Sometimes it’s nice just to take a breath and relax

When the world gets crazy, and it does, and you have done what you could, or, perhaps there is nothing you can do but pray, a few minutes of rest helps a wee bit.

Now if you are British, which many of my friends are, they swear a cuppa eases the pains of life somewhat.

But if you are more visual, then you can’t beat photos of nice scenery. And whilst JB New Zealand way is wondering if indeed spring has come for her part of the world, we in the northern hemisphere celebrate colour.

So here are a few soothing pics:

Our beautiful east coast recently savaged by Hurricane Ian, but that won’t stop nature’s art work.

Our French province Of Quebec. I think the accents of fall are known worldwide and need no interpretation.

National Geographic

Maine is beautiful any time of year but….

National Geographic
National Geographic

And lastly from Spring Bank Park in London, a city about an hour away.

So from North of 43 I hope you have had a moment of respite.

Chris G September 30th ‘22

Five Word Friday – Take Two

By now, most of you know that our Five Word Friday that occurs on the first Friday of each month actually has two First Fridays of the month here at AWA.

Yesterday, JB talked about the anticipation and joy in Spring approaching after their ‘winter’.

As I read I began to feel a little sad that summer was departing here. And then. And then. I remembered my own anticipation of approaching Autumn.

I know that plants blooming is a wondrous sign that winter is departing. But it’s different going from Summer to Autumn. It’s a much more graceful segue from the hazy lazy days of summer to vibrant bright clear cooler air of autumn.

Autumn approaching here – Eye Candy!

These photos from Shutterstock are not exaggerated. These are photos from my province Ontario. In Autumn.

I can’t adequately explain what it feels like to wake up to this sight every day for a few weeks. Breathtaking.

So I shan’t bemoan the passing of summer here at North of 43.

Chris G September 2nd ‘22

Autumn Cometh!

Age is the acceptance of a term of years.
But maturity is the glory of years. 
— Martha Graham

Once again, it’s my turn to write a post and a blank screen sits before me.

So where to start?  Autumn is definitely catching up with us, although we are still having some beautiful sunny days, like today, with temperatures reaching 19 degrees.

April gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came—
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

George Cooper, American poet and lyricist
1840 – 1927.
Note – apologies to Mr Cooper. His poem says October gave a party but I am on the other side of the world, so I changed it April.

Of course, as soon as I write autumn I think about the autumn of my life, or more correctly the winter.

I have written before of how I choose to spend these next years as an octogenarian. I have said that I want to grow old disgracefully and I gave you fair warning.  And I want to hike into my old age. Well, perhaps hike is stretching things, but at least I am walking and occasionally dancing, into my old age. I have compared myself to a vintage car, I have looked at some young things in their 60s who are proving that 60 is the new 30.

I love the idea of women growing older but not old. We all undergo several steps in maturing from infancy. These include childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, and then if we are lucky, we reach my age!  Each stage presents distinct challenges and as we move through them hopefully, we are learning and maturing. But growing old…

And just because we are getting older – and think about it,  every day we are getting older – we don’t have to be old. When I think of old I imagine an old person sitting in a chair doing nothing active. I don’t want to be that person.

“I will most definitely be outrageous, difficult
and undignified, but not until I am old.”
Judith Baxter, Blogger, Mother, Sister, Grandmother
and friend. 1938 –

JB April 7, 2022


“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” 
Yoko Ono

Yesterday, Chris waxed lyrical about Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Now to balance things, I will wax (maybe lyrically) about Autumn here in the Southern.

A neighbours Pin Oak in all it’s glory 2020

Chris quoted from The Almanac. I will quote from Britannia.

“Autumnal equinox, two moments in the year when the Sun is exactly above the Equator and day and night are of equal length; also, either of the two points in the sky where the ecliptic (the Sun’s annual pathway) and the celestial equator intersect…… According to the astronomical definition of the seasons, the autumnal equinox also marks the beginning of autumn, which lasts until the winter solstice (December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere, June 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere).”

OK, now we’ve got that out of the way. We are certainly feeling the oncoming autumn. Nights are longer and days shorter. The sun makes longer to break through in the mornings and it is no longer good to sit outside with a G & T at 8 pm. Oh well, there’s always next year.

April 4, 2021 in the local park

So while we are happy for our friends in the northern hemisphere who are celebrating the coming of Spring, we will enjoy the Autumn/Fall here, marvelling at the almost daily changes in the colours of the leaves on the trees..

JB March 16, 2022

As Time Goes By

“Autumn is the season to find contentment at home
by accepting and paying attention to what we already have.
Judith Baxter, 1938 –

I am sure that when you saw the title of this blog you thought I was going to direct you to a YouTube offering of the song from Casablanca.  Well, didn’t you?

And then there was that lovely sitcom in the UK called As Time Goes By.  It starred Judi Dench (before she was a Dame) and Geoffrey Palmer as two people who had known each other years ago and then reconnected.

But today I am lamenting the change of the seasons. While Chris at 43 degrees N, together with my friends in the Northern Hemisphere, is looking forward eagerly to Spring, here in the Southern Hemisphere we are bemoaning the fact that Summer is passing.  

Already we are noticing the days are growing shorter and there is a definite autumnal feel around, particularly in the morning before the sun breaks through.  In fact, in four short weeks, Daylight Saving will end, and we will enter the Misery Months. 

Oh yes, Chris will tell me that I don’t know what cold is.  Well perhaps not the cold we endured in Scotland nor in Montreal, but for us it is cold. And it will be damp – the worst kind of cold when the cold seeps up through your boots and it feels so much colder than it is.

Here the two coldest months are July and August, even though the temperature rarely gets below C8 degrees. We do have an occasional 5 but that sends heaters roaring, fires being lit, and extra sweaters and jackets all around.

Those are the months when those of us who can, depart our shores for warmer climes.  There is a general exodus of we oldies for the Cook Islands, Fiji, or Queensland.

When my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) was alive, we always went to Queensland for the month of August.  There in Noosa one can rent an apartment close to the beach and enjoy summer-like weather.  We rented the same one for several years and felt quite at home there. We thoroughly enjoyed our time, visiting places far and near and knowing we had our airconditioned apartment to return to.

Those days are gone now.  It’s not much fun going away from home to an apartment for several weeks on your own.

But enough moaning!

The seasons will change; the weather will do what it has always done, and we will live through it as we always have done.

And here a quote from one of my favourite teachers:

 “Time is an equal opportunity employer.  Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day.  Rich people can’t buy more hours.  Scientists can’t invent new minutes.  And you can’t save time to spend it on another day.  Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving.  No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow. ”
Denis Waitely,  American motivational speaker and writer.

And following my stated plan to spend more time with old dogs and children (as well as time to stand and stare, here I am with Oscar at 3 days old. He is now three and a half and speaks Japanese, Maori, and English.

JB March 10, 2022