I’m wondering if for once we are actually experiencing an Indian Summer? Every year, halfway through a damp British summer people begin to start enthusiastically talking about the possibility of such mythical warm weather periods as they desperately try to ignore poor meteorological forecasts. After what has, let’s face it, been a pretty lack lustre summer of dreary days, mediocre temperatures and spells of extreme rain there is finally a lift in the weather and the illusive Indian Summer may just be happening. I feel sorry for all the families visiting the beaches during the school summer holidays who unseasonably needed jumpers and waterproof shoes, when it’s now so gloriously warm and sunny, but that’s so often a British summer for you.
Whatever the weather brings we can’t avoid that fact that we find ourselves at the autumn equinox already – how do these milestones fly by so quickly? It only seems a couple of weeks ago that we were celebrating the longest day, or the spring equinox for that matter! The equinox marks the half way point between the solstices and is when the day and the night are of equal length. This year it fell on 22nd September (at 1921 to be precise!) but is generally around the 21st / 23rd give or take a few hours. Without getting too complicated, it is the moment at which the centre of the visible Sun is directly above the equator and it happens twice a year (wiki). But I think we all know what the Autumn equinox really signifies is that summer is over, the days are getting shorter and Christmas sweet tins are in the shops!
The sea temperatures are holding up just now but Karen and I are already discussing how to deal with the cold… there’s just no avoiding it. And to be honest there’s a part of me that’s kind of looking forward to it. It’s safe to say that this is absolutely NOT the feeling that my swim buddy has shared ha ha. So heads down and swim on – the current sunny weather is happily luring us into a false sense of security about the cold and we are grinning our way through September.
The arrival of an Indian Summer is fantastic but I’ve learned that in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lithuania, Hungary and several Slavic countries apparently such warm periods in autumn are know as an “Altweibersommer” or “old women’s summer” (Wiki) . Looking at the number of middle aged women (and men) sea swimming, smiling and chatting just now I think that from now on we shall embrace the title of ‘old women’s summer’ instead and just keep smiling!