An Ode to autumn.
Warning; this post contains a lot of adjectives.
I am about to wax lyrical about autumn. For me there is a sumptuousness surrounding autumn that cements it to the number one spot out of all the seasons. Don’t get me wrong, summer is great, there’s something to be said for lounging, bare skinned, on exposed roof terraces sipping crisp rosé wines, or eating fresh lobster salad and knocking back fruit cocktails until the wee hours.
Summer for me depicts a sensual break to the year, a time for gallivanting off on breaks in Europe, warm tanned skin, and summer barbecues and campfires, chatting late into the night and the early morning.
Autumn and winter on the other hand have a rich warmth, a depth to them. Autumn is about scurrying home before dark falls, reaching for thick winter knits, musty after months languishing in drawers and wardrobes. Autumn is about wrapping up, whether in tactical layers of coats and scarves, or slow Sunday spend under the blanket in the lounge, hours passing by below grey skies, the soft pitter patter of rain against the windows, as hearty dinners bubble away in the oven.
On a few occasions now I have heard autumn described as sofa season, a time to spend with loved ones, watching gripping dramas and dark box sets. But I also dream of crisp mornings, frosty walks to the local pub, an hour spent in front of a roaring fire, sipping mulled cider and rich red wines. Before donning winter woollies once more and trudging home, to warm soup and crusty bread, thick with butter.
During winter I become overly excited about clothes. Summer is unpredictable, a warm spell of 27 degrees can quickly give way to grey skies and storms. Light dresses become useless as winds pick up and temperatures drop. Evenings in London become sticky, a heavy humid feeling hangs in the air, pressing clothes against the skin in a way that makes us want to shower every half an hour. But winter; autumn and winter are cold, in either a wet, condensation kind of way, warm breath clinging to wool scarves, or in a numbing, frozen to the bone kind of feeling. When fingers without gloves become useless for texting, faces are chapped, noses are red. Winter is for boots, a long coat that traps in heat. Getting dressed for winter makes one feel as though you are about to embark on an adventure.
Autumn is about fire, not in a barbecue sense, but big bonfires, wood burning stoves heating homes, logs crackling in grand fireplaces. Not to mention the fireworks, they usually start at the end of November and then can often run through to New Year, a glittering celebration in the midst of dark winter.
And let’s not forget Christmas. The parties and frivolity, sequins and jewel toned dresses, party food and finger buffets signalling the start of an all-out feast. Christmas really is all about the socialising. Traipsing round several family members’ homes for drinks, laughing and singing and being joyous, before doing it all again the next day.
Autumn is for the senses, if it isn’t water pale sunsets in the early evening catching my eye, it’s the crunch of frost bitten leaves underfoot. Or, the smell of stews, a welcome warmth upon entering homes with the heating on.
For me the cold isn’t a bad thing, it’s a chance to get wrapped up, bunker down. Yes the mornings are dark and the evenings are chilly, but that is something to be celebrated, because the sweet sticky heat of summer will soon be back.