Autumn leaves

I like Autumn. I remember reading an article by Julie Burchill where she said that those who liked autumn were awful, cloyingly nostalgic people. I read it a few years ago.

Those were the days.

But now autumn is here, these days are pretty good too. I am glad to herald its arrival and even more pleased to bid farewell to the summer months. (I am sidestepping the whole, “Indian Summer” and “It rained all summer anyway” issue. (Shouldn’t there be a similar name for this? “Indian winter?” “Seattle Summer?” “Australian Winter?”)) Anyway, here are my…

Top five reasons why autumn is better than summer

1. Coats
Autumn is the best season sartorially speaking. It gets a little chillier and you regain layers and layers of goodness: Coats, shirts, waistcoats, hats, thermal underwear, braces, belts, sock-garters, fob watches, cravats, cummerbunds, walking canes and monocles are all at the disposal of the modern Dickensian, dandyish fop.

In summer there is no sensible choice of clothing but t-shirts and shorts. At best you look like a cumbersome backwards tourist. At worst, a shaved monkey in a sack.

2. Peace and quiet
People, or rather, idiots, only like to go outside when it is uncomfortably hot. In summer the parks and beaches are thronged with stripped down buffoons, discarded bottles of coconut sun cream and a palpable sense of intellectual despair. Even if they do stay indoors they leave the window open so they can blast out terrible music to all and sundry.

In autumn you can stroll down the beach or the park in solitude. The buffoons stay at home and they keep their windows shut which keeps the cold out and the idiocy in.

3. Crunchy leaves
When you do get to go for a walk on the beach or in the park, nature is doing its thing. The leaves on the trees turn a delightful range of russet, red, brown and gold (colours that can be reflected in your choice of cravat. Or cummerbund.) Who doesn’t love the crunch of the colourful leaves underfoot? The days are clear and crisp and bright. The clouds scud about over the salty whipping waves of the sea. The chill air wafts across you keeping everything nice and cool.

In summer the sun is everywhere. It’s hot everywhere. Sticky and sweltering and sweaty and nasty. If you go out, the only thing underfoot is scorched earth. The only delightfully colourful thing you’ll see is packet of peas as you loiter in the frozen food aisle of your local supermarket, trying not to look suspicious and/or spontaneously combust.

4. Hunkering down in the warm
If it’s too cold to go out in autumn, you can snuggle down at home with hot drinks, blankets, and a roaring fire. You can read books and play chess and drink tea. Which are, let us not forget, the ultimate joys in life.

In summer, you can try and hide indoors but the light and the heat will find you. Even if you close the curtains it’s hot and musty and unpleasant. And then people moan at you for not making the best of the weather: “Open the curtains, go out, play sport. Enjoy the sunshine! It’s lovely and hot!”

I dislike sport. And heat. And light. And having to wear sunglasses, which make me look as if I am trying to look cool when I am not.

I am not cool.

You may have figured that out by now.

5. The food
Hot drinks and soup are better than ice-lollies and crisps.

So there we are. Now that autumn is here, I am certainly in the right season. But, in the process of writing this I have realised, I may not be in the right century.

Good day to you.

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