It's now December, meaning that it's summer in Australia. In the northern hemisphere, there doesn't seem to be a uniform idea of when the seasons start. In the United Kingdom, the start of winter seems to be as often thought of as the winter solstice (the astronomical definition) or 1 November as the beginning of December. However, the meteorological definition of the seasons is the same as that used in Australia, and so it was announced today that the just completed autumn was the warmest since some time in the 70s. It has been fairly nice. In fact, I only got my scarves and gloves out yesterday.
When this report was mentioned on the radio this morning, it was tied in with several other stories related to today's date. It is five years since museums of galleries here were opened to the public for free, with entry fees only applying to special exhibitions. Given the number of such institutions in London, we really could make more use of that! It is also World AIDS Day. I think the red ribbon was the first of the now numerous coloured ribbons for various causes, in this case the plight of those suffering from a disease that looks likely to be more of a killer than the Black Death. Speaking of ribbons, the ABC reports that this weekend New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association umpires in Sydney Grade Cricket will be wearing black ribbons for a cause of signficantly less importance. Once a member of this association, I agree with their point, whatever it's place in the scheme of things. However, the wearing ribbons of any colour, no matter how worthy the cause, pales into insignificance when I think of the work of the Christ Church Christian Care Centre and many others round the world actually working with the victims of AIDS and other problems.