And now, on to lighter things.
It seems we've had our summer. All those lovely warm days, sitting in the garden with the hum of bees for company, skin smothered with sun block, book on my knee. For once we had some real weather - and wonderful it was too.
But now the lights are on before seven in the evening. My sandals are back in the wardrobe. T-shirts are hidden under fleeces and cardigans excavated from the dust in my drawers. Firewood for my woodburner is heaped by the back door. The garden is looking ragged - it needs me to take serious secateurs to the bushes, even a saw to the bigger shrubs. The man who wields the loppers will visit and my compost will overflow. (I no longer do anything that involves standing on ladders in the garden. I've been stuck in a shrub once - it was funny the first time...) I'll stand by the incinerator for a few hours and come back to the house smelling as I used to after visiting the protesters at Greenham Common.
The house is chilly - for now I'll turn to vests and fleeces but before long I'll give in and turn the heating on. The radiators will click and the rooms will warm and I'll close the curtains against the cold and the rain and the dark. I'll light the woodburner - and there is comfort in the flames.
And then - I'll turn to my Lonely Planets. For this is the time of year when my thoughts turn towards your freezing days of January. My flight to Cuba is booked. I have a hotel in Havana for the first few nights. I shall read Dervla Murphy and Graham Greene and, as my fire flickers and the wind howls, my mind will be in the warmth, the sunshine, and my body will sway to the music. There are worse ways to hibernate.