Autumn in Aber

campus selfie

Awkward campus selfie!

My very first day in Aberystwyth was, by design, the very first day of autumn in 2012. I wanted that connection between my favourite time of year and my new home, and the longer I’m here, the more I’m glad I have it. Autumn has always seemed to me an ideal time for reflection — the air at night starts getting cooler, the days get shorter, the sun is a slightly altered shade of gold and slants a bit lower in the sky. Everything feels slower during that long slide into winter.

Every year around the first day of autumn, there’s a food fayre in Aber – and may I just say, any town that lets me celebrate my anniversary in it with good food is a place I want to stay for a good, long while.

Thanks for staying, have some food!

Thanks for staying, have some food!

Aside from stocking up on fresh veg and local honey and more homemade cheese that any one person should really need (I swear I don’t eat it all myself…),I like to play a little game while I’m walking around town on food fayre a day, to see if I can find the perspective of the Me of that first year when everything was new and strange, and hold it in my head next to how I feel now.

Not pictured: so much cheese.

Not pictured: so much cheese.

My little town sometimes makes me frustrated, and sometimes sad, but I like that each new year starts with things that make me focus -the same event I go to each year, the same torrent of students piling into town before Freshers Week, the same noise and bustle of a town shaking itself awake after summer’s quiet, sleepy heat. I see this place the way I saw it then, all chaos and colour, and love it just much –  more, even, because I am home. Because I am settled. Because these little moments of joy are my routine.

upcloseleaf

What’s this time of year like where you are? Is the weather changing? Does your daily routine alter, or do you plod along, same as ever? What would your September look like in pictures?

a Holiday Pictorial

First and foremost, thanks to everyone for your kind words on Saturday. The funeral arrangements are finalized; they’re…a little unusual, but then, so was Gail.

We were with my family for Christmas Eve festivities this year, and I learned something that I really should have guessed: my grandmother is an Uno shark. Oh, sure, she’s over 80 and blind in one eye, and she’ll you that she can’t tell the blue cards from the green, but don’t think that will stop her from trouncing you and anyone else at the table. Ooooh, no.  When I was very little, she and my grandfather and three of their closest couple-friends used to play cards – canasta mostly, and rook – on the weekends, sometimes till wee hours of the morning at our kitchen table. We had a little bar-like area in the family room of that house and I used to set myself up there with water, soda, and a bucket of ice and serve as “bartender” till I had to go to bed. Should’ve known her deprecating demeanor was just hiding her card hustling skills. Last night she and I and John played game after game of uno till nearly midnight.

But before all that, there was dinner and playing with the pets and opening presents and…general happy togetherness. Fantastic evening.

And I have pictures!!

Back! and married. :)

Wedding was perfect, Key West was amazing…and now we’re home. Obviously. 🙂 And exhausted!

I’m still collecting pictures from every corner of the earth, so just two for now, taken by Dave and Deanna:

Our first dance. Given how we met and who introduced us, we thought “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce was particularly appropriate. 

Us and my in-laws, after the wedding. We left, changed, and then went back to hang out and help clean up. 

The Nature of Things

Random yellow tulip:

The koi pond in front of the library:

The music building – behind some lovely trees:

My dorm, also behind some lovely trees:

The view from under a tree, or what you’d see if you were a squirrel (or a faery who likes to hop over benches and crawl under evergreens):

Tulips: a faery perspective:

Stealth!Tulips: