Everywhere I look people are raving about it being autumn weather and Christmas fast approaching. It seems like I am in the minority when it comes to the winter months when I say I’m not that keen on it and I imagine this post will make me seem like such a grouch.
There are things that I like about autumn such as the leaves changing colour and falling from the tree as they have done this last week. In fact this is probably one of my most favourite things about November and going round crunching the leaves on a dry morning. But the further into the month we go the more the leaves turn to slush and the worse the weather becomes.
November signals the end of the days where the weather can still be sunny with just a little chill in the air. No longer is it possible to just wear a thick jumper and instead the coat, gloves, scarf and even hat starts to find its way out the house on a regular basis. I’m much more keen on September and October for this reason as I love jumpers but hate layering as regulating my body heat is something I struggle with.
And with the change in the weather it becomes increasingly difficult to justify having a side of salad or tucking into a traditionally summery dish. November signals that time when people try to find a way to include swede and turnip (yuck, yuck, yuck) in every meal. Others think stewing potatoes (yuck, the taste reminds me of the smell of a closed down textiles factory I visited in primary school) in a slow cooker is the best thing to do since sliced bread. People start handing out the sweets they have left over from halloween and then you fall into Christmas treats and parties where food quickly becomes little more than odd bites, constant replica roast dinners and sweet items. By the end of November I’m craving (and so is my skin and body) a serious salad and fresh, not over boiled or roasted, vegetables.
It also means there’s bonfire night and I really hate the week around it. Fireworks and the bangs that come with them not only scare me but they also make my ears and lungs hurt so much. The noise, the smell and the smoke really just don’t appeal and whilst they look pretty I could certainly handle never encountering another firework in my life. I like bonfire night and doing potatoes and marshmallows on a fire but they all too often come with fireworks or sparklers or people drinking too much and getting far too close to the flames for me to ever feel relaxed about the concept.
But mainly, the older I get, there’s one reason I hate November more and more: the approach of Christmas. I don’t find it to be magical like I did when I was a child and because I have no young children around me at Christmas I don’t get excited on their behalf. At present I’m at that age where I can’t host a ‘proper’ full-blown Christmas for 10 people and also where I can’t afford to get people gifts that put a real smile on their face. November, and all the adverts and product launches that come with it, reminds me that a time in the year that I cannot afford is fast approaching and that I must dust off my false smiles and get ready for a tiring season of samey food, too much drink and repetitive cracker jokes.
For me November is just a dark, dull and rainy month that signals that start of an over-priced over-luxurious season. Perhaps one day I’ll fall back in love with November but for now it’s lost its sparkle.