Already September, and not a dish-washed.

Painting by Wlodzimierz Kmieck foot and mouth artist.

Autumn is already spilling into early winter, the Holly tree in the garden is festooned with berries, they are now putting on their winter red coats.

The students are back in town, with the cloth hire shops doing a roaring trade, for yesterday evening I saw many in the street, dressed I formal highland dress.

“School days are the best years of our life”

I am not sure how the coronavirus will affect numbers coming to study in Scotland this year, and then of course we have the dreaded Brexit to contend with, putting a lot of foreign students off coming to study at St Andrews.

On board a runaway train going down the track,

A one-way ticket, and no way back.

We have had some very strong winds over the month of August so the miles peddled have been curtailed. However the weatherman tells us that things will improve by next week, I’m certainly looking forward to the still clear frosty mornings.

Autumn is indeed a magical time of the year, for as the days draw in and the nights lengthen we get strange dawns. In the poem Sea Fever, John Masefield, the poet tells us,

And the grey mist on the seas face,

And the grey down breaking.

He is talking about the false dawn, we have all seen it but often overlook its presence, it just happens, nothing to write home to mummy over.

But Maisfield did notice it for if you are at wheel of tiller of you boat you will know that time well, when you see objects but they are difficult to make out.

In The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the poet speaks rather puzzling of ‘Wolf-and-Sheep-While, again he is talking about a false dawn, a time when it is hard to distinguish one from the other.

And in France they say entre chien et loup, (our dog and wolf).

This effect is caused by debris in the atmosphere, in the northern hemisphere we see it after sunset in spring and before dawn in autumn. ‘Red sky in the morning shepherd’s warning’ makes sense if you can not distinguish Wolf from Sheep. Thankfully we simply can just enjoy the majesty of the false dawn in autumn.

Awake! For Morning in the Bowl of Night,

Has flung the stone that puts the stars to Flight,

And Lo! The Hunter of the East has caught,

The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.

Soon we will be into November and the American Presidential elections, although from what I can see they never stop campaigning for some office or other in America. I read an article in the Times, way back in 2010, if memory serves, it was about people spending vast fortunes running for various offices. Meg Whitman was running for Governor of California and sunk 120 million dollars of her own money into her campaign, a campaign that cost 145 million dollars. She was unsuccessful. Maybe she would have been better saying to the people of California, “If you vote me into office I will put 120 million dollars into helping solve some of the problems in California”. Would have been a much better (win-win) outcome for both parties concerned.

Just returned from a walk along the West Sands at St Andrews, there was a strong onshore wind against an outgoing tide, turning the waters into a carpet of dancing white horses.

A ball of playful boisterous fur,

The pup runs after a lone seabird,

Kicking up such a joyful din,

Engaged in a game he can not win.

The dog jumps up high into the air,

To catch a gull no longer there,

having floated upon effortless wings,

To land only yards in front of him.

Keep safe and keep those peddles turning.

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