Due to a combination of British weather and retailer greed, it’s often hard to remember what time of year it actually is.
When temperatures remain unseasonably high for weeks at a time, and the shops are selling both Halloween and Christmas merchandise, how does a boy keep on top of the changing seasons?
For me, it’s when I know it’s time to rotate my seasonal wardrobe.
This is something we do a couple or three times a year, based on our subjective evaluation of the temperatures and their general direction. Once it starts to get chilly enough in the mornings, it’s time to unpack all the winter clothes and pack away the summer wardrobe.
Yesterday was one such day. And so now, in my head, Autumn has finally arrived.
You can forget about pumpkin-spiced nonsense and plans for dressing up as a sexy-accountant on October 31st, based on the fact that I can now wear my heavy coats and my blissfully comfortable sweaters again, it’s officially Autumn.
It’s also a little like going shopping.
Opening up those vacuum bags full of last year’s clothes means I get lovely surprises about things I forgot I owned or items I bought in sales to (how mature!) keep for when the weather changes.
I found several sweaters I’d forgotten actually existed and some lovely trousers I’ve never worn. So no need to go shopping for warm-weather gear any time soon.
It was also an activity full of nice memories. Finding the thermal underwear I’d previously bought for a trip to Iceland brought back fantastic, happy memories of our time in Reykjavik – dips in hot springs and long sessions in saunas.
Packing away my shorts reminded me of this year’s visits to Sitges, our time wandering through the botanical gardens in Singapore and our long, hot walk around Nagasaki in August.
Honestly, while I’m a slave to the sun and love nothing more than lying naked on a beach for hours at a time, there’s also something very comforting and soothing about dressing up in warm clothes to fend off the morning chill once the weather turns.
And a cold-weather wardrobe is also very forgiving of any additional weight one may have put on with all that travel and over-consumption. Baggy sweaters hide a multitude, especially if under a very warm pea coat. Ahem.
So, now it’s ‘officially’ Autumn. And so after a fairly intense return to the gym yesterday morning – my first in weeks due to man-flu – followed by a pathetic attempt at yoga back at my apartment – I did the most Autumn of things I could think of. I slipped into my most comfortable pair of sweatpants, lay back on the couch and flipped between my Nintendo Switch and Netflix for the remainder of the evening.
(If you’re looking for some cold-weather and Nordic inspiration for your Sunday evening, might I suggest this article in The Guardian?)
This morning is all about cleaning the apartment – is there such a thing as ‘Autumn cleaning?’ – and this evening will end with a nice, long session in the sauna downstairs.
Now that I think about, this wardrobe rotation is a tradition we’ve built up over the years, but one that I hadn’t given too much thought to. And all because our apartment simply doesn’t have the wardrobe space to contain all our clothes at the same time.
Something that used to frustrate me when we moved here five years ago has morphed into something to look forward to and enjoy.