Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Forget Summer, Embrace October

25 Reasons To Love Autumn (Source:

I was walking by the Lakeside when the wind blew, the falling leaves swirled in tandem with the songs sang by the swans -

Summer was nice this year, wasn’t it? A blazing July was followed by a slightly soggy August, but the whole thing was topped off nicely with a warm and sunny September. Lovely. Now forget it. It’s about to get cold and dark and depressing again, so you’d better get used to the idea. At least, that’s what many of us feel at this time of year, as we dig out the woolly jumpers and look forward to endless weeks of suet puddings and drizzle. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Yes, the days will get shorter, colder, and rainier. But if you accept it, embrace it even, you might just realise that there are still plenty of reasons to love the autumn. Here are 25, just for starters.

1. Hello darkness, my old friend. Simon and Garfunkel weren’t actually singing about the clocks going back, but they might have been. For one glorious Sunday you get an extra hour in bed, and for the next six months you don’t have to feel guilty about slipping into fluffy slippers, eating great stodgy puddings made primarily of lard (it keeps you warm), and spending long, dark evenings in front of the DVD. Autumn is a time to get cosy, and there’s nothing depressing about that.

2. Kicking leaves. Kicking though mountains of crumply fallen leaves is just fab, in a carefree, childish, who-gives-a-damn kind of way.

3. Proper pubs. In summer, the local boozer is dark, dank and depressing. Come October, the very same boozer is warm, snug and welcoming. Magic. Cheers!

4. Promotion. You’re not guaranteed a promotion in October, but after the lethargy of summer, your productivity will skyrocket. Make the most of it and you could be quids in by Christmas.

5. The football season. It seems like it’s been going on forever already, but it doesn’t get serious until the trees are bare and those silkily skilful South American imports are attempting their fancy step-overs in four inches of mud.

6. Fresh air. After the humid, heavy, pollen-polluted air of summer, Autumn’s cool breezes can arrive like a breath of fresh air. They bring with them the scent of rain, wet grass, and fallen fruits. Well, not on the M62, but you know what we mean.

7. Conker fights. Trust us, they’re not just for kids. But baking your prize conker in the oven is cheating.

8. We’re British. As such, thousands of years of evolution have conditioned us to the changing seasons. If autumn didn’t turn up, we’d miss it, and if it was ‘scorchio’ every day, we’d hate it. You might have to trust us on this one.
9. Autumn fashion. For all the fashion industry hoo ha, summer wardrobes are restricted by the need to wear as little as possible without actually getting sacked or arrested. Autumn is when fashion really comes into its own. The unpredictable nature of the autumn climate also means that you have to dress in layers, which is a really good excuse to go out and buy lots and lots of new clothes.

10. Public Transport. The daily commute is unbearable in summer, and bearable, just, in autumn.

11. Autumn entertainments. If you think the telly has been rubbish for the last few months, you’re probably right. The TV companies keep all the good stuff for the autumn, when the potential audience is not likely to be away on holiday or taking part in some ridiculous outdoor activity, like power walking or cheese rolling. Think ‘Extras’ and ‘The Sopranos’. The same is true for theatre companies and concert venues. Autumn is a time of cultural plenty, so tuck right in. And talking of tucking in…

12. Food. Let’s face it, we’re not very good at salads, and British food is not big on sophistication. But it comes into its own on those long dark evenings in front of the fire. Steak and kidney pie, treacle pudding, roast dinners: it’s not haute cuisine, but it won’t leave you hungry, unlike the two inch square of unidentifiable mush they’d serve you in France. Probably. Oh, and put your prejudice aside: sprouts are lovely, and they’re very – very - good for you.

13. Pumpkins. Buy them for Halloween lanterns, then devour their innards in sumptuous soups and perfect pies.

14. Wasps. There aren’t any. Flies? All dead. Mosquitoes? The cold does for them, too. The demise of the creepy crawlies is reason enough to love the autumn, in our humble opinion.

15. Covering up. There’s a certain amount of pressure in summer to flaunt all those bits that really we’d rather keep under wraps. Scabby feet, saggy arms, protruding midriffs: all best left to the imagination, surely? Well, from now on they can be. The only downer is that you can no longer hide crows' feet behind a pair of enormous Jackie Onassis shades

16. Autumn festivals. They’re all about light and fire and imagination. Kids love spooky Halloween and explosive Bonfire Night. Parents love mulled wine and bonfire toffee. It’s all rounded off by Christmas, the only time of the year when it’s OK to utter the sentence, “ooh, it’s nearly 2pm, time to crack another bottle”.

17. Late holidays. Despite the wonders of a British autumn, it’s still nice to get a week or two in the sun. But there’s even more reason to take an autumn break. Jetting off while everyone slaves in the office feels just a little bit naughty, in a nice kind of way, and when you get to the beach you’ll practically have it to yourself. Which begs the question: why do we only head for the sun when it’s sunny here?

18. Staying in. When it’s cold and dark outside, there’s no reason to leave the sofa. If only you had that excuse for the rest of the year.

19. Accessories. You’ve got a new coat and boots, but your autumn shopping spree needn’t end there. Now let’s see. You’ll need a scarf, gloves, a hat, another hat, a new bag to put them all in, an umbrella…

20. Colours. The endless green of summer explodes into a fiery display of russets, scarlets, coppers and, er, yellows! Like the cherry blossom of spring, it doesn’t last long, but you wouldn’t want to miss it for the world.

21. Pampering. Feel a bit under the weather? Short days getting you down? Time to light up the scented candles, fish out the essential oils, and slip into a deep, hot, stress-busting bath. Let’s face it, it wouldn’t seem right if it was 28 degrees in the shade outside. Even better, take yourself off for a spa weekend. As your summer tan fades, replace it with a healthy glow of autumnal well-being.

22. Drinks. Pimms? Alcopops? Spring water! Thankfully, you are now at liberty to pour those weird summer drinks straight down the sink, and stock up on the good stuff: full-bodied red wine, soothing hot chocolate, and maybe a bottle of cockle warming brandy for those long, cold nights ahead.

23. Snowflakes. The first snowflake of the season will meander nonchalantly to earth sometime in November, where it will melt into the soil and not be seen again until January. It’s still a thrilling moment, especially if you’re a 10-year-old trapped inside a 30-something’s body. Like us.

24. Sickies. It’s so much easier to get away with a day in bed, we find, when “there’s a bug going round the office”, or the boss has gone down with a virus. And it’s so much more fun, we find, when you’re actually in rude good health.

25. Winter. Autumn is not winter. That’s a pretty good reason to love it



Anonymous said...

im a big fan of your wrtiting and your thoughts. hope you enjoying the nottingham experience 'doc'!

Mohd Sharazad Saiful Bahri said...

Thank you Anonymous.
But, I would be more than happy if you could introduce yourself ya?