Monday, 15 September 2008

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!” (And fireworks, parsnip soup and knitwear)

Watch this space, for soon there will be bears. First I must find them though, so in the meantime here is my list of things that are good about autumn. You might (and probably will) disagree. You might even disagree that it is autumn at all yet, deluding yourselves that it is “late summer”, but if every season is three months long, then we have to be in autumn (September, October, November) now, so that winter (December, January, February) has Christmas in it. You may yet disagree that seasons have to be regimented into three month blocks, and/or that a season has to start on the first of the month - you may be following the Irish calendar, for example. Still, whenever you think it starts it is (or shortly will be) upon us like a big warm snuggly jumper.
(NB Clearly this only applies to the northern hemisphere, and, given the weather-related assumptions, coldish bits of the northern hemisphere.)

1. Food
This would probably be first on my list of best things about any season, but autumn food is particularly fantastic. This is, after all, a time to prepare for hibernation. It is also a time where you don’t have to worry too much about getting your thighs out in public (see 2 below). I’m thinking tea and cake, soups, stews, pies, roasted things, apples, pumpkins, chickpeas, blackberries, parsnips, beans and lentils. My current favourite cold-weather recipe is this (the chickpea one). Yum.

2. Clothes
Lots of them. Tights and jumpers and scarves and hats and gloves and jeans and shirts and coats and socks and boots and cardigans and pyjamas. I did read somewhere once that black opaque tights were like oysters, in that they shouldn’t be worn in a month without an R, although oysters should never be worn, and I don’t advise eating tights either. This summer, however, black-tight-wearing has been pleasingly acceptable, maybe because the weather has been less than scorching, but mostly I think because of the footless tights thing. Still, enough of the floaty, summery, hotpanty season, hello to knitwear. Which leads me on to…..

3. Knitting
I don’t knit in the summer, not if it’s hot anyway. Last autumn I knitted some of these, having been given some rather excellent wool for my birthday. This autumn I am knitting a long overdue present. And probably some more wrist-warmers.

4. Autumn/Winter pubs
...are Victorian, probably red, wooden, warm, maybe with a fire and sell proper beer. In Brighton and Hove, see the Cricketers, the Great Eastern, the Constant Service or the Greys.

5. Gigs (not festivals)
Indoors, warm, dry, beer, easy access to toilets, going home after – mmmmmm. Having said that I appear to have no gig tickets lined up at all. Tsk. I would like to see Cajun Dance Party but they keep playing when I cannot see them. Any suggestions gratefully received.

6. Fireworks
Although not those set off during daylight hours and selected for their decibels, rather than aesthetic appeal. I absolutely love fireworks though. I used to have a program where you could click on a black screen and randomly coloured and sized fireworks would explode, but now the nearest I can find is this. Still, the real thing is much better, in a duffel coat and with a sneaky hip flask preferably.

7. Trees
Because they look like this.

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