It’s windy out there. Very windy. Little black-suited witches are being blown around the village, with their pointy hats clutched tightly in parent’s hands as they laugh and giggle their way around the houses. Normally, wind at the end of October in Scotland is usually accompanied by cold weather and rain, along with shivering, bedraggled little black-suited witches who visit three of their nearest neighbours before the rain gets too much and they quit trick or treating in favour of hot chocolate in front of the telly. But tonight it’s warm. Very warm. Too warm for comfort. Too warm, almost, for us to need the heating on at all. Except for the howling wind, which half-convinces you that it must be cold because it sounds cold.
We haven’t had many children trick or treating to be honest – its not really a thing in our village really. But then, a perversely warm, dry, October wind isn’t a thing here either.
I can hear the wind now. Huge gusts battering the windows, buffeting my greenhouse, causing the trees round about to sway and creak and whistling through the telephone lines with an alarming squeal. But it’s so warm, it’s so strangely warm, that it really doesn’t match with the season. October is a month for cold winds and rain. Halloween, when not (as is typical) rained off, is cold with a hint of frost. This warmth makes for a very strange season indeed.
I have family who live in the south of England and they have had temperatures into the 20’s today (that’s celsius, folks). That’s unheard of – some sort of record for this time of year, according to television pundits. I asked on the phone earlier today what month it was down there, and got told, ‘August’. Little black-suited witches clutching bags of sweets, late sun rises and early sun sets aside, it certainly feels more summery than it does autumnal.
I know it’s not going to last. As an American visitor to our nation was overheard to say once, “I was told the weather in Scotland would change in five minutes. I wasn’t expecting it to change every five minutes”. Soon enough, either the wind will die away, or it will turn, or the rain will start, or it’ll get foggy, or we’ll wake up to a frost-laden garden one morning. We’ll blink and twenty degrees will become two degrees and we’ll be back to having our usual, predictable, late autumn weather.
But at the moment, it’s a very strange season indeed.