Friday, 31 August 2012

Misty and the season of mists

Our Scottish break kept up its cultural joys for us, when we went into the John Muir house in Dunbar. That’s Muir as in Muir Woods, for those of you more familiar with the joys of California than those of Scotland.

We were there to see our daughter-in-law Senada’s latest creation: silk embroidery of a tracery of branches, displayed on a skylight so that when the sun shines (it happens in August, even in Scotland. Sometimes) it produces a pattern of light that brings a sense of trees – so dear to Muir – into the room, and splashes their shadow on the walls.

In Muir House: Senada's silk creation casts its light on us all
But then the holiday was over and we headed back to find our new little house. The cat, Misty, has now settled in well. He seems as happy as we are to be out of rented accommodation, to the point of having reverted to kittenhood: he’s taking to playing with things again in a way he hasn’t done for years. He also loves the windows, sitting for hours looking out of them. It must give him great satisfaction to know that, with his cat flap, he can get out there when he likes so doesn’t have to until he feels like it.

Misty: a cat will play with anything when he reverts to kittenhood
Not that he’s changed character at all. He still doesn’t come down to eat until I come down in the morning, even though he doesn’t need me to get access to his food. And while he seems perfectly happy with using the cat flap generally, if I’m around he likes me to let him out anyway. So if I don’t react fast enough he shows me his displeasure in the time honoured way, with a gentle swipe of the claws or nip of the teeth.

The other time-honoured tradition that we’re enjoying is the wood fire: we’ve put in a great new stove. Beautiful to see it lighting up the room in the evening.

Glorious. But in August?
Beautiful, that is, until I think that it’s still August (just). How the heck can it be that cold? Last night on the way home from the station I was sorry not to have gloves; this morning in the park with our dog I was sorry not to have worn a heavier jacket.

Oh, well. Autumn’s in the air. We may not have had a summer (unless we count that fortnight in March, and the Olympics), but we’re back on the way towards winter.

Life’s rich patterns, the rolling of the seasons. At least I have the joy of my cat teaching me manners and a fire to cheer the evening. And the memory of beauty in Scotland.

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