In Mexico things were much simpler. There was rainy season and there was dry season. There wasn’t the world of difference between the two, really. A bit cooler in the mornings and evenings in dry season. And you’d get an hour or two of rain in the evening in, predictably, the rainy season. Otherwise, it would be sunny and warm. Just how I like it. There was no real autumn, winter or spring. Not that an Englishman would recognise. The new shoots would be well underway before last years leaves had fully fallen.
However, I liked to add a third season to the traditional two seasons. Jacaranda season. If you were going to be persnickety, you’d point out that this is spring. But the Jacarandas spread such a magical lavender sheen to the sky and a carpet of lavender leaves on the ground. It just seemed to wonderful to simply refer to it as ‘spring’.
In the UK we have real seasons. There is often debate as to the when, exactly, each season is. I like to apply logic and simplicity. March, April and May are spring. June, July and August are summer. September, October an November are autumn. The remainder are winter. Miserable, bleak, wet, dark, depressing, never-ending winter. I hate it. There’s no time of year when I wish I was back in Mexico more than in winter.
But perhaps the UK needs an extra season too. December is most definitely winter. Yet it’s one of my favourite months. It’s cold, but the cold still has novelty value. And the towns and cities are bathed in lights, glitter, sparkly things, baubels, decorated trees and cheesy music. Christmas deserves to be a season all of its own. After all, the old song does state, ‘Tis the season to be jolly…’. Thus I have evidence to support my claim.
London is the brightest and jolliest of all the towns and cities to visit. I’ve noticed more and more places taking advantage of all the festivity to bring the punters in, with illuminated displays. We visited Kew Gardens. I rather imagine that they have a tough time drumming up business in the middle of winter. Mostly because all their main attractions look pretty much dead. Can you imagine a zoo trying to get customers in to look at animal corpses? Exactly.
But….add a million fairy lights, dozens of strings of LEDs, some pots of fire, some Santas and light the famous greenhouse up in seasonal shades of red, white and green. Or, as Mrs P and I preferred to think, the colours of the Mexican flag. Serve up some mulled wine and chestnuts, and hey presto – you got yourself a tourist attraction. To see all the photos I took, click here to be transported to Flickr.