Tab Guide to Appreciating Autumn

MOLLIE WINTLE shows you some of the seasonal delights and diversions…

autumn Boots Cambridge Christmas gnats John Lewis Keats leaf seasn sun slut supervisor Tab winter

Out of all of the seasons, Autumn is definitely in my top four. It’s beautiful and misty and allows you to wear things which are Sexy and Practical, like black woolly tights, and gloves. When else can you crunch leaves, parade fashionable knits, and cycle down Castle hill with mates in a brisk yet orderly fashion all at the same time? However, it seems as if some people have been a little slow to cotton on. ‘Autumn is the worst season,’ said my brother gloomily. ‘Why is that, Max?’ I asked. ‘Is it because you feel your youth, along with the summer, dwindling away into the ever darkening years of cold and decay?’ No,’ he said. ‘It’s because the leaves make the pavement all slippy’. He paused thoughtfully. ‘And also because it’s got a silent N in it.’

Reader, if you are of a similarly Neandertholic disposition listen closely: Bonfire Night has been and gone, and the opportunity to appreciate the prince of seasons is quickly diminishing. Already the air is starting to bite. Here is our guide for you to turning autumn to awesome.                                                                                                  

Autumn is Classy

I had a very agreeable diversion from The Wife of Bath with my supervisor last week when he too agreed that Autumn was the best season. We might not see eye to eye on the appropriate length of an essay, but by God do we have our seasonal priorities straight. Together we dismissed the competition as too cold, overrated and tacky and in that moment, as my supervision partner kicked herself for being such a sun-slut, I knew that I had not only his taste, but also his respect. What I lacked in terms of ability to structure an essay I had more than made up for in good judgement.

The dream

Quite nice

Autumn is Rainy 

Being inside at night with rain thrumming at the windows is surely the definition of contentment. Sometimes I think glass was only invented to create this effect. Because when else can you curl up under your duvet and pretend to be Kurt from The Sound of Music? To answer that rhetorical question – potentially never. And if it wasn’t for rain, lots of things would be bad. The Notebook would lack pathos, Noah would have lived a long but ultimately unexciting life, and lots of crops would die. Remember all of this when you’re complaining that the moisture is making your fringe puffy.

sound of music

The dream

Autumn is Provocative

There’s always one. That one person who can’t walk past John Lewis without a muttered ‘fuck.’ Global poverty pales into insignificance when compared to the calamity that is baubles being hung up in October. When I was little, all it took was a few whispered bars of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman’ for my uncle to call all aspects of society into question. Discover your target in college and pin them down. It shouldn’t take much to stir the fires. A languid observation of how many Christmas trees you’ve counted that day, a quiet mention of the giant glittery angel you saw being hoisted above Sidney street – as the Bible says, a gentle answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger (proverbs 15.) Be that grievous word, and reap the rewards in witnessing one of the most disproportionate shows of rage you will ever encounter.

Autumn is Kind

Like a good night’s sleep or MAC foundation, Autumn is one of those kind creatures which will only ever improve an object under scrutiny. Case and point in Murray Edwards College: described affectionately by some as a giant ashtray in a prison, in Autumn it at least resembles a prison with some grass.

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Dome sweet dome

It is like what Keats gone and said in Ode to Autumn: “While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day/And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; / Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn / Among the river-sallows” – ignore the bit about the gnats because that is not poetic is it – but the rest: Ah. Glorious. Next week my supervisor wants me to bring in a favourite poem. I think instead I shall simply bring him an Autumn leaf because is that not itself  poetry personified? If he says ‘no’, I shall give him the Keats one. Or a small mourning gnat. Or maybe a copy of this article hehe.

Ultimately, today I was in Boots and they played ‘All I want for Chrsitmas (Is You.)’ Never one to turn down a compliment, I listened appreciatively to the whole track before my thoughts turned to the rushed treatment Autumn so often seems to receive. Take time this season to smash a conker, eat a pumpkin or read some Keats: Max for one will only be receiving pressed leaves this Christmas.