Summer’s gone, but who cares? Autumn’s more reliable, says Joshua Burt. And it doesn’t give a hoot if you’re #BeachBodyReady.
The seasons are changing. Autumn’s on its way – which seems brutally unfair given that this year’s summer basically consisted of someone tweeting a couple of bright red sunshine emojis, with a bafflingly long interval in between, then leaving Twitter for ever. Remember that scorching Saturday a couple of weeks ago? Well that was pretty much it: your entire summer shrunk down and condensed into one ridiculously sweaty day. And now it’s gone and all we’re left with is something protracted and beige.
But, get this: I love it! Really. Autumn is cool, it’s lazy and it doesn’t require you to be constantly tensing your stomach muscles in public. It’s comfortable like an old pair of slippers, and sort-of groovy, like Jeremy Corbyn in a knitted jumpsuit.
Yes, there are downsides, but we can skip over those, like dog turds hidden beneath piles of golden leaves. That summer headgear you bought will need to go in the bin, as once you’re away from your festival pals (or ‘field-people’ as you knew them) your straw hat will no longer shout ‘urban gunslinger’ so much as ‘office wanker’. Heaving pub gardens, once full of boozy laughter, will turn into soggy wastelands, with foxes barking sarcastically at the smokers. And, of course, your summer romance will be over – that thrilling sex marathon that began when your eyes were magnetically drawn to one another’s crotches at a picnic.
But, then, how much do you really miss the tent-folk, the banter and the dehydrating intercourse? Especially when autumn has Staying In to offer to you, or – equally enticing – Just Not Going Out. This season is that precious window of time when you can watch box sets and not drink for a week without people immediately assuming ‘breakdown’ or ‘pregnant’, or, god forbid, ‘dead’. Crucially, it allows you to pack your ridiculous ‘beach body’ away for another six-to-eight months and settle back into your nicer, squidgy one.
And there’s more. The temperature on the Underground suddenly becomes bearable. You can take brisk walks through parks all around the city without being hit in the face by an Aerobie. You can sit in a cinema for the entire duration of a film without having to fan yourself or dash outside to pour ice into your underpants.
Yes, autumn can seem cold and forthright, like an unsmiling mother superior or an old curmudgeon with a walking stick who just doesn’t know how to love. But once you blow the dust out of its wrinkles and see past the unbelievable brownness of its entire wardrobe, autumn reveals itself to be a trusty rock – honest, modest and dependable. It’s not sadistic like winter. It doesn’t tease you with promises of a heatwave like summer. And it’s not fickle like spring, who seems up for it one day and all cold and remote the next.
There are no false dawns and no broken promises. Autumn just is, and it’s wicked.
For more ranting and raving, read Eddy Frankel's column about the joys of playing in traffic.