Nobody had warned me about it. Really. They all talked about rain and the wind and the humidity, and did I mention the rain? Somebody said it rained every day for a month after they moved to Exeter. It wasn’t the most exhilarating of concepts. I was prepared for a lot of greyness, for being miserable and missing the sunshine and do you know what I got instead? I got the loveliest autumn of my life. Not that it doesn’t rain, it does, and sometimes, like last week (and the week before, and part of the week before that too) it rains a lot; but when it doesn’t the air is crisp, the sunshine bright and the colours on the leaves brighter. The sea glistens and the chill in the air makes me feel alive in places I had forgotten I owned. I thought only spring could do this to me; and yet the realisation that autumn can do it too feels more like remembering than like a discovery. For years I’ve said that we used to get autumn in Greece when I was young (back when we had four seasons instead of the two and a half we they seem to get now) without really knowing what I meant, but now I do. Autumn used to be like that, sharp and beautiful and distinct. And, somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered that.

I nearly cried tonight, walking home from university in the last light of the day. There was a fine mist in the air and the way the shapes of the houses seemed so clearly defined against it and the sky made my my over-tired, over-excited and vaguely frustrated soul turn somersaults in delight and amazement. Somehow, it felt like a miracle. A quiet, understated, yet utterly remarkable miracle.