20 January 2008

there is a time..

(turn turn turn) and a season... (turn turn turn) for every .. thingy .and... whatsit.. that there is in heaven.

Just a quick post to share how I'm feeling that the Europeans seem to be so much more seasonal that what I'm used to in the great land of oz. I mean sure, many of us put the flimsy summer clothes away for a few months in the middle of the year. And spring often sets off a bout of cleaning and new plans and new interest in love and friendships, down in the land Down Under.

Over here in Amsterdam I've been riding around under the grey skies, the totally bare trees, and apparently constant drizzle. It almost feels like a different county to when I arrived, and everyone has adapted their environment to suit. In the square near me, the hundreds of tables and umbrellas are all gone, and there are fairy lights in the trees and bare pavement in their place. Along the busy streets full of restaurants the concertina windows are closed up and there is no al fresco dining to be seen anywhere. Everyone in the street is buttoned up into their specialist puffy, hooded jacket. And the shops have a lit up window display - everywhere that wants to invite customers is warm, cozy, most of all closed up against the cold. Even the customary girlie bikes decorated all over with garish fake flowers seem to have disappeared - all taken off to survive the damp, I guess. The dedicated flower-box gardeners all seem to have swapped their colourful geraniums, begonias and petunias for more winter hardy species like holly, and other things I don't even know the name of.

Yesterday, a 9 am bike ride to the shops felt like it was about 5am on winter morning in Sydney. Deserted, crisp and dark and like a conspiracy amongst the people that were actually up at that hour, keeping the supermarket lit up and the economy working.

I'm quite looking forward to spring, when I get the feeling life will be busting out everywhere, the wind changes direction, and the sun stays out till 11 pm. Until then, I'll be on the computer in the cold evenings, doing indoor, introverted things, like writing my blog. See you on line, friends.

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