Friday, May 20, 2011

Seasonal Musings

Autumnal colors on view while out hiking
in Tai Lam Country Park one day last November

Heathery colors of the sort I associate with cool(er) climes
on view on a December hike in Lantau South Country Park

As I write this entry, tunes from Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons play in my head; the result of having spent a couple of hours earlier this evening at the Hong Kong City Hall listening to -- and watching -- James Cuddeford and other members of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta in concert playing that thoroughly enjoyable work (and then, after the interval, Luke Dollman conducting the orchestra performing Ludwig van Beethoven's sublime Symphony Number 6 in F, Pastorale).

As is often the case, I found myself letting go of a substantial amount of my stress at the concert -- and also letting my mind wander at the same time as I took in the music. And this evening, as the Hong Kong Sinfonietta played Vivaldi's set of four violin concertos, I found myself musing on how my favorite portions of that musical work mirror my favorite seasons of the year -- in that both with regards to the Vivaldi set and the actual four seasons, I like autumn and winter best, and summer the least.

To be sure, when I was at boarding school in England and college in the U.S.A., summer was a season I looked forward to -- as it represented a long vacation period early on and, then in my later college years, the time when I could go on such as archaeology field school (how I spent my sophomore year summer!) and a museum internship (what I did the summer of my junior year!!). But the more years I spent in the U.S.A., the more I got to realizing that many an American building just isn't an ideal place to be in during the hot summer months...

Here in the Big Lychee, while I've sometimes felt in the winter months that the Hong Kong apartments I've lived in would be quite a bit more comfortable if they had more insulation, it also seems that the same spaces can get too hot in summer. (Put another way: Hong Kong apartments appear best suited to the not-too-hot, not-too-cold seasons of the year that are spring and autumn!)

As for why I don't like spring as much as autumn and winter: In Philadelphia (which, together with South Jersey, has been labelled as a "pollen capital"), it was because spring represented allergy season for me (and many others); while in Hong Kong, it's because spring has heavier amounts of rainfall than either the fall or winter (though still much less than summer) -- and rainy days just aren't optimal hiking days as far as I'm concerned!

What with it now most definitely feeling like summer (with even City Hall's air-conditioned Concert Hall having been on the overly warm side this evening), I can but look forward to a day a few months from now when there will be clear signs of the return of autumn. On that dry day, the air will feel less humid -- and the temperature will approach nicely cool, even appealingly crisp, levels.

In the meantime, I'll be glad for contraptions such as fans and air-conditioners that help cool and put some breeze into the air... And yes, I do indeed have one of them on right now as I type out this sentence. Otherwise, I'll be dripping sweat onto my nice computer keyboard -- and we certainly don't want that happening, for the sake of the computer as well as this blogger! ;b


Carver said...

That's looks like a beautiful place to walk. I do better with cold weather than I do with hot weather. I love the time of year where I don't have to use heat or A.C. but I'm glad I have them. I love Vivaldi's Four Seasons. I think that's one of the first CDs we got when we were starting to replace some of our old vinyl with CDs. For some reason we often play that during Easter dinner.

YTSL said...

Hi Carver --

Hong Kong definitely does have many beautiful country spots to trek in. That's one reason why I get so upset when the weather makes it so that I can't go out and explore more of them!

Re the concert: both works in the program are lovely -- and it really was one of those concerts where I came out humming tunes after it! :)