Remona Aly
Tuesday 31 October 2023 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2

The Seasoning

Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2, Zoe Ball Breakfast Show

The Seasoning


Well, British Summer Time officially ended last weekend. Every year, I’m not ready for it and every year I go through the same motions.

While I tell myself the consolation prize is an extra hour, I also have sporadic bursts of confusion looking at clocks that haven’t been changed yet, and get affronted that the sun suddenly exits halfway through the day. Then I become philosophical, yearning for what I took for granted all the way along. 

I remember how the summer – as the sage Bryan Adams said – seemed to last forever. As a kid, I’d peddle my purple bike swiftly through the summer breeze like I was invincible. My cousins would stay over for weeks, we’d play cards and eat pickled onion crisps on our beds until the early hours after the parentals went to sleep. We’d put on plays, do embarrassing re-enactments of Bollywood and T’pau songs, and revel in the energy of our youth. 

 The charm of being carefree feels like a distant memory now. Sometimes I think about that girl in her C&A gear on her purple bike and how oblivious she was of what would come.

The heartache of losing her dad, the hopelessness of not finding love, the disillusionment in a world she thought was so bright.

Sometimes it feels the summer of my life is gone, sometimes it feels like all that remains is winter. 

I don’t know about the saying, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” but I realise every experience, every hurt, hasn’t simply been a strengthening, it has been a seasoning.

I have weathered many winters, but every autumn, spring, even summer has shaped me and led me to this point. I want to honour them all, moving forward towards new seasons.

Sukina Noor, the British Muslim poet, says, “Honour your truth. Find your voice and sing freedom songs to your own soul to help it grow…strive to see the sunset. It will give you hope when the darkness lingers.”  

I will strive to see sunsets, dawns, winters and new summers too, and hope to grow through each with meaning and grace. And when British Summer Time comes round again, I promise I’ll try not to complain about losing an hour.


To listen, click here Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2, Zoe Ball Breakfast Show