In days of yore, the seasons were well-defined by the agricultural and ecclesiastical calendar. For most of us now, however, the progress of the year is marked by other milestones. One day, I’ve decided, I’d like to write a coffee-table book with photographs, about what indicates changing seasons in the modern world. They’re different for all of us, and they don’t have to be limited to four.
For me, in Cambridge, the first real change occurs when I can ride a bicycle without wearing gloves.
A little later, the punts start appearing on the river, and then the hearts of the colleges descend into silence as exams approach. Female undergraduates wear sleeveless dresses.
Post-exam balls lead us into high summer, as our undergraduates are replaced with language students, who spend a few months here learning English and learning to cycle on the left.
Then, after a while, you find that the walk to a college dinner is something you do in the dark, and before long, you need to wear gloves again when you’re cycling home.
What defines the changing seasons for you?