I am allergic, or perhaps intolerant, when it comes to grey Sundays.
There were more than a few while I was growing up on the east coast of the lower South Island of New Zealand. And back then everything closed on a Sunday. Telephone wires hung from poles rather than being buried underground and sometimes, on a particularly miserable Mosgiel Sunday, the wind would whistle through the telephone wires. It was deadly and there was nothing that might perform a 'distract and save' mission. A grey Sunday could suck the life out of me faster than anything ... joy, pleasure, hope, energy, drive, all gone.
Now, when looking for someplace else to live, I always imagine how this place or that would be on a grey Sunday. Small villages in Belgium seem especially deadly. Red brick rows of houses, skies that do grey regularly, and the complete silence of empty streets.
I'm suspicious of French villages too. Germany, where all is closed on a Sunday, feels flat and listless to me when the sun is hidden. And it's not about the distraction of shopping. I dislike shopping. It's about the absence of life somehow.
A spark that seems extinguished in some places.
The remedy. A beach, a forest, a lake, a river ... or maybe a drive. Movement.
I love Nature and yet I loved my life in Istanbul too. City of 14 million+, there was always a feeling of life, an energy of some kind, pulsating in the air there.
I suspect it simply means that I need to live amongst people who like to be outside. In Genova, down by the sea on Corso Italia, there is life. People walk and jog there, talk there, move. I loved Salmanca in Spain for it's Plaza Mayor and the life that appeared there in the evenings.
Even Te Anau, that small village in Southland ... a tiny population enriched by tourists who always move outside of time. It's never a Sun-day in a tourist area, it's a Holi-day and I feel the difference most powerfully. That energy, when managed in a good way, energises me.
I can choose then ... work, curl up in my warm bed with a book, or wander into the life outside.
Today is a grey day here in Belgium. The streets are empty of both people and cars. I am feeling the bite of not traveling already, only one month after that quick trip to Paris.
It's a grey Sunday today but it seems I never photograph them. I can't show what I am writing about but here's an image from that other grey day, that one that wasn't a Sunday, when I had to go into the city. I took my camera ...