Historically, I do not have much love for the arrival of Autumn.
I know the internet is full of pumpkin spice and crunchy leaves, squeals over squashes and toasts to turtlenecks… but not in my part of the world. Over here I’m begrudgingly turning on the heating, putting my Birkinstocks and dresses in the big ‘seasonal clothing’ box that lives under my bed and sobbing over the tights I have to re-stock my underwear drawer with.
I’m summer person. I love walking around bare-legged and bare-footed, feeling the sun on my face. I like sunglasses, flippy dresses, driving with the car windows open, frozen margaritas, late night bbqs, picnics, outdoor swimming. I don’t like any kind of quirkily-flavoured coffee product, scratchy wooly clothing, big socks, being cold and dark nights.
But it’s really REALLY hard to hate Autumn in public when the masses love it so much.
Let me make my case.
As soon as we get to a slightly chillier October there’s Halloween: a night that was almost fun back in my child-free days when I got to partake in the dressing up as slutty zombie nurses or scary kitty cats. But now I’m a parent I must spend the two weeks surrounding the spookiest evening of the year painting the children’s angelic faces, worrying their (expensive) costumes aren’t flameproof and ferrying them to party after party after party. And, to add insult to injury, I must carve sticky slimy pumpkins (ew) and clear my Diptyque candles away so the burned vegetable carcasses can have pride of place in the living room before going mouldy without us noticing.
Then there’s half term: the holiday that creeps up on us so stealthily that we don’t even realise it, that shocks us working parents into a nervous breakdown trying to juggle all the childcare/work/Halloween related balls, slapping us in the face with an unexpected INSET day just as we thought we were home free.
After that we have Bonfire Night, an event I used to enjoy as a child but one I again spend hours worrying over: are the kids going to face-plant some random bonfire when I’m not there? Are they wearing gloves while handling their sparklers (any 30-something who used to watch Newsround will KNOW what I mean here). Have all the rocket fireworks been lit an appropriate distance away? Repeat ad infinitum while I’m tearing my hair out with stress.
This worrying is followed swiftly by the stress of the Christmas prep. Booking in to see the ‘best’ Father Christmas at the ‘best’ time, trying to pin down a 4 year old to differentiate between what they’d like to find in their stocking over the toys they saw on the adverts between Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles that morning, rushing from Nativity play to Christmas lunch to Carol concert to late-night shopping. Wondering when it’s an appropriate time to crank out a vat of mulled wine because goodness knows, by the time you get to December 1st you’re going to need it.
And did I mention I was cold? It’s enough to make anyone crave a week on a Greek island.
This Autumn is particularly special for me – and I mean special in the eye-rolling sense, not special in the ‘yay I got engaged in Paris’ sense. This Autumn the marathon training starts, so not only must I deal with the long, cold and dark nights but I must go out and run in them. Ugh. Special indeed.
This year I’m trying to persevere. Giving in to the urge to nap a little bit more. Begrudgingly exercising because it’s, you know, ‘GOOD FOR YOU’. Eating healthy and seasonally. Faking a happiness at weird Starbucks drinks. Ugh.
Just know that, every time I Instagram a story of my boots crunching through those Autumn leaves, I’ll be doing it with a massive scowl on my face. Bah Humbug.