Fall-ing in love with autumn again
Our weekend editor Anna-Marie Crowhurst has had enough of summer, tbh. Bring on the chunky-knit jumpers, falling leaves and warm booze
So far this September has been the hottest on record for 100 years. Do you know what? I think it stinks. I’m still not wearing a coat (though I keep taking a cardigan out with me “just in case”). I haven’t even started thinking about socks. My crap, noisy fan still loiters in my bedroom, its too-short cable stretching across the main throroughfare, trip-wire style – a hazardous arrangement that has lasted all summer long. I want to put my fan away. But I can’t – not yet. It’s not cold enough.
I don’t like this clement weather; I don’t like it one bit. This is not what I want, from autumn – my favourite season of them all. This is what I want: I want to gaze moodily out of my window onto a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Keats was also on to something when he talked about gourds in his ode, To Autumn. Who doesn’t love a gourd? I want ALL the gourds (decorative and edible).
I want back-to-school shiny shoes; I want hairy knitwear so big and chunky it practically strangles me; I want thick tights of many colours, ideally 80 denier and from Tabio, I want all the new fashions of the season that may well involve conker-brown and/or oxblood leather goods, moss-green scarves; tweed; tartan; paisley and an experimental nail colour that is probably plum-coloured, textured, and/or glittery. I want warming comestibles like soups and stews and peaty whiskeys, the latter ideally savoured in front of a crackling fire that leaves a woody smell in my hair. I want to get boozily pagan on Hallowe’en and caper around some flaming sticks on Bonfire Night, baked potato in hand, hipflask in pocket. I want to revel in the deliciousness of autumn TV dramas. I want my breath to mist in front of me. Swishy leaves underfoot. A reason to wear hats.
The end of a long hot summer is when I usually forget how I moaned about being cold/drenched/eternally swathed in darkness, and how much I dreamed of light evenings and the re-emergence of the ice cream man. It’s this point that I begin instead to pine for gloomy weather that by virtue of being extremely sh*t enables lots of eating, drinking and staying indoors-type fun. I was excited today because it rained heavily all morning long, and I got to have one of my first glorious “reading indoors because it’s genuinely too wet to go out” Sundays in a while.
I lazed decadently on the sofa, book in hand, steaming teapot by my side, the faint grumble of Radio 4 in the background, occasionally breaking off to listen to the rain pattering against the window panes, feeling elegant and cosy and contented. There was no sense of FOMO that I should be in a park somewhere imbibing sunshine or “making the most” of the weather doing something annoyingly Instagram-able.
No, none of that. I lounged louchely. I read on. I had a buttered crumpet at 11am because it just seemed like the right thing to do. Later, I sniffed a trace of woodsmoke on the air floating through my (still-open) windows, and I began to get excited. “Can you smell that?” I shouted. “I think someone’s got their fire going. I think it’s autumn!” Then I looked at the weather forecast.
Spoiler: It isn’t. Yet.