It’s September and it’s a bit shit outside. This is England and our lousy summer is over.
A summer that started so promisingly, with BBQs firing and drinks fizzing as far back as May. And back then we all thought this was it, this was going to be just like the summer of ’76 – that sizzling, scorching, dream of a summer when us kids played out for six long, glorious weeks, from dawn until dusk.
We think of ’76 every year, but like every other year, this one wasn’t to be. June was hotter than average, but wetter than average too, and this pattern repeated through July. August was cool and wet. Rain never seemed far away these past months.
And so here we are, the week that children, teachers and MPs return to school and work, the week our roads and public transport networks regain their familiar bloated, unkempt and overcrowded personas.
After a summer of over indulging, it’s time to can the booze, time to wheel out those empty promises of healthy eating and regular exercise in the safe knowledge they will be long discarded once again before October is out.
The clouds are forming, the first leaves are falling alongside the raindrops and the central heating is starting to creak and burp into life.
Deep breath ladies and gentleman, here we go.
Janus, the god of beginnings, transitions and endings. September is Janus with two faces, one looking back, reflecting on the summer that’s gone, one looking forward, excitedly planning for the autumn and winter to come.
Less than four months to Christmas, initial plans are afoot – who should we invite? what days shall we take off? what about new years eve?
Is that boiler actually working?
It’s time for jumpers, time for soups, casseroles and stews. Time for hot brews, time to snuggle down and watch TV, time for good BBC dramas, time for decent films at the cinema.
Sod the boiler, it’s time for log fires. Put the lawn mower in the shed, get out the rake. Time for rosy cheeks and wellington boots, time for long walks in scarves and gloves. Look at those leaves turning brown and gold. Let’s make a fire!
It’s September and it’s a bit shit outside. This is England and our beautiful autumn is just beginning.