September is one of my favourite months. In the UK we would sometimes have an Indian summer (and boy could they do with one over there now) while enjoying the plums, apples and berry fruit. Here the smell of spring is in the air. In Septembers past the milder weather would give me the urge to step onto the tennis court. I clearly remember that feeling from September 2005 when I studied for two actuarial exams while listening to US Open tennis coverage on the internet. That remains one of my favourite grand slams (perhaps because Agassi made the final at the age of 35) even though I didn't see any of it. I worked hard for those exams and passed them both. After the exams I took a few days off work and went down to Dunedin with my parents. I remember Coldplay's excellent X&Y album came out at that time. I also voted in a general election for the first time (I was quite excited by this for a number of reasons - I was intrigued by the vagaries of MMP, the election would be close, I had to cast a special out-of-electorate vote, and most importantly I was still naive enough to think it might make a difference to my life who won).
Seven Septembers on, things have changed a bit. I'm no longer playing tennis, or even watching or listening to it, and I've knocked actuarial work (I hope) firmly on the head. Last night I saw my cousin and her family for the first time in five weeks. Today I met up with a few people from the depression group; I had a coffee and a beer at Mac's Brewery, then we spent an hour at the Museum of City and Sea.
I've felt two earthquakes this weekend. Yesterday afternoon's shake (a deep-focus 5.5 centred close to Rotorua) lasted a couple of seconds while the jolt at 4:10 this morning (a 4.0, much shallower and closer to Wellington) lasted only a split second - I probably wouldn't have felt it if I hadn't just woken from a weird dream.
Mum and Dad have just got back from their Baltic cruise, where they stopped off at such weird and wonderful places as St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. They'll soon be flying to Split, where they invented a popular banana and ice cream dessert as well as that manoeuvre gymnasts do where they have their legs wide apart.