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Autumn arrived here quickly. No slow descent into cool nights but warm days. Nope, it was like flicking a switch. Boom! Darkness and rain. And cold.

I remember when I stayed with The Mom and had my first Canadian fall in several years. It was lovely. The leaves all turning beautiful colours, the geese in the corn fields, the nights slowly drawing in, but lovely sunny days. I’d forgotten how much I liked it. It’s not summer, of course, but it wasn’t bad.

It was difficult to miss fall that year, particularly as The Mom saw it as her duty, as some kind of unholy combination of mother/Canadian ambassador, to drag me out to enjoy as much of it as possible. It was like I was a kid again.

we’d go out for a walk, to take in the fall colours.

“Oh, look at the sumac!” she’d say, pointing to it and refusing to carry on until I’d noticed it.

“And the poplars.”

“And the birch trees.”

“Can you hear the cedar waxwing?”

“Oh, look! There’s Mr Cardinal!”

This sort of informative nature walk, to us, is par for the course. We’ve been getting them since we were small. The idea that we might grow up and not know what everything’s called, what it looks like and what it sounds like is enough to cause The Mom to feel faint.

And of course, most of my childhood friends had similar upbringings. In fact, it might actually be a North American thing because my Not Deported Anymore boss, who is from Vermont, also knows the names of these things.

Once, one of our colleauges expressed shock at the fact that we could both of us, rattle off the names of several trees, bushes, flowers and the like.

And The Mom is constantly sending emails, to update me on the lovely days they’ve been having. True, there have been several cool and rainy days, but oddly, the emails I get on those days don’t mention the weather so much. I suspect she’s wringing the last vestiges of weather bragging rights from the summer while she still can.

Here though, it’s back to grey skies and rain and cold and misery. And everyone I know rather abruptly fell into the malaise of sun-deprivation. During summer, which this year here was a proper one, we were out constantly. I don’t think the TV was ever on in our flat. But then one day, the sun gave up.

I remember it distinctly. It was cold, the rain was biblical. Everyone on the streets had a sour face. I came home and put on my track pants immediately. CatLady did the same. We looked at one another and decided it was time for stodgy food and box set DVDs.