Summer and winter seem to go on forever; spring and autumn are surprisingly brief, and characterized by perpetual surprise at how quickly the weather’s warming up or cooling down. During my first week in New York, in March, there were still big grey snowdrifts on street corners, and people were still talking about the scary snowstorms I’d missed by a couple of days – during my second, I found I could ride around in short sleeves. And when I got back the sun had come out – and so had all the office workers. One of my small complaints about summer is that I no longer have London’s parks and squares to myself.
One of the perks is that all the trees have become ridiculously fluffy, in that camp way that only nature can really get away with.
And there’s confetti everywhere.
Spring is marked by all its little cut-off points. When I got back from The Big Ride, I hung my Swrve hoodie up to dry out – and it’s still there, a month later. I won’t wear it again till October. (Incidental kit gripe: I never wear a waterproof in summer, because my Montane foldaway thing stopped working after only a couple of weeks, and no longer keeps the water out, but is somehow very effective at keeping it in. So stopping and putting it on is never a very enticing or comforting prospect. It just sits in my bag, taking up space, and annoying me.) Around about that time I also swapped back to fingerless gloves, which gives me back the several minutes per day that I’ve been spending taking them off and putting them on again every time I want to check my A-Z, use my Xda, text someone, get a package out of my bag, lock up my bike, unlock it again, or scoop the grime out of my eyes. (Though of course, there’s a lot more in the way of insects and pollen flying into my eyes these days – plane tree season is just round the corner.)
Another thing about spring – the stupid cyclists’ tan lines are making a comeback.
If they’re this bad after just a couple of weeks, I’m going to look like a bloody chessboard by the end of the summer.
And work, alas, has tailed off something rotten. Last Thursday I did seven jobs. Seven! That’s really really bad. As in not-paying-the-rent bad. (Thankfully Friday made up for it. But things are still generally quieter than they’ve been for a long time.) And another side-effect is that I suddenly have loads of spare energy, and am no longer falling asleep by 10pm every night (even if I don’t actually go to bed till 11). This is nice in a way, but has alerted me to the fact that I have a lot less going on in my life than I used to. Suddenly I have more room in my day, brain and schedule, but the habitual courier fatigue means I’ve cut down on all the things I might have used to fill it. What did I used to do all the time? I’m sure I used to be busier than this.
(A perk of summer – and one of my favourite sights: sunshine on tarmac. Mmmmmmm.)