It’s 7.15 in the morning and the moon and Venus are dangling in a brightening sky. I was awake and ready for work three quarters of an hour ago but then my computer decided to update itself and took an age.
A watched laptop never configures so I decided to go onto the terrace and watch the world wake up.
Monsieur Martin the baker is busy in his shop, baking baguettes and serving early breakfasters. A man is sipping coffee in one of the seats ouside and watching people hurry to work. By the look of him he has no where to hurry to or maybe he does and is just very relaxed. Or enjoying his first coffee of the day.
An insect chirps busily in the tree in front of me. A blackbird wakes and begins to sing. In the distance, closer to the beach, seagulls squawk at each other, their irritable sounding ‘yike, yike, yike’, cutting through the air.
The traffic is light and with no shrill motor-bike engines revving to prove the manhood of their riders. An ambulance weaves slowly through the traffic, lights flashing but no siren blaring. I assume it’s someone who had just had a heart attack, who needs speed but no noise.
The sky is a moving feast of clouds. They barely seem to move while I watch them but when I look up after only a few moments the pattern has changed remarkably. Like a huge kaleidoscope shaken by a child god.
The sky is brightening now. It’s 7.25. The moon and Venus are growing faint, I thought for a moment they had been snuffed out by the light. They seem like dying lovers, all life ebbing from them, clinging on while sight remains so they can see each other until the end. A red mist takes them and they fade away.
But then the reddening cloud thins and I can just see the bent bow of the moon. The crescent is so thin it looks like it may break. Yet somehow, despite its fragility, it remains in place, defying the brightness for a little longer.
The clouds over the sea remain dark but higher in the sky they’re turning pastel pink. They look like a stepping stone path across the sky.
A train rattles out of the station, heading for Italy. There was only one passenger on the earlier train.
One of our friendly doves has come to see me, staring across from its perch on the terrace edge. It shakes itself and a white feather falls.
The trees have re-gained their colour now. In this light I can see the line of trees in the gardens are turning brown, hanging on like the moon, but soon to fall and disappear.
This will be our first autumn in Menton. The last of the seasons for us to experience; we’ve loved the winter, spring and summer.
What a pleasure awaits us.