The nights are drawing in, and I don't know about you, but it makes me feel so gloomy. I wish I could get as excited as others about the mist and rain, the nip in the air, seeing my own breath and throwing on layers of winter clothing. But I just can't. Not even the more esoteric pleasures of mushroom season can lift me, and – sadly – I have long lost that childish delight in the scary fact that there are only 77 days 'til Christmas.
The only good thing is everything's back on the telly. Considering how much people talk about the weather and (men) football and what's on TV or at the cinema, we rarely discuss those subjects here. At the weekend, I was lucky enough to meet a charming film director who helped me understand just why what gets made gets made the way it does and why what doesn't get made, doesn't.
But I need help. I can't recall the last time I saw a movie I really liked (The Descendants?) and here is the sum total of what I enjoy on television (outside of news, sport and all cooking shows other than the cloyingly irritating Nigella Lawson): Homeland (it's back – see page 17!), Mad Men, The Good Wife, Damages, House (RIP), Inspector Montalbano, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Modern Family and (with the girls) Merlin, (the terrible) Revenge and Waterloo Road.
What do you notice? Other than the family shows, they are all American. I find the writing zips and crackles and the directing is so good that each episode is a mini movie. Got any suggestions?
All distractions are welcome, because looming large on the horizon is my least favourite time of the year: Halloween, with all its commercial nonsense. Sometimes, I really do think that tortoises have the right approach to winter.