Fade to grey
There’s always something a little bit depressing about September, which looms ahead. You’re finally saying goodbye to summer and therefore the prospect of getting any browner or more cheerful by natural means, all the children look depressed because it’s nearly time to go back to school and there’s the great big monster called Christmas lurking, with 1 September almost guaranteeing to bring you a sprig of tinsel somewhere. There is no escape.
And then there's the other side of the coin. Children actually claiming that they can’t wait to go back to school (novelty wears off after two days) and the impending excitement of Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night and, of course, Christmas, which quite a lot of people enjoy, or so I have read.
I would always have brand-new uniform to put on in September, along with sparkling stationery and a too-short, unfashionable haircut save for my first ever September at school where my blond locks were allowed to flow freely). Mornings spent in bed half-heartedly watching repeats of Home and Away and Silas were to be no more, replaced instead by getting up early and queuing for the school special in the drizzle, while girls in puffa jackets wearing too much hairspray would nervously clutch the packets of cigarettes in their pockets, just waiting for the time when they could get on the top deck of the bus and smoke their lungs off.
Now, as a grown-up, September passes me by almost unnoticed, like most other months. A leaf might fall from a tree to remind me that autumn is limbering up for its annual occupation, but aside from a cooler temperature, there’s little to remind me that we’re shifting from one season to another. The sky has been almost permanently grey over London throughout June, July and August anyway, so three more months’ worth of non-weather won’t make much difference, I’m sure.