Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tuesday - Corfu

Afternoon. Slightly cloudy skies. A feeling that the weather is on the turn. I have drunk several glasses of cheap red wine - why does it always taste ok when you are on holiday - and now it's nearly time to walk down to the village, get some lunch, then maybe go for a paddle and watch the waves break endlessly on the shore.
Back home I am aware that it will be a soft October afternoon, pale light, long shadows, the fiery foliage on the verge of falling. Chilly nights, damp with dew and maybe frost. So far from these endless summer afternoons, not unlike August in short-shadowed light, mellow sunshine, the trees all still in full leaf, together with all the Mediterranean plants - Oleander, Bougainvillea, Morning Glory with its purple trumpets. In the vegetable gardens, beans and courgettes still flower. A second planting of potatoes. Vivid colour of peppers and chillies. Lemon and orange trees. In many of the gardens, roses bloom as if it were still July, without blight on the leaves. Geraniums glow in vivid reds and pinks. Nothing is dying, moldy, mildewed. There are no turning leaves. The grass (coarse though it may be) still grows as lush as midsummer at home. Our pale eyes need sunglasses to shade the glare of sunlight on white buildings, waves against sand, bright skies.
If only England had a climate like this. Yet if it did, it would not be England. We live in the distant north, favored by the Gulf Stream that gives an equable climate and enables us to grow plants that should only really thrive far south of the latitude where we actually reside. The rain gives us green foliage, grey days, and a lushness never seen further south. You can't have it all. When we are moaning about the unreliable summer weather (if wet, in the village hall) places like this are baking in 40 degree heat.