|Hayling Park Road, South Croydon|
Monday, 24 October 2016
Things I think about when I'm walking home...
It seems to be getting darker by the second. Winter is coming. Every time I get off the bus, there's some hint or other that summer is fading fast and recently it was the streetlights. The doors of the bus opened, I jumped out and the streetlights were on, at 1850hrs. I don't think I'd seen them before now, but suddenly there they were, glowing; and they're not like streetlights used to be either. There was a time when they resembled a Dalek's gun contained in a frosted glass case, but now the old concrete streetlights have been replaced with steel ones, big tall structures that emit a kind of spooky lunar glow once they warm up. Every street has them, or they do where I live. No more dark spots on the streets, where criminals might lurk, everything is bathed in a kind of white light that penetrates the thickest of bedroom curtains.
Once off the bus I cross the road and it's still quite busy with the office stragglers, headlights on, making their way home. I walk towards Hayling Park Road with it's tall trees and big houses set back from the road. While the light is fading fast, it's not dark enough yet for lights to go on inside the dwellings I pass; and it's not late enough in the year for those warming glimpses into other people's lives; that pleasure will have to wait until the festive season draws closer and the temperatures dip a little. Right now, while it's darker in the mornings and at night, the clocks are still running on British Summer Time, but not for much longer. Tomorrow the clocks go back and I live in the future for a day or two. Soon there will be Christmas trees in bay windows and red candles on mantelpieces, but before we reach that magical time of the year when time stops for a while, there's Halloween and Guy Fawkes' night and that lovely smell of gunpowder that lingers in the cold night air.