The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

O de(ar it's so close) to Autumn

What was Percy Byshe Shelley on about? And what was with the Byshe, O attendants at the junior Shelley's cradle, while we're at it? Wasn't Percy enough?

You will detect, Dear Reader (only seven followers this soon after entering Blogdom, so I'll stick to Jane Eyre's singular for the present; I might add an "s" when we get to ten), from my opening salvo, that I am disgruntled with September. I can't echo Shelley in celebrating its fruitful riches. I am dischuffed. I am getting perilously close to dejected. Why? Because today I am wearing tights for the first time since late April. And over the tights I am wearing a thick leather A-line skirt, and over my t-shirt, I have on a cardigan. And I have been indoors all day.

I almost put on boots, before I told myself I was being ridiculous, it's not actually raining. I got as far as zipping up one knee-length black boot which has been aestivating at the back of my shoe closet whilst I sported open-toed things, with bare feet, and jauntily painted toenails. My feet got brown around the leather straps, leaving a lattice of white marks where the sun hadn't reached. Most days since May I have slipped on my favourite mules straight upon emerging from under the covers, and there were my feet, dressed for the day and ready to take me anywhere I wanted to go, in a trice.

Now I have to find tights of the right denier and hue, or socks that match, or at least resemble one another adequately, enough anyhow for my not to be taken as a determined English eccentric. I have to ascertain how cool, chilly or even cold it might be before deciding upon how my legs will bear up to the day. A skirt or dress, and if so what length? Trouserings? And with the trouser, is a shoe enough, or are short boots called for, the better to divert the equinoctal winds and early frosts from my ankles? Ankles are the skinniest bit of the average leg, the part least upholstered with flesh. They need our attention, our thought, our consideration now autumn is upon us. For the past four or five months our pretty bare ankles have charmed our suitors and admirers, but now they must be put away, hidden, swathed in fabric, like the legs of a Victorian piano.

Holiday sandals, easy-living slip-ons, strappy little shoes with clicking heels, insouciant sling-backs and ballerina pumps, away with you all. Into the plastic storage boxes to hibernate. By the time I see you next some of you will be hopelessly outmoded, but it seems churlish to lob you out just yet, after the many happy days I've worn you. It would be unappreciative.

Some time next month I'll have to scrummage about for the two halves of my favourite pairs of gloves. Fold away fine cotton scarves and search out the chunky knit, or even start a new one on my needles. I'll put away the straw and resurrect the felt when it comes to headwear. And I don't like it. I never will.

I count my life in summers, and when one comes to a wistful, regretful end THAT'S when I feel every minute of a year older.


  1. I do so agree about counting the years in summers - it must be our N. European SAD!! However, the official start of Autumn is 21st September (according to researchers on Jeremy Vine's show on R2) and I think we could have a few more sunny days. Then there is always the chance of a Indian Summer. I really must disagree about ... and mellow fruitfulness - autumn is not that bad it is just the damn winter!!

  2. Wasn't the first week or ten days of Sept our Indian Summer? No, I am afraid the genuine summer is gone for good, and the Indian Summer has followed it, whatever R2 claims is numerically official.

    I feel it in my bones (especially my arthritic left knee...).

  3. BTW, My Niece informs me she has been told by a Scandinavian friend that my original family surname is Danish (and a little less so Norwegian), as I had always understood it to be.

    So we are cousins - I a Viking - you a more recent import, eleven hundred years later. As good as family, then.

  4. Apparently you can't have an Indian Summer until after the first frost and the trees have gone golden, etc. I learnt that from my other reference source, Wikipedia!
    BTW welcome to the family, very happy you are a Danish Viking too!

  5. But because of global warming we don't get autumn colour and frosts until October nowadays. Although we get warm sun in October very occasionally it isn't in any sort of joined up way, not enough to give it the label of Summer of any sort, in my view. Maybe in parts of the USA they do (it was 91 in the shade in Helen, Georgia, y'day, an informant tells me) but not in poor old Blighty.

  6. Dreading having to wear shoes again. Sandals remain - with chipped toenail varnish - until the very, very last minute (when the feet turn blue...)

  7. Darn! Just as well I quit the teaching of EngLit, innit?!