Autumn is my favourite time of the year.
Okay, there are a few aspects of the season I could live without. The cold. The damp. The encroaching darkness that comes with the shortening of the days.
However, I’ve always loved autumn’s colours as the leaves on the trees turn a rich red and gold. Even my regular lunchtime walk through the housing estate that backs on to our office seems a brighter place when decorated with a carpet of fallen leaves that add a welcome splash of colour to dull concrete and tarmac.
And I don’t mind the cooler temperatures either. I enjoy the crispness in the air and have always been happier wrapping up warm and snug than stripping back to cope with the sweat-inducing heat of summer.
As for the shorter days, even that has its upside. Yes, I miss those long, warm summer evenings. And the kids suffer from having fewer opportunities to play out in the street with their friends. But as autumn draws on and winter approaches, those long, dark nights mean we spend more time together as a family. The board games come out. Family film nights in, snuggled up on the sofa with popcorn watching The Greatest Showman or Paddington 2 for the 900th time. No complaining about not being able to get to sleep because it’s still light outside.
Autumn also means the impending build-up for my favourite period of the year. Isaac’s birthday is 2½ weeks away; about three weeks before Christmas. Toby’s comes about three weeks after. So for the next couple of months we always have something to look forward to and get excited about. Indeed the kids are already talking about making a start on decorating the house for Christmas. I heard Fairytale of New York on the radio for the first time this year earlier today, so I suppose that heralds the official start of Christmas season.
Okay, maybe it’s not really autumn any more after all …