As summer's last breaths filter through the streets, they stir the first dry leaves. The scales have tipped in autumn's favour; sunshine now seen between bursts of rain. I like moments of transition. The air, although chilly, is laced with change. September is always unpredictable, occasionally the home of a heatwave but usually ushering in wind and damp pavements.
One of the best aspects of this changeability is the light. A single afternoon might see grumbling clouds, spells of sunshine and a sky that moves from grey to blue and back again. Layers must be put on and taken off. But it's worth it for the sight of a tree shedding raindrops after a shower, each one a pewter splash.
Good light is one of those things not always acknowledged. A scene might be considered beautiful, but we rarely unpick what makes it so. Often it's the intensity or tone or slant of light. That’s what makes October mists rising from a lake at 7am so captivating, or the blue cool of 10pm twilight in June.
We characterise light in all sorts of ways: dull, flat, grey, soft, hard, bright, golden, silver. It's like a fabric of endless variation, encompassing all from silk whispers to velvet thickness. Some of these shades suit photography, others a blustery walk. Some just make you want to draw the curtains and stay inside.
A lack, or absence of light, often associated with childhood fears or gruesome goings-on, is likewise intriguing. It can be a time of transgression and adventure – moonlit strolls through eerie fields or staying up until the first seedlings of dawn. Living rurally, a clear sky means that stars will be canopied above our house. Many times I've run out in the garden with a cup of tea, several jumpers shrugged on, just to sit, be still and look up. It's the sense of my own insignificance I love the most. That recognition that I'm the smallest of specks in a vast universe. A speck who doesn't matter that much. A speck with a mug warming my hands and ideas fizzing in my head.
Interesting that so many poets have evoked the sun, moon, stars; using them to represent grandeur, intense feeling, contrast, flux or whatever else they wish to project onto these forms already heavy with others' interpretations. But now they tend to be seen as hackneyed images - soppy, stereotyped, unoriginal. If too many cooks spoil the broth, then too many poets spoil the symbol.
Such images are not merely the preserve of verse either. Light (and dark) are meshed into everyday description. Characters are shady, smiles are bright, dispositions sunny and moods black - all are cliches that trip eagerly. However, it's easy to refer to moods and emotions in the language of light; just as easy
as wanting to race uphill and catch the last of the low sun spilling across a barley field before it's harvested.
A match between golden light, golden crops and golden fabric with this silk Chloe dress - previously featured here. It was a 16th birthday present from my 'fairy' godmother. The liquid drape of material makes it a treasured item. The trilby is vintage Christy's while the high heeled brogues are second hand Carvela. The blazer in the last shot was borrowed from my younger brother (having been bought from a jumble sale by my mum many years ago before being appropriated by him) .