Where I Work: Autumn arrives

If I had to pick out my absolute worst habit, I would have to say that it is neglecting to take lunch breaks.  I get into work around 9am and work straight through until 5pm before running off to catch the train.  I’m terrible!  The last time I took a lunch break was in August and before that I think it was May when I had lunch at Joes!   

One of the biggest differences between England and South Africa is that we have four seasons here.  In Johannesburg, we had 9 months of scorching hot summer and 12 long weeks of ice cold nights and dry, hot days (that is winter!)  All Jo’burgers complain bitterly about the winter and we take for granted the fact that there are more dry, warm, sunny days then the whole of the English summer!

So, combining my rare lunch break and noticing the seasonal changes, I thought I’d post some of the photos I’ve taken on my Nokia N70 over the past 6 months.  All of these photos are taken in the recently renamed St George’s Churchyard Gardens in SE1.  You can read a bit more about the history of the gardens here.

Spring / early summer

This was taken on the 1st of May this year.  Spring was in full bloom and all the beautiful shades of green were starting to emerge.  I love that heady, balmy early summer feeling in England.  We didn’t get that in Jo’burg – it was freezing one day and then summer arrived the next. 

Late Summer

This was my third straight summer in England and in my opinion, it has been the warmest, nicest summer so far.  The first summer in 2007 was alternatively freezing and boiling (as in freezing all the time except when I was on crowded trains) and last year was pretty miserable.

This photo was taken on the 18th of August.  I’d managed to tear myself away from the office and made it about twenty minutes before running back inside!  (I’m shaking my head ruefully right now).

My building is the ivy covered building in the background.  A year after I first posted about the gardens, we are still waiting for Southwark Council to cut back the ivy!!!


Taken today.  The leaves are turning orange, red and brown and falling to the ground and autumn is definitely here!  Despite the fact that it is nearly the end of October, I was sitting there today with a sleeveless shirt and a lightweight mac on! 

I managed to sit for a whole half an hour in the gardens today.  I’m reading a really good book (Marked) and I simply had to read as much as I could!


It has been a long and glorious summer and hopefully I’ll have enough sunny memories to last me through the winter.  I got really bad winter blues the past two years (last year it was exacerbated by having flu for two months) so I am coming out fighting this year!!  Every time I feel blue I can look back on these pictures and start planning my trip to Europe next summer. 

Next Summer

We were planning a road trip around Italy but now I am toying with driving from Dartford (in England), taking a ferry to France and then driving to Portugal.  Sheila from A Postcard a Day posted some gorgeous postcards from Portugal lately and I follow an awesome Portuguese photo blog Photo PT.  Going to Italy is still one of my biggest dreams but going to Portugal next year might just work better.  And the biggest reason for going to Portugal?  I could get to meet one of my best blogging friends Blue Kermit.

20 comments on "Where I Work: Autumn arrives"
  1. It's so neat that you have a garden right next to your work - I love going into gardens to take a break - I was in one today talking to the gardener that works there. She told me that she loves her job. It was so peaceful.

  2. Ah Autumn Emm-I had almost forgotten. Like Jo'Burgh we are about to get our "Winter" here. About 12 weeks of blue skies and little rain. Maximum 30c and low humidity-Roll on the cool season.

    In the UK I do like Autumn, especially when the leaves change colour before they fall.

  3. We don't have seasons here either, and particularly not a fall. I just came back from a short trip to the NE US and the color of the trees always shocks me. Wish it would happen here 8-(

  4. Time flies, the autumn is arriving now.Wow! 2009 will be almost end! The leaves here also turn brown and yellow. Your office looks great especially a garden is nearby. But do not forget to take a lunch break to grab a bite. Looking foward following your trip next summer!

  5. London always takes my breath away. Thank you for the photos!

    And... that's all I'm able to put into words right now :DDDDD

  6. I must admit that I'm one of those who complain about winter Emm, especially when trees drops off their leaves and live us dry.

  7. You really do work where I live!!

    South African winters sound like San Diego Winters... except we also have a foggy season - May Grey and June Gloom (cold ocean temperatures and warm air temperatures combine to create many clouds on the coast).

    I'm not sure how I feel about London winters yet... they sound so col!

  8. Emm you really do have to get out more often and I'm not talking about Portugal or Italy. A lunchtime drink, a stroll around the market or just a bitter wind walk to the bookshop. They all beat the office. All work and no play will make Emm a ......etc etc etc.

  9. I'm with you. I love the changing of the seasons.

  10. I have yet to make it to Portugal. But I have to admit that I'd take Italy any day :)
    Have a great weekend, Emm!

  11. How can you neglect to take lunch breaks?!?! I can barely make it to mid-morning without a snack! Maybe I'm just addicted to all things yummy.

    I'm glad to see you're thinking of a Summer roadtrip. The idea has popped into my head as well. I'm not exactly sure if I'll head out of Spain or stay in since I've really only seen Galicia and one of the Canary Islands and there's a whole lot left!

    Italy is one of my dreams as well but you'll see soooo much driving from France to Portugal and there's a lot more variety in between.

  12. I was just about to query your definition of a good summer because I thought it was abominable all of July and August. July wet, August dry but grey.

    Then I read to the bottom of the post so now I owe you two "thank you"s - the first for the mention and the second for giving me some inspiration for this week's cards. Normally it's pot luck, whatever comes to hand, but I have some superb cards from Portugal sitting here waiting - and so, a week of Portugal it shall be, in honour of Missus Emm's prospective summer holiday!

  13. Hi Emm! Glad to read that this summer was better; hope it lasts until next Friday, as I'll be stopping over at Heathrow from Thursday to Friday and would love to get to Central London without rain... ;)
    Come to Portugal, but try to avoid August, unless you want to be in the cities, not on the beach... ;))
    Blogtrotter is now at Santa’s Homeland, an anticipated gift for you before Christmas ;) Enjoy and have a great week!

  14. When we first started working together (in our teeny tiny first apartment) we used to not stop for lunch. So we started--I probably shouldn't say this--watching a TV show during lunch! We started with reruns of old Perry Mason, but when they switched to something else, we switched... to a soap opera! Afraid we're a little addicted. Great fun though, and it does remind us to stop for lunch!

    Now pop in and send us your address--you won the shirt! See, you were productive even while you were sick (glad you're back, of course).
    Frances & Denis
    PS: Our plans (well, our hopes) are for a trip to Blighty next summer...

  15. Emm, the four seasons there are ever green, nice :D
    About your trip to Italy, I will honoured to be your guide in Rome :) ciao, Italo.

  16. Having spent a fair bit of time in hot countries, one thing I love about the UK is the changing seasons, for me the variations in weather are something to enjoy and look forward too.

  17. @ Julia: It must be lovely to work in nature every day but I imagine that it gets a bit less pleasant in rain or cold conditions! I make sure I walk through the garden each and every day!

    @ Mike: *sigh* I appreciate the seasons but I would give it all up for 365 days of mild weather!! Perhaps in my old age I can spend "winters" in Thailand!

    @ Kathy: Yet another reason why the southern states are still on my "possible" list! Actually, I would love to move to the US period!

    @ Chen Yin Tzu: I know! I really should take more lunch hours. I look forward to photos of Bamboo playing with

    @ BlueKermit: Well, if my constant nudging for you to come live with me here in London won't work, I shall have to coem visit you!!!

    @ Gauteng: I know! The Jo'burg winter is terribly, terribly dry! You can't even smile!

    @ Jen K: Really? Well, if you'd ever like to meet for tea then just shout! I am always up for meeting people but I know most people are too shy. We never had a foggy season in Jo'burg! Not fair. I like fog. We shall have to chat about the winter again in three months to see how you feel!

    @ Martyn: I know - I agree with you! I just can't seem to get it right. I will try to keep my promise to take at least one lunch hour a week though!!

    @ Cassandra: Which is your favourite season?

    @ Ivanhoe: I have wanted to go to Italy for a million years! We'll just see how money and time shape our plans next year!

    @ Xoán-Wahn: Oh no! I work next to the kitchen and eat at my desk all day! We all do. We have biscuits (which are meant to be for visitors) and we get to eat all of the left over catering. Plus I have my normal cup a soup, yogurt and lunch. I just never go out!!

    I'll be sure to check your blog out to see what you do end up doing next year!

    @ Sheila: :o) Yay! Thanks so much for the dedicated week and shout out! I guess I was just applying selective memory when it came to the summer so that I can look back on it fondly.

    @ GMG: Oh dear, I think your luck ran out - it is grey here now! I think we'd try time our trip for June-July. I like to avoid school children but then I find June is sometimes a bit early and you find yourself exhausted again by August / September!

    @ Prodigal Tourist: I won? Yay! I shall send my address!! I think wacthing TV is a fab idea in lunchtime and have been thinking of putting classic Doctor Who episodes on my iPod for soem time. Perhaps if you do come to the UK, we could have a bloggy meetup?!

    @ Italo: Oh, it would be fab to meet up with you!! Decisions, decisions! I will make it to Italy eventually though - that is for sure. And yes, it is always green here!

    @ William: Oh yes, you were in Barbados, weren't you? I just love the heat. I would give it all up for constant heat!

  18. I do love the changing seasons but I really do not like the thought of winter approaching. Even though we have 4 seasons in the UK, they feel a lot different here in the NL.

    Thanks for the comment you left in my blog a while ago and I'll definitely check your friends blog out! :-)

  19. OMG, this is gorgeous!! I have a Brazilian friend that lives in London and I can't stop looking at the pics he posts in FB! Don't you love Fall? :)

    Regarding the blog day... no, I will have to check! I have already started my post and I am very excited! :)


  20. @ Fatbrideslim: Oh dear! And it does get so very cold in the Netherlands too! Good luck!!

    @ Lilian: Glad you liked them! Does your Brazilian friend have a blog too?


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