Autumn has arrived, all rain and wind gusting through the cobbled streets in Maastricht. I can see it in the morning mist rising from the Maas, and the leaves swirling around narrow street corners. I huddle against the chill, bending into the wind, my fingers stiffen on the handlebar when biking. The days are shortening; the night’s chill deepens. Only the trees are lagging, their color catching up late with the weather.
As the weather turns, the Channel crossing also turns very rough, but the drive across Belgium was only rainy, otherwise uneventful. I arrived in time to shop, visit friends, and make a fresh pot of tomato soup.
The vacant restaurant downstairs is trying a new advertising campaign to attract renters. The pubs around it are doing brisk business in brown beers and Jazz / Blues bands. It’s been nice to listen to in the evenings, although nobody under 40 has really lived enough to play the blues with authenticity.
The café’s are suddenly empty beneath the trees, and everyone’s bright shorts have given way to dull overcoats. My conversations with friends have moved indoors, sparkling wines giving way to steaming mugs of milky coffee and mulled teas.