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There is a time of year when it is neither Summer nor Autumn. That time is upon us now and the nights are closing in fast toward Winter. Orion is rising in the southern night sky and some of the trees are putting on their best finery. The maple with its reds and ambers, the birch dropping flakes of gold. Hedgerows are heavy with scarlet berries and the blackberry, past her best though still full and voluptuous, is like a Hollywood actress pinched and tucked once too often. Apprehensive swallows girn and stammer from rooftops arguing over which route to take. A robin stuffed so full he can hardly fly has taken possession of my garden and will bare knuckle prize-fight all-comers.

Combines reap, the apples are in harvest and the wind has an edge not yet honed but sharp enough to let you know it is there. A shift to the south and it is warm, endless rain, to the west strong enough to lift you off your feet. The north, cold, grey and threatening, east and clear bright blue but biting cold. It is often said that the British are obsessed with the weather. In fact the opposite is true, we sit at the crossroads of the weather and it is obsessed with us. We are the raucous tavern where any roustabout front spoiling for trouble drops in to slug it out. Pretty maidens wink seductively on twinkling ocean waves, we cast our coats and they metamorphose into mountain hell-cats. We can have snow and sunburn before lunch, hail, rain thunder and lightening before tea, a gale before supper and still go out to stargaze in a clear frost before the fog clamps down for the rest of the night. This to wake up the following day with the certainty that it will be different and, sure enough, it is a lead grey drizzle.

No, it is not us who are obsessed with the weather!