Friday, 26 October 2012
A Week of Weather.
Monday: The first big winds have already rolled out greasy carpets of rusted leaves and muddy boot prints. Rubbish scarecrows and garden shrubs are bowed, bedraggled; blown naked and in shivering rain. Arthritic old trees creak, twist and whip out of shape, shaking loose their old wood; a few more will succumb to bullying winds and unsteady feet. Distant hills are lost in damp rag blindfolds of drizzle. The landscape looks bruised under blustering chest-beating skies which gallop rough-shod, dragging their stormy nights like barking dogs, drawing in dark and wet and ruffled as crow feathers and ship wrecks. Rookeries rocked and wind chimes clattered.
Tuesday: The season of fogs is upon us; they choke and drown out the day, leaving us squint eyed looking for the morning to come glimmering through the dank. Not a breath of wind disturbs this wet blanket of dirty sky. Leaves hang heavy and drop from perfectly still trees one by one in random syncopation. Everything looks asleep apart from the one magpie on a corrugated iron roof. I see no other movement but I’m aware of the hiss of cars snaking along some out of sight wet tarmac. A dog bark sounds like a fumbling ghost in the half light and everything looks like a smudged fingerprint of its former self. A crow rasps from atop a pylon through the narcotic half day and falls on deaf ears.
Wednesday: Getting an early finish with sunshine to spare is a bonus at this time of year, for these nights are certainly drawing in and there’s already been a hard frost or two. The past torrential summer’s not been the best for gardening nor outside chores around the home in general and as such, I have a backlog of jobs and a healthy crop of nettles to keep me occupied. The clocks will change soon and even an early finish will not be enough as the darkness of a Weardale winter kicks in with it’s cold feet and dripping nose.
Thursday: The day always gets better when the rain stops. Autumn marches on and I notice some trees getting bare; papery leaves shaken off leaving skeleton trees standing on glowing patches of colour. Other trees hang on; Maple Rowan and Beech like great fires burning against huge skies turning wintry shades with portends and omens of dark nights to come. Low sunlight rests on mountains of clouds which cut across the landscape like blades, drawing closer, whispering cold nothings in our ears.
Friday: The sky turns the colour of cold steel, cut by power lines and scratched by skeleton fingernails of Hawthorn. There’s nothing romantic about a cold-hand day of work in sleet; as pleasant as having grit your eye. Trees bare; each leaf a glowing counterpoint of colour against the invading gun-metal skies. Less than a week ago, I was walking in the hills wearing only a tee-shirt, enjoying the last bronze sunlight of autumn; now I’m ducking out a sleet shower and drawing the pylons from the front of the van in a break between jobs.