It’s all about change. Change of seasons, change of temperature, change of clothing, change of well… pretty much everything really. Only a couple of weeks ago, on October 2nd I locked up the pool at half past nine at night in a T-shirt, now I daren’t go further than the pool without my thick winter coat. But the change is much more than the number of outer garments we choose to adorn to keep ourselves at a comfortable temperature. A good old rum’un once told me that he actively put one about a stone every October to keep himself warm in the winter, and lost it in April, so he didn’t get too hot; he wasn’t joking. And he wouldn’t be the first, in days gone by the adage of “ne’er cast a clout till May is out” probably referred to sewn-in garments that could only be removed by unpicking the thread.
In summer, I, for one, watch far less TV, except for the last week of June and the first of July, when Englishness itself comes to SW19, and of course, the test match highlights, which, quite frankly, in my humble opinion, should always be watched, no matter the time of year. In winter it’s the reverse; I drink more beer and less white wine, I eat differently; nobody comes in from a long walk in the frost thinking, I could murder a crab salad, and Sunday lunches become a big event. I hunker down in hibernation mode.
But what about in between? For hundreds, no thousands of years our ancestors have celebrated the winter and summer solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes. Winter and summer are pretty easy to fathom; shortest day, longest day yada, yada, yada, but why the spring and autumn? Well apparently the answer is “change” and it makes sense really. It’s a bit like getting the Christmas decorations out of the roof every year, yes, it’s exciting because it marks the end of Mum and Dad’s resolve and their final acceptance that Christmas is going to happen whether they like it or not, but it’s also nice because it’s familiar, it’s within your comfort zone, it’s welcoming back an old habit.
At The Grove, we also change, we change the menu, we light the wood burners, our staff settle back into old routines after the non-stop hive of activity that is Cromer in the summer, and our guests change as well. Large groups arrive for private parties, couples come for a few days to explore the North Norfolk coast and never go farther than the cliffs, more newspapers are read, more coffee is sipped and more time is spent sitting and chatting, people come not for a holiday, but for a rest, and as they say a rest is as good as a change.