The air feels crisp as you lift the coat collars and tighten the knot on the scarf around your neck. The sunlight has a quality of gold reserved especially for an autumn day. Brilliant yellow, olive green, orange, rust, red and brown are the dominant shades the trees flamboyantly display.
And the sky is filled with black-headed gulls in their winter plumage overpowering the street sounds with their sharp kek, kek as they meet and greet their cousins who have recently moved south from Europe. The solitary gull that patrolled the canal in summer is now a part of a large pack that goes krreearr and dives at the sight of the smallest morsel tossed by a passer by. The gulls are back.
So, begins a new daily ritual. After clearing the breakfast table you stand with a handful of breadcrumbs and play ‘toss and catch’ with them. Till they hover just outside your balcony, squabbling and swooping even before the tiny piece leaves your fingers. Someday maybe they’ll care to come in and join you for a cuppa.