London: On The Cusp

London is so very much on the edge of something right now, a city on the cusp – a place tip-toeing towards winter, leaf by scarlet edged leaf at a time.

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And suddenly the tube feels a little emptier, the streets are a little quieter. There is a swing in my step, breathing comes a little easier. And if there isn’t a delicious sort of joy in sliding into a plastic seat on the bus with your coat pulled tight around your waist and a pair of gloves in your pocket should you need them. Perhaps I was waiting for winter all this time: holding my breath for the final swing, the eventual ending of a season I have loved.

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In a city characterised by its fast pace – the hectic union of swirling masses, double decker buses hurtling down the Strand, cyclists pedaling at breakneck speed – there is something altogether pleasing in the slow burn of autumn, a certain romance in the sky flickering a milky grey and the gentle letting go of a November sunset.

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This time of year reminds me of the most fleeting kind of love affair – autumn sweeping in for one last lingering kiss. A union of two seasons, fall perching on winter’s doorstep – making herself known in the last of the amber leaves and a sprinkling of sunshine in the morning. Soon she’ll be giving herself over entirely to winter, burying herself in her lover’s embrace. But for now, I’m breathing it all in, taking pleasure in the romance of it all, finding the beauty of the melancholy in the imprint of skeletal tree against airmail blue sky.