A thrilling change is coming over my garden. It’s called Autumn. The first orange leaf has fluttered from tree – emphasised by the brooding staying power of a neighbouring cedar. Green is still the dominant colour, but individual leaf-blazes shout from the middle of branches.
At the side of the road, thistles wear their blooming hats, and the little stream, I often visit, is overgrown with weed. Swallows circle overhead, signalling that it is nearly time for them to move on. I watch them cross and loop and dip.
I’ve started to dress my daughter in cardigans again. Thick, handknitted blankets will be taken out of storage and wrapped around her to keep her warm. Yesterday, I spotted a woollen hat, given to her last winter. Luckily, it’s the right size for her to wear now and I can imagine how beautiful she will look in it.
I’m ready to take a journey through the seasons with my little girl, to introduce her to leaves that crackle and spit, to fresh mornings and rainy afternoons, to fireside cuddles . . . I’m particularly looking forward to introducing her to my home country of Wales. The last time I was there, I was six months pregnant with her.
I’m thinking it might be nice to start a family tradition of going to the seaside village of Mumbles for ice cream, in winter. It’s something I used to do, as a child, and it felt all the more like a treat because it was unusual. ‘Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour’ do a Christmas Pudding Ice Cream in the run up to the festive season, so that would be perfect.
I can’t wait to show off the beaches and tides of Swansea – the way they roll, crumble and erupt – that seaside smell and fresh chill that breathes on your cheeks. Those are the sensations that always made me feel so alive as a child and as a young woman. It will be wonderful to share them with my daughter and I hope she loves Swansea as much as I do.