(Written Friday evening, but I haven’t gotten on line to post until now.)

I’m not particularly looking forward to my first day at work next Wednesday. Part of the reason is that my most recent job was bad enough to have poisoned my attitude about work in general – not so much the actual work as some levels of management and the ways of working they fostered. (To be fair, I loved the previous job and liked the one before that, both at the same company). More of it is just that I’m enjoying the time off, the chance to explore a new country. The country has cooperated, with weather I’m told is remarkable for this time of year. Yesterday felt like summer, and I mean not an baking-hot Arizona summer but the feel of carefree childhood summers. It wasn’t hot by my standards, but warm enough by afternoon to go without a jacket. More than that it was just something soft about the feel of the air that spoke of summertime.

Today was the first time I’ve rowed here without getting rained on, not even a little. It was not as warm as yesterday, but balmy enough that after the first couple of kilometers we both stripped off our shirts and rowed in sports bras. If yesterday was the quintessence of summer, today sang of fall. The canal we row on goes past a couple of factories and warehouses, but then gets into a rural area very quickly. There are tall trees on both sides and now they’re harmonizing in green and gold with the occasional spark of maple-red. Occasionally a leaf falls to float on the surface, and once in a while we get dinged by an acorn or seedpod.

It’s not perfect; the unseasonable weather has promoted algae growth on the canal and there are a few kilometers where rowing through it is noticeably slower. We bang into the occasional branch and in one part we hit some floating bottles or other trash. Still..

Normally in my own boat I row with a Strokecoach, like a bike computer for rowers. The feedback from it is very useful, but one hazard is that you have to remember to keep your head up, not to look down at it too much. The boat we row here isn’t wired for one, and I miss it but today I’d have had no problem keeping my eyes up, looking at those autumnal trees over the dark river. I’m not used to being free enough form constraints of weather and work to go rowing in the middle of the afternoon, when I can enjoy the scenery. I’ll miss it next week.