I had a grey day today, even though it was bright and sunny outdoors it was grey inside. Grey because today they washed down the exterior of the building in which I live with high pressure hoses, and we were told to close the exterior blinds as a precaution. I wasn’t able to go out, and so I sat all morning and half the afternoon in the gloom, as the machine clonked and hissed outside. It reminded way too much of English winter days, when I never saw daylight and the house lights were on all day, especially as the water began to beat against the blinds, the sounds zinged along my neural pathways, and I could feel a kind of depression setting in.
It struck me, not for the first time, that living in a sub-tropical climate is living in technicolor, which is cheery and positive. I suppose it’s possible to overdose on it, but after 40 years of mainly monochrome UK living I doubt that I’ll do that! Take the other morning, all I did was go to meet someone for coffee, earlyish, around 9.30, and I had a blue day, not in the “having the blues” sense, but in the cystal-clear sky and sapphire ocean blue sense. I had what promised to be a pleasant but long day ahead, and that just set me up for it, sitting with my milky café con leche, drinking in the blue by the harbor in Las Galletas.
Someone recently in a comment accused me of dissing England, but I don’t. I love England, I love the countryside, especially the mountains and riverbanks. I love London and Guildford, and Torquay and Keswick and lots of places in between. I love Shakespeare and Wordsworth and Tennyson, The Rolling Stones, Hugh Grant and Marks & Sparks and a zillion other things, just not those long, dark winter days. It’s not even the cold or the rain or the wind, it’s the dark.
Here, I feel more alive. I know it isn’t for everyone. I don’t even care too much for the heat in July and August, but I like the freedom the warmth and light give me. I like that continuing on to Santa Cruz after this meeting I only had to stuff a light shawl into my bag, not don a coat or even a jacket. I like that when a friend says, “Let’s barbeque Sunday,” we know that it’s 99.9% certain we can do that in April. I like that when I realize I forgot to buy milk I can just grab my keys and purse and shuffle around to the supermarket without having to muffle up, even in January. I like that I can walk my dog almost every day without it being a chore because it’s cold or wet. I like that I don’t have to buy tights or gloves or coats. Any that I own I owned back in 1987 or bought on winter vacations. I like that I can have that coffee or almost any meal I want outdoors. And I like that my day can be any color I want it to be;
or even multi-colored