Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Grey days

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is coming up on Monday, and so I am enduring the annual ordeal of having to dodge proffered gifts of the inedible 'mooncakes'.

Although it wanders around quite a bit in September, and sometimes even strays into early October, the Festival, whenever it falls, seems particularly ill-named: even here in Beijing, at the far north end of the country, it's scarcely "mid-autumn" until well into October. In early September, autumn isn't usually even really beginning. I have made similar gripes about the so-called Spring Festival which - at least, here in the north - falls in the dead of winter.

This year, however.... well, there's been a distinct chill in the air for a couple of weeks now. It's been feeling positively nippy at night a few times. And the oppressive hot steamy humidity that mars our summers has this year - instead of disappearing completely for 5 or 6 weeks as it usually does, making September the pleasantest month of the year - segued directly into the cool clammy humidity that typically mars the middle of October. It does feel as though autumn's arrived way early (and Chinese friends are crowing that their lunar calendar does make sense, really!).

And today we've endured one of those misty, sun-free, soul-withering days that make Beijing such a foul place to live.  We have dozens of them in the summer; but usually only a handful in the mostly bright clear autumn, just a handful - in October. What's going on? Our weather is up the creek.

The prospect of arse-freezing winter descending on us a month or more early is quite alarming. But at least we'll have some blue skies again then.

Update: Thursday was even worse: the temperature was below 60F for most of the day. What is this bullshit?!

No comments: