A thousand shades of grey

Today was the end of summer in Amsterdam for sure. The monochrome days have arrived again. If it wasn’t for the green on the trees, you could look around you and be convinced you were living in a black and white photo. All colour has gone. The world is suddenly grey and anaemic. Ashen like a corpse.

The photo here isn’t a black and white shot. It’s the view from my window of the sky as it really was today. Just a sheet of fine grey rain. That’s all there was. No sky. No blue. No light. Just grey.

It’s like living inside a cloud. The sky and the land just seem to merge in this heavy swathe of mist. Eveything is wrapped up in it, smothered by it.

The Dutch call it “mot regen”. Speckled rain. Drizzle.

But that description in no way really does the stuff justice.

It’s a seeping dampness this. A musty dampness. A clinging dampness.

Breathe in and it seems to seep into your lungs. So that everything feels damp – even your insides.

The smell of damp autumnal leaves seems to filter through to your very bones. The trees are still green, but the smell of their decay is already in the air.

And the light. Well all colour just drains away in this mist so that it becomes hard to distinguish just what time of day it is. There is no change throughout the day. Just this relentless, monochrome grey. It could be ten a.m. it could be four p.m. only looking at your watch will reveal the truth, because the sky, on days like this, reveals nothing.

So it’s time to bunker down again it seems, here at the bottom of the ocean. Time to light some candles, uncork the red wine and seek comfort indoors until the spring arrives once more.

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