One of the simple pleasures of living in a foreign country is unexpected public holidays. I have discovered that I have a deeply entrenched internal calendar because I half expect a holiday whenever the UK has a day off, but just when I am not expecting it a day pops up in the Belgian calendar. I am also used to the fact that the UK takes almost all its public holidays on a Monday, so a sudden mid-week day off is even more confusing.
1st November is All Saints’ Day in catholic countries so today has been one of those days.
However when it is a stunning early autumn day that just insists that I go out and ride my bike the day off is always extremely welcome.
The brightness of the light brings a harsh glare to the day when facing towards the sun, but it is offset by the tree leaves which are fast turning to warming browns and golds. Together they give even familiar tracks and trails a seasonal interest. I don’t know why I have become so enthusiastic about Autumn in recent years but I suspect that living in landscape of tree-lined valleys has increased my fondness for the season.
The growth of organic farming round here also brings an additional flush of colour because green manures have been planted after the harvest of earlier crops. They have burst into late flower now, soon they will die down and be ploughed into the ground before the next crop.
There may not be many more colourful days like this to come this year, every one has to be enjoyed.