I arrived here late Spring and now Summer has given way to Autumn.
When I was in London, I didn't notice the changing of the seasons very much. In Spring, the mornings were less nippy and on the few patches of green grass that I could see on my way to work, daffodils and crocuses were poking through. Summer - well, the trees got greener and my trip to work was warmer, I could stop wearing my coat and make do with a jacket. Autumn was just like Spring.
Here, though, the seasons are a lot more marked. Acres of sky mean that you can see evening by evening as the sun veers round from its Spring cycle round to the summer. In late Spring, the last of the lambs and the first of the calves are born. Crocuses and daffodils give way to the bright colours of summer and breezes blow on the hilltops. The sea gives off a misty haze caused by the heat - not, obviously, like the Meditterranean heat hazes, but a miniature version that is North Wales' own. As we can see the horizon round 200 degrees or thereabouts, the summer days seem to last longer. Seagulls make the most of the pickings around the beach before they will have to do the best they can when the tourists have gone - like, eat real food for once.
Autumn - well, autumn is just really special. Oh yeah, the trees went brown in London and of course they do here too, although there seems to be a great deal more evergreens than where I lived previously. Autumn is when the rams are released into fields of ewes, who will be lambing between January and March. The swifts, swallows and housemartins have gone now, but out of both my sitting room and workplace window, I watched the youngsters practice their flight skills, ready for an epic journey which they may be blissfully unaware that only a few of them will return from. On Saturday, we went to Llandudno and saw the sea at its most beautiful and threatening; the sea bashing up against the rocks, soaking the fishermen and anyone else caught unawares, telling tales of a storm out in the Irish Sea and warning the coast dwellers to beware of their choice of living so close to nature.
If London makes a footprint on the world, North Wales leaves a fingerprint on your mind. Gentle, personal and always unique.