Recently

I can't get enough summer this year. I'm trying a new thing and swimming in the mornings, instead of the evenings, and the warm sun on my back as I cycle home in flipflops and a t-shirt, towards coffee, breakfast, a view of the leafy garden, is too nice. I love Autumn, but I don't want it yet - itchy jumpers, the crisp cold, the smell of tea and smoke, the leaves flapping and falling like fish. I have dresses that still need wearing. But the rose hips in the garden and the influx of new, impossibly young neighbors tell me that I better hurry up and get my coats mended and start wearing socks, so I'm attempting to adjust gracefully, to enjoy the fresh air on my evening walk down the Iffley Road and the golden light on the buildings just before dusk and the infectious sense of excitement that spreads through a university town in September.

As summers go, this one has been good, and not just weather-wise ("The best in years!" everyone keeps saying, which is true: certainly the warmest, driest summer I've seen in six years of living here). In retrospect it feels full of moments and feelings that I want to remember but can't find a home for, writing-wise, which is maybe how summer should be: bricolage, a series of discrete memories strung together by an imaginary thread. We went to California, New York, Wales. We went surfing, climbed peaks, drove for miles and miles, ate hot dogs in Manhattan and Vietnamese sandwiches in Brooklyn, stayed up late drinking too much port with friends, spent time with family, watched films. That sort of thing.