POOR old autumn – the third season is as welcome as a tramp stumbling into an Ashbrooke dinner party.
People start sulking and going home early, grumbling spitefully under their breath, at the first sign of golden leaves and unkind gusts.
Not me though, this is the very best time of year. Because:
1. It is right and proper to stockpile biscuits as the temperature drops. You are no longer greedy, merely prepared.
2. Clothes become good again. I can stop hissing at bikinis and cuddle back into vast swathing cardigans big enough to wrap twice round a van.
At the weekend I spent an hour and a half looking at a catalogue for an upmarket wool company. Photos of blonde women sauntering about wistfully in lovely knitwear transported me to a different world.
It seemed very clear to me that no one with a matching cashmere beret and wrist warmers could possibly be bothered by things like parking tickets and PMT.
3. Fun times! Everyone is so depressed that there are all kinds of events laid on to compensate – If Halloween and Bonfire Night took place in June, no one would even go. But after a couple of weeks of sideways rain we can take each of these magical occasions and cuddle right into them whole-heartedly. You couldn’t have ice pops roasting on an open fire, but chestnuts? Yes, much better.
4. The change in seasons gives you a fresh appreciation for where you live.
I sulked about my flat all summer, mentally listing its failings and vowing to move. But as soon as the tail end of Hurricane Katia started slapping against the windows I remembered how good my central heating is and all was forgiven.
5. Hats. Hats are a wonderful thing that we no longer make the most of.
In the good old days you couldn’t move for titfers and bonnets and we need to get back into it. A hat will keep you warm, hide disastrous hair and allow you to go about your business without having your fringe stuck to your lip gloss every few seconds.
I arrived at my desk on Monday to discover my friend had knitted me a brand new hat for winter. It was the emotional equivalent of a warm bath and a mug of gin.
6. It is fine and normal to be very pale at this time of year. In fact, you are positively expected to have a pale blue or green tint to your mug in keeping with the lack of sunshine and the hibernation of fake tan.
7. Birthdays. Practically everyone I sit with at work has a birthday at this time of year. Which means a sharp increase in cake levels and general good cheer.
I intend to celebrate my birthday in style this year, since I am nearly-but-not-quite 30.
I assumed natural selection would have killed me off by now, so I’m honoured to still be kicking about.
8. Horses. Horses get woolly at this time of year – and look very cute. Cady grows hair out of her ears, nose and around her chin much like a distinguished older man who’s lost his nasal hair trimmer.