I always get a little twitchy at this time of year. I can’t quite work it out. One day warm, another raining. Fog in the mornings, and the trees yet to fully turn. Leaves and acorns adorn the lawn and clog the gutters, yet on some afternoons, you could be forgiven for thinking that summer is still with us.
But the summer holidays are behind us, and the Christmas season has yet to fully explode. Even the TV programmes are changing, as their much-lauded ‘Autumn Season’ arrives on our screens. It feels like time to do stuff. Clear leaves, cut back shrubs and rose bushes, rake the lawn and give it the last cut of the year. The trouble is, it keeps raining on and off, so the grass is still too wet, and the leaves too congealed in clumps, to allow for easy collection.
Colder mornings, bright afternoons, low winter sun blazing into your eyes; it is hard to tell what’s going on. When the stability of winter arrives, we will know what to do. It will be cold and brisk, with a chance of snow. And it will stay cold during the night too. The Christmas season is already planned, and as good as forgotten before it begins. Presents bought, dates arranged, and the prospect of a family gathering to anticipate. The oil tank for the heating is full to the brim, and there are enough logs left over from last year for the fire.
It doesn’t really feel like autumn though, as it is still too warm. It certainly doesn’t feel wintry, for the same reason. Preparations have been made for things that might happen, as well as for other things that probably won’t. Mud on the Meadows, refusing to dry. Dark by 5 pm, long evenings stretching out ahead of us. As much as I like autumn, I wish it would decide what to do with itself.