‘We had joy, we had fun, we had curry in the sun…’ Rather than the rather maudlin original ‘Seasons’, the South African (filk, parody?) version was the the ‘tragic’ tale of a fellow who drank too much ‘blue top’ (cane spirit – white rum, elsewhere) and is now suffering the consequences, by some long dead comedian.
Anyway: Seasons. We’re coming into winter here just as my Northern hemisphere friends are commenting on daffs putting their heads up and stinkbugs coming out in hordes. Oh, and winter deciding its season ain’t over yet.
Seasons used to have a huge impact on our lives, and, if you forget them and try to invade another country in mud-season, still do. But for many office/city working people they really have moved from center-stage, to peripheral. You whinge about snow on the road to work (which is a pain), you don’t die because you have insufficient winter provisions, and the spring is a slow one. It’s struck me in a couple of fantasy novels I’ve read, that either the author lives in NYC or maybe Florida – because seasonal produce is available out of season, and the seasons seem to run into one another. It is of course well done in some books, and I suppose if your market (those who buy your books) is also is unaffected by seasons (my son in the UK says all produce is always in season… somewhere. And it is all for sale there, at any time of year.) Still, very annoying to people like me.
The other aspect of ‘seasonality’ that seems to be affecting my cohort of writers, is that writers, fans, friends, influences… suddenly many seem to slipped into the autumn of their lives, and some to the final winter. It’s not a delight, even if it does come to all of us. I would take it kindly if any of you feeling late autumn-ish would take a trip to the equator. I don’t feel up to losing any more friends right now.
The third seasonal thing I noticed is that it really is cyclical. French politics is nearly as confusing to me as Australian or American, but their ‘far right’ is full of policies that the ‘far left’ everywhere else embraces. The one substantial difference is they’re very French-Nationalist. They’ve come from a tiny minority a few years ago, to losing the final run-off for president… the last twice. The first time was a 16% margin, this time 8%… and if no one over 60 had voted, their ‘far right’ would have won, hands down. France has always been something of a coal-mine canary for Europe. Like it or not, Nationalism is on the rise, and not among the old. I’ve seen similar data about gen z shifting their allegiance… I suspect as the cost of living starts to bite it’s going to get interesting, fast. The youth are going to feel betrayed by the globalism that they were told was their savior and inevitable. They’ll – if the previous seasons are any indication, be more inclined to worry about themselves and theirs and those like them than other people. So: maybe the season for actually being nice to joe ordinary in the country you write and sell in is going to come around again.
The youth are going to feel betrayed by the globalism that they were told was their savior and inevitable.
And “youth” is going to be really big, since it includes “folks in their mid-40s who have been getting told to tighten down for the tomorrow that is coming any day now.”
Yeah, gonna get ugly.
It’s like Kipling said in “The Dawn Wind;” morning is still a ways off, but the first signs of change are moving. Younger people are asking questions, and having aged in place in politics is no longer seen as having the cachet of being an “elder statesman.” Age is a political liability, and people are saying it out loud. That’s a start. The growing interest in local history and culture and survival is a start.
For myself, my daughter insisted that I go with her and Wee Jamie to a humongous airshow at a local military base last weekend – from some of the news reports, it seems that at least half a million people did, over the weekend. I was a bit nervous about such airshows, as a fellow broadcaster and slight acquaintance was one of those killed in the Ramstein AB airshow disaster in 1988.
But we went, got a bit of sun, enjoyed the humongous crowd, the vast number of static AC displays, and I did get some amazing pictures … almost makes me want to write another WWII novel, just so that I can use one of them for the cover…
As I told a nice Lt-Colonel flying type doing public affairs duty and answering questions about his particular AC – I am resolved to live long enough to collect two years of pension for every year that I spent on active duty in just about every overseas/remote dump of a base that the US military had to offer. (Maybe even three years, and a shot at being Oldest Living Female Veteran… and I’ll spend every year of it writing ripping yarns!)
Nah. Even us suburban folks get used to out-of-season fruit.
OTOH, us rural folk prefer to get our tomatoes and zucchini in season, out of our garden. ‘Maters get too spendy out of season, and the summer squash output is enough to fill a year’s worth of eating (more to the point, by the time the plants have finished, some of us are sick of grilled zucchini. [grin] )
My main wish is that the Interesting things on the horizon had happened when I was more physically able to cope. But I have a garden, and my little incubator has hatched it’s first “found on the back porch” chicken egg. So who knows, maybe I can just hunker down and survive to see what my kids make of the future.
In Japan yes there’s some produce all year around (and a ton of weird out of season stuff like strawberries at christmas – some of which they grow in greenhoises not far from where I live), but there’s plenty of seasonal stuff. Now it’s bamboo-shoot but that won’t last more than another week or two. Then it’ll be something else. Can be fish (soem fish are definitely seasonal like sanma) can be veggies or fruit.
And since we live in the mostly rural part and are surrounded by fields and spend lots of time cycling and hiking we get to experience planting. harvest, the flowering seasons of various flowers and so on. It was one of the things I disliked about San Diego – no real seasons
There’s nothing “out of season” anymore. Between global trade routes and high-tech greenhouses, all we have is seasonal prices.
Which got me thinking: Are bananas the prototype for today’s global trade? I remember having bananas available in grocery stores 70 years ago, and they aren’t seasonal anywhere in the US (as a commercial crop).
I’m not old enough to remember them, but the early commercials for bananas explained how to use them. Here’s an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFDOI24RRAE