September is the new January. But,without the festive burnout, increased waistlines and frantic Google searches to locate several recipes as to how best to use up/conceal the leftover turkey in each and every meal.
Everything is crisper and more golden. No longer do we have to run the gauntlet of leaving the bedroom windows open at night, in the hope of reducing the temperature in the sweatbox which we appear to have slept in during the summer months.
No more shouting my personal pest control into wakening by hissing, “Do you hear that? That buzzing? Turn on the light! I’m pretty sure it’s a mosquito/mythical winged creature/hound of hell! GET RID OF IT!”
For the most part, September is the month which gets it right. It is a beautifully worded apology making amends for the erratic weather of previous months.
It heralds the beginning of the cosy season. You can wear clothing, actual layers, without feeling as if you have been put on a timeout in a sauna, bedecked in thermals with hidden hot water bottles sewn into the fabric.
I have never been one for new year resolutions but in recent years I have looked upon September as a veritable clean slate. A fresh start.
The kids go back to school with pristine, fully stocked pencil cases and bags — spoiler, this won’t last.
In fact, prepare yourself for the notes to begin, advising you to replenish said supplies regularly. Because, it is apparent my children eat glue sticks and twistables.
It is the onlylogical explanation as to how quickly the aforementioned dwindle in number. Or completely vanish.
Candles, casseroles and jumpers; this is where my allegiance lies. The sweet, sweet knowledge that you do not have to suffer through another barbecue for at least a year.
Or have to nod your approval at charred burgers and limp sausages whilst inhaling noxious fumes from citronella torches. Give me a hearty stew, a syrupy glass of red and a robust period drama as the nights draw in over al fresco, salmonella-threatening soirees any day.
Then there is the telly. Like A/W fashion, it is just better than its summer sister. The sparse schedules of the previous months become plump with luscious offerings.
If there was a klaxon to sound off the beginning of such glorious tellybox programming, it would surely belong to that of The Great British Bake Off’
GBBO is a veritable balm for the soul. A refuge from the woes and stresses of everyday life. For one hour and fifteen minutes, once a week, it assures us that we can and will triumph and overcome all adversity.
Including, but not limited to, a “soggy bottom”. Here, beneath dappled sunshine and o’er green fields, we are invited into the cosy haven of baked goodness. Even when the task seems insurmountable and you haven’t quite managed to incorporate sufficient air into your Genoese (oooh err vicar etc!), there is still a prevailing sense that all, it will indeed, be ok.
Who also knew that Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig, a most unlikely pairing on paper if ever there was one, were in fact the on-screen duo that we never quite knew that we needed?
GBBO heralds the beginning of the A/W viewing and suddenly the shininess of Netflix becomes slightly dimmed. We are primed for the sojourn on the sofa where, gasp, we actually may watch a programme in real time and not clog up the box with infinite recordings of things we will never get around to watching.
Viewing, during the autumnal months,becomes more of an occasion. An opportunity to grab a blanket, a platter of suitable snackage and tune in.
There is a stillness in the evenings — as if each and every individual is making preparations for their own personal hibernation.
We speak often of the unhurried pace of the summer months. Yet, there is a similar tranquillity to those of the autumn and winter offerings.
The darkened evenings mean no longer having to negotiate bedtimes, mealtimes etc. There is a more natural rhythm. It becomes slower. Almost sloth-like.
Low lit lamps cast long shadows on the walls. A match crackles, burns and tickles the senses with smoky tendrils. Radiators hum and gurgle into being, roused from their summer slumber. The thumping of bare feet on floors is now dulled by the padding of wool.
The dry and brittle scent from the previous scorched months is replaced by a deep, mossy and clean aroma. It is that window of opportunity for us to embrace before the icy rains and wind descend.
September is my January. The fresh start. Enrobed in a blanket of rust and golden hues which guides and eases us gently into the winter… the most wonderful time of the year!