Joeblade

Autumnal

It can sometimes be hard to pinpoint the precise moment when an English summer turns to autumn, but this year I think it happened during the middle of last week when Covent Garden released their ‘Soup of the Month’ and it was lentil, bacon and oak-smoked garlic. Only weeks earlier, it had been ‘pea and lettuce’. Ever had lettuce soup? Imagine a bowl of green water, but a water that comes without the complex, abundant flavours that water has and you wouldn’t be far off the mark.

So, I admit that judging the seasons by the flavour of soup coming out of the Covent Garden factory could be considered pretentious but never mind; autumn is finally here and with it comes sensible weather, comforting food and women wearing short skirts due to the warmth but cute fur-lined boots due to the cold. I like autumn.

Summer’s nice but I tend to wilt if it gets too hot and have to retreat indoors. Spring is ok but can be a little on the pink and wet side. Winter’s rubbish; I hate winter, I hate that entire time of year when everyone’s freezing cold and throwing brown slush around and everywhere, everywhere you go there’s that awful, awful Christmas music playing. Ever noticed how you can drop in the words ‘kill them all, kill them all, kill them all now’ in place of ‘jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock’ and it still keeps time? I’m not saying that’s intentional, I’m just pointing it out.

But autumn, autumn is a season that I can get behind. All the colours —oranges and greens and all the browns that you can eat — are just right, and match my website and most of my wardrobe quite nicely. The temperature doesn’t stay hot or cold all the time, but ranges nicely so sometimes it’s a nice day that requires rolled-up sleeves and sometimes it’s just cold enough to justify wearing a thicker top and a scarf. It becomes possible again to go outside wearing a warm jacket and not be gunned down by the London Met as a precautionary measure.

In terms of clothing, autumn allows me to indulge my scarf fetish again and begin my annual contemplation of the whole thorny ‘glove’ issue, and people no longer question why I’m not wearing shorts despite the crippling heat. I can once again unleash the now-infamous green corduroy jacket on an unsuspecting populace. Honestly, I’m like Tony Manero in that jacket.

And it’s not just about the food, the colours, the fashions. Autumn also brings an end to the summer drought of decent films, publishers start releasing games again (Nintendogs, Advance Wars, Wario Ware: Twisted, Paperboy (!) and so many more besides) and the second season of Lost has begun. I live in leafy Oxford and am surrounded by autumn; life is good.

It’ll be a different story come December, though.

By Paul Haine, in