Season of mists and new polyester skirts

Katy Guest is trying to be pleased that autumn has arrived

Share

Last week, two people contacted me to discuss this paper's Christmas books coverage. I refused to talk about it, because I am still refusing to accept that summer is over. I always get a bit petulant at this point of of year, but this time the inevitable feels worse than ever. How can it be autumn, when it hasn't yet been summer? Get those leaves back on the trees immediately.

Tonight's Paralympics closing ceremony really signifies the official start of the end. During the Games, we've had a reprieve from the pelting rain, which started the moment we planted out our courgettes and finished about a minute before the Olympic Opening Ceremony started. We all realised on 27 July that Sebastian Coe must have discovered the secrets of cloud seeding, but at the time nobody complained; we were just so grateful that it had stopped raining. But we know what's going to happen now, don't we? It's going to start raining at midnight tonight and not stop until the next Olympics.

Rain is one of the more miserable problems of a British autumn. Witness the Duchess of Cambridge, holding her own umbrella on a windy day. (Bless her, she's just like one of us, only prettier!) No wonder she's taking her own private stylist on the imminent Diamond Jubilee tour of South-east Asia – do you know what humidity like that does to your hair? On the plus side for her, at least she'll be warm there, so she won't have to wear one of those scratchy-looking coat-dresses that make her increasingly resemble the Queen. Also witness Carol Vorderman, who coined an acronym last week just by having her hair curly and wearing some high heels and a frock. It wasn't even a very good acronym: Swofties apparently stands for Single Women Over Fifty who dress to Thrill.

Also, many women know that curly hair is just what happens when you go outside in a damp British September with the kind of hair that can't help but predict the weather, and that heels and a frock are just a good way of avoiding wet hems and soggy sandals.

Even worse than the rain are the cold and the dark, and it's also a myth that public transport is more bearable in cold weather. In summer, everyone is dressed for the heat and therefore can tolerate a hot underground train, tram or bus. (Although a man's armpit did once drip on my foot, which is hard to tolerate at any time of year.) In winter, everyone is dressed in boots, woollies, scarves and coats, and there is not enough room on a packed tube carriage to move or breathe or take anything off. It's like the carriage is an airing cupboard, and all the people merely hot-water tanks wrapped in plastic.

Maybe it's because autumn smells like going back to school that many people have such a Pavlovian response to the season. Instead of bare feet, light nights and lying under trees reading, it means new teachers, polyester uniforms and long walks home through puddles.

However, it seems worse this year because the Olympic season (let's not dignify it with the name "summer") has been so pleasant, and is coming to such an abrupt end. We haven't had the weather that some countries enjoy, but the Olympic and Paralympic volunteers have created a knock-on effect of sunny kindness that has made trolling round London a bit like living somewhere like Spain, where people seem to be relaxed and nice to each other most of the time.

When the fireworks finish tonight, and the rain starts, will we all revert to the cold, damp, British norm, or will we squeeze an Indian summer out of a lingering sense of goodwill? You'll find me with a heat lamp gluing leaves back on to trees until we figure it out.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Data Entry Administrator

£10670 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: Regional Gas Installation Manager - South East England

£36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Regional Gas Installation Manager is r...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service and Breakdown Engineer - South East

£29000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Service and Brea...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letters: NHS data-sharing is good for patients

Independent Voices
 

Daily catch-up: the old Palace of Westminster; Batman vs Superman; and more Greenery

John Rentoul
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee