropical storm Gabrielle, but after she’s left, there’ll be some days of Indian summer, or at least the Irish weather alert people say that. We’ll see! Yesterday was fantastic too, and although I can’t wait to see some more autumn colours, I will definitely enjoy having 20ish degrees for a couple of days.
How far has autumn come where you are? Are you enjoying it?