I've heard a couple of things recently that have made me realise I'm either losing touch with the season - or alternatively re-adjusting to a more 'natural' view of them.
The first was spotting people on social media, from parents to teachers, celebrating the end of the school term and beginning of the holidays. Five weeks of uninterrupted sun lay ahead (or at least that's what they hoped). It came as a bit of a shock to me to realise that the school term was only just finishing; that for them summer, with seaside and fun, still lay ahead, whereas I'm feeling that summer is definitely nearing its end, and I'm actually counting down the weeks before autumn!
I noticed this again when I went out clothes shopping. Of course it's time for summer sales and back to school uniforms, and in the past I'd have bean moaning about stores trying to force autumn on us early but this year I found myself thinking that it was probably too late to bother buying new summer lightweight clothes this late in the season.
Then at the DIY store this weekend, hubby commented on the reduced price of barbecue charcoal, saying "obviously they don't expect much sunshine this summer". But I was again thinking, "well, it makes sense - summer's nearly over". And when we got to the garden furniture sale, I decided it wasn't worth buying any new stuff after all (despite the fact that ours is slowly and surely rotting away), because ... yes... it's not worth it this near to autumn!
Summer for me was back in June when the garden was filled with huge oriental poppies
Now, it's a mass of rain-battered montbretia, and apple trees bowed down by fruit.
At the allotment, there are blackberries ready to be picked, rather than raspberries or currants.
To me, it all says autumn, as sure as leaves changing colour.
So who's in the right? Do we still have summer to look forward to, or is it behind us? Certainly temperatures have taken a tumble since mid-July, and we've had rain - from light drizzle to heavy downpour - almost every day. Days are of course getting shorter now, and it's beginning to be noticeable.
I've written before about how the freedom from school terms doesn't quite work how you think it would, and I'm going to blame them again. When you have to fall in line with them, summer doesn't start till the last week of July - but without those constraints summer falls in the hotter, sunnier weather of June or early July.
I think we're definitely on the edge of autumn. What do you think?