Of course before Christmas there was Bonfire night. After the fair had gone children would have a week's half term holiday before starting to look forward to bonfire night. Dad would start buying some fireworks and storing them in a tin ready for the big day. Sure when they were lit in our small garden they were soon a thing of the past but that made them so special. The street where we lived had a couple of bomb sites or bombies, left over from the second world war and these would house the huge street bonfires. Chestnuts could be roasted by adults and the icing on the cake was the poor old Guy Fawkes, stuffed effigy of the man himself which was thrown on the top.
The Autumn weather back then was often full of sharp frosts, some snow, very foggy weather and could be very cold. Our little house had no heating upstairs and had an outside loo. Neither of these meant for a cosy, cushy time. Yet I loved it. Snuggling down with a hot water bottle at your feet under a green silky covered eiderdown, as the inside of the windows froze on the inside, was somehow fun.
These days - Nowadays I feel as if I am a grumpy old woman. I still love Autumn but for different reasons and I would gladly have Summer all year.
I love the fact that the children go back to school in early September. As they are now usually on holiday for around seven weeks it is great to see the back of them. Hoorah.
The prospect of Hull Fair arriving has turned into a bit of a non-event for me. These days it is noisy, expensive, tacky, full of loud mouthed yobs, overcrowded and often dirty. Then again I guess it always was and it is me that has changed. I do not live that far away from the fair but rarely visit and, if I do, always manage to find something to complain about. The fair lasts a day longer than in years gone by which as a child I would have loved. Now it just makes the buses full and hard to get a seat on, one day longer.
Halloween is simply a commercial exercise. The shops are full of junk to buy for Halloween from early September, even though Halloween is not until end of October. Kids come around trick or treating and I am damned either way. If I do not have any treats ready millions of children beat a path to my door. If I have a mountain of treats not one child appears
Bonfire night is an absolute pain and I have no idea why we still celebrate it. Of course this was just as true when I was young and adored it. Now I can see that it can be dangerous and is very expensive. Having two dogs I get really annoyed about the much noisier fireworks readily available these days. Fireworks begin to be heard from early October and many weeks after bonfire night which is on 5th November. I guess one thing that has changed is that these days such events are extended.
With the extension of special events, these days, Christmas cards, food and toys will have been available in the shops since September. By the time that Christmas actually arrives I am sick to death of anything even remotely Christmassy. As a child I would have loved this extension of course.
Finally dark nights - Going to work in the dark and returning home the same way id depressing. As those grey November days approach melancholy seems to be the only mood relevant. As a rebellious teenager I loved dark nights. Going to the pub and clubs dolled up to the nines with a thick layer of make-up on never seemed right when nights were light. Autumn and Winter was perfect for living it up.
So what do I like about Autumn these days? - Actually there is a lot that I love about this season. These days I would be happy to have three seasons, that is Spring, Summer and Autumn. Winter is just too cold and miserable. As an adult I find that I can take or leave Christmas and so even that special event has no appeal to make me want Winter.
Autumn sometimes offers bright, clear, fairly warm days with cooler nights and mornings. If we are very lucky we get an Indian Summer which offers the best of both worlds.The cooler slightly darker evenings make them perfect for drawing the curtains and snuggling up in front of a roaring fire.
The darker mornings mean that the dawn chorus of birds is a little later and the sun does not stream into the bedroom too soon. This means that a lie in is possible on days off and weekends. It is not cold enough to need mountains of clothes nor the heating on full. Not yet anyway.
Anyway the days of outside loos and freezing cold bedrooms are long gone. Central heating, even in the bathroom and loo means that we are always cozy. I guess that if the cynics are right about global warming, and such luxuries go, then at least I will know what to expect. I would hate to have to live like that again though. The caravan after we were flooded was bad enough.
Finally the great outdoors - Whether it is my garden, the walks that I take with my dogs or the piles of Autumn leaves, I find the outside appealing in Autumn. The air has a scent all of its own. It has the feeling of closure for that year but not a final closure. It is almost like something closing down temporarily. You know that next year everything will be back blossoming and full of life but for now respite care is needed.
So this is what is so special to me about Autumn. Simple things really that if you blink you will miss. However, if you take the time and stop rushing about perhaps you may find what you love about Autumn.
Consider this classic poem by W H Davies, which is as true as ever:
Leisure WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB
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