Twelve reasons I'm ready to fall for autumn again...
We have reached the official end of summer; back-to-school month; back to real life, and many will be feeling a bit sad that autumn's on the horizon.
Others (hello friends!) will be somewhere between relieved and delighted that we can get back to business as usual and return to being the pasty, wool-swaddled, soup-guzzling, curtain-drawing, cold-blooded types we naturally are. There are so many reasons to be cheerful, starting with:
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1 Getting back into proper clothes
As in serious clothes - tailored out of wool and tweed and leather - but, more importantly, lump-flattening and flaw-disguising. We can finally put away not just our legs and arms but our necks, our feet and, if the mood takes us, we can pull up our hoods, so all that's left requiring attention is the front of our faces. How much have we missed hiding inside a polo-neck and wrapping ourselves up like babies in giant shawls? Don't get us started on gilets. Or sheepskin. Just being warm in your clothes - the right sort of warm, not Deep South swampy warm with patches of prickly heat - is something to really look forward to.
2 Getting back to normal routine
Where is everyone? They keep going away. It's like the new oneupmanship: you go away for your Real Holiday, then you come back, then you go away for your other holiday (possibly closer to home) and then you go away again. Just for a few days, because West Cork is really lovely in the third week of September. Everyone's been toing and froing at different times, and it's been unsettling, and hard to make plans, so now we are craving some uninterrupted straight-through-to-you-know-when, normality.
3 Back-to-school fresh start
September is the new January, the month when we all take stock, throw out, clean up. This is when you get the new specs, the new haircut, maybe a Sodastream. It's all about the back-to-school feeling without the dread. You have projects. You have plans. You are (probably) going to start every other day fasting and go back to Pilates. It's a time of hope, put it that way.
READ MORE: Back to school: the parents survival guide
4 Saying hello to red wine again
The rosé has been great, we've enjoyed every drop, but there is fantastic news, just in last week, about the health benefits of red wine, the new season's natural choice. If you weren't already looking forward to switching to a full-bodied Sicilian red, then you will now: it is, in no particular order, cardio-friendly, better for your figure, and nectar for the gut. There is some stuff about one glass fortnightly being the ideal, but, still a reason to be cheerful.
No better place to sip your Sicilian red than beside a roaring log fire, and your room has looked sort of cold and bald without it. That shameful log burner is back in business, should you have one.
6 Letting the garden go to rack and ruin
The relief! Just soil and bare branches. No more tending the plants! No more worrying you'll look like a garden slattern because your herbs are all limp and your snail problem has clearly never been addressed.
7 Proper rain
Who doesn't love a stair-rod downpour - unless you're on a bicycle, or trying to cross a road with a paper lampshade, or walking down a grassy hill wearing slippy shoes. But there are few weather conditions we like as much as have-to-stay-indoors rain which will also water what is left of the plants.
8 No more barbecues
That alone is reason to put out the bunting: no more blackened hickory smoked meat with charcoal-striped vegetables and everything tasting of burnt. No more salads; we do like salads but enough with trying to ring the changes with orange segments and toasted almonds. Welcome back lovely stews, mash and chilli.
9 Only 113 days to Christmas!
Just kidding. There are 113 days to Christmas but let's not think about that. That's not on the Get The Autumn Buzz list.
10 You might plan a mini-break
Could be the time for a romantic sojourn in Rome or Istanbul or one of those places that only a deranged person would visit in summer.
11 Not having bright lightbulb-blonde hair
Thanks to the sun working on highlights working with colour-enhancing shampoo, you get to this point in the year and you have the hair of Billy Idol. Now we can go back to dark mouse, with accents of crème brûlée.
Can't wait for it: the boots, the bags, maybe the shirt… It is like this every year, so proceed with caution. First whiff of autumn and we're panting for leather, in need of conker-coloured knee boots, maybe an aubergine jumper. Aubergine! Chocolate brown! Goodbye summer, time to give way.