Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Villas, smarter Londoners and books in bed

Today is official the last day of summer. Yeah, I know, ridiculous right? It's September 21 and only now is it technically autumn, despite it clearly being cold enough to have justified booking a villa holiday and high-tailing it out of here for about three weeks now.

As I said before, though, I like autumn a lot. It's full of colour and change and enjoyable days in the calendar: Halloween, Bonfire Night, that Christmas thing which seems to be as popular as ever. All in all, it's not a bad time of year.

One thing I've always thought about the autumn/winter season in London is just how much smarter Londerers looks during the colder months than in the summer.

From now on long, smooth winters coats, elegant scarves and fancy gloves are the norm and baggy, ill-fitting, garish t-shirts, shorts and flipflops are mercifully hidden away for another 6-9 months of the year.

I've been fruitlessly trying to track down the medium sized version of a great winter coat I saw in a TK Maxx that only seems to be stocked in the large. Curses.

One other nice thing about all this is that you can spend more time curled up inside with a good book, too. There are few finer things in life than lying in a bed on a cold, blustery day with an enjoyable piece of writing that you can plough through as the weather howls impotently outside.

I once read the entire novel The House of Sleep by Jonathan Coe on one such day, and it was bliss. Recently I've been doing likewise (pre and post rugby world cup matches) with The Atlantic, Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester, a man who's led a very interesting and varied life as a journalist and writer.

It had a lot of interesting historical, social and maritime facts, stories and topics within its 400+ pages and although not the best non-fiction book I've read of recent years, it was certainly an enjoyable yarn.

For anyone that's had more than a passing interest in the great, grey slab of water that lies off the coast of Cornwall and churns and thunders unstopped until it reaches, by turns, Canada, the US, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, then it would come with a hearty recommendation from yours truly.

Ah, the sunny climes of Brazil and Argentina, it's enough to make you book that winter summer holiday without a thought for the price.

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