Autumn is great

So, here I still am in Iceland. I recently took a week's break from being in Iceland, to be in France for a while and also briefly in London (more on that story later), but have now resumed my position in Reykjavík. It's been a moderately difficult week, because the parents were away on holiday in the Lake District, so I was more in charge than I really enjoy. I am terrible at confrontation. They took the baby, but the others were all here, and it was their first week back at school. I got a re-up of tea-bags when they came back, though, which of course delighted me.

Well, autumn is here. Even though it's still August. Having been so late to get on with summer, Iceland is being super-punctual with autumn. We have cold rain, fog, yellowing leaves, rowan berries, the return of night-darkness. I think also the arctic terns left whilst I wasn't looking? I haven't seen them about for a while.

I love autumn - it is my favourite of all the seasons. Summer is fun and warm and everything, but I can't take it seriously.
Especially in Iceland, because it's light all the time - summer is not real life. The lack of structure and general activity also makes it hard for me to get anything done. Summer sort of saps all my motivation, and I have dangerously low motivation levels at the best of times. I find autumn invigorating; it always feels like a fresh start to me.

No doubt because I have been in full-time education from the age of four until about a year ago (wait, what? it's been a year since I finished my dissertation?). If I had been a farmer all my life, I would probably connect spring with new beginnings, like you're supposed to if you think about what plants and animals and that are doing. Right now, nature is in the process of shutting down and dying. But to me, September is the start of the new year. Mmm, new books and cold mornings and the earnest belief that this year, you're going to stop leaving essays to the last minute and you're going to take really organised notes instead of drawing giraffes in the margins and thinking about lunch. Which you do for about a month and a half.

Now I am making myself sad because there's no new semester for me. But all the same, the kids are back in school as of last week, and ice-hockey is starting again soon, so there's a welcome return of routine. Whatever, I'm a boring person, I like structure and routine. Oh, and I might be starting Icelandic lessons again on Wednesday,* which will have to do as a replacement for the joy of the new school year. I'm not entirely decided, but I probably will, if only because having somewhere to go in the mornings is good for my general sense of well-being.

Autumn is also pretty and smells great, although admittedly not so much in cities. I miss trees! And brambles and hedges. Is it weird that one of the things I miss most from England is the flora? I am excited for it to get properly cold again, because I got a new coat for my birthday and it is pretty fantastic. Just like Paddington Bear's!

* Edit: No, I'm not. I'm starting in October. See post from the 31st of August.

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