Some people think autumn has an elegiac quality, but I’ve always thought it signifies more of a joyful beginning than a sorrowful end. This misty optimism might have something to do with the fact that as a child I loved school. It might also have something to do with the fact that as an adult, I love change.
We all know the drill this time of year. Still cleaving to your kaftan and Aperol Spritz, you stand there with fading tan and slightly crispy hair, sniffing the spicy air like a hound dog, knowing that IT is coming. You’ve an idea that it involves game, pumpkins, Shiraz, funnel–like social activity that leads to the C word and maybe a few fireworks en-route. You start to pick through a pile of ageing, bobbly jumpers, knowing that come the Equinox you will, yet again, be sartorially challenged. Can you handle this year’s pussy bow and military wide legged trouser? No. Can you bear to recycle last year’s plether jeggings and assorted tweedy efforts? You may have to. You begin to feel tenser than Anna Wintour’s PA’s jawline before the September issue goes to print. But then you remember. The season of abundance too has its bonuses:
- One of the enormous pluses of autumn’s onset is the festival juggernaut finally grinds to a halt, spewing vintage, pop up twats back into their decompression tents for another year. You don’t have to hear about it, you don’t have to see it in your timeline. Adieu to fairy woodlands and locally sourced ethically produced foodie masterclasses and open mic buttock-clenching spoken word nightmares. For a while there will be no more unicorns.
- This will leave you free to pave the way for the more serious business of greeting the canapé season in something dark, velvety and dramatic. If nothing else this is the time of high art and high fashion. It’s about having a quick rummage through one of the second hand shops in W11 and getting into an opening at the V&A on someone else’s ticket. Remember, you are an autumnal interloper and you are not ashamed.
- Next there’s the food. Nature’s larder is overflowing, so tuck into regal venison, plump partridges, dim-witted pheasants and leaping salmons. If you are vegan, you may feast on a blackberry or a gourd.
- Light entertainment is looking up. X-Factor and Strictly show their surgically enhanced, spray tanned faces for your edification and delight. You’ve got more back story, ritual humiliation and social mobility than you can shake a stick at. Plus Ed Balls in a spangly bolero shrug. Why go out?
- Dream Girls, The new Design Museum, You Say You Want A Revolution, No Man’s Land, BFI London Film Festival, Caravaggio at The National Gallery, The Red Shoes at Sadlers and truffles, that’s why.
- Keep your flip flops on, we’re heading for an Indian Summer…..