A young man of twenty-eight summers, I cling to that word “young” as long as I can, though already it is slipping away. As another summer departs, and with it another year, autumn permeates body and soul.

A few short weeks ago, the sun shone and our town sweltered in the summer heat. I felt young and full of energy. I knew there was little better than to live and work by the sea — hell, I’d give up what we had, live in a beach hut, catch fish for a living, and life would still be great because no feeling can beat being young and in love in the summertime.

But then the wind blew cold, and the rain swept ashore in sheets.

A Rainy Day in Poole

Now I shelter in the warm with my family, newly aware that I am not so young and carefree. I have a family and a place amongst them — as a father, husband and son.

I no longer want a beach hut, or even our flat by the sea. I want a big old house with spare rooms for all the guests we’d have, I want a garden and a potting shed full of vegetables I’ve grown, and a kitchen table where we can sit and chat while I bake and bake and bake.

I suppose that means I want to be a middle-aged, middle-class housewife. And that’s pretty weird for a man still in his twenties; but oh, what a difference a season can make.