I live in the UK, in the beautiful south-west county of Devon, so I enjoy bountiful sunny days and balmy evenings for months on end, right?
April and May are typically lovely, and the flip-flops come out from their hibernation around Easter time. But the moment the actual summer arrives (June, July, August) the glorious weather seems to depart for better climes.
However, I've worn my ankle boots too often this summer as this year has been particularly wet, and I spent most of last week trying to dry out from the inside (I had to throw away the really soggy clothes that refused to dry).
It was around the time of wringing out Mini Stylist's socks for the third time one day when I decided to make peace with not having had a summer (and vowed to book a winter sun break at the first opportunity).
So I was delighted with a good run of three dry, if slightly cloudy, days at the start of the August Bank Holiday, and took advantage of the East Devon and Dorset Jurassic coastline of Seaton and Lyme Regis to wrap up my birthday week of celebrations.
But, really, I love the end of summer, and here's why:
1. I love vests and cardigans
Unless describing a house, cozy is a fabulous state to be in; strappy tops that offer summer embarrassment (bare, pasty white, arms; unexpected toddler top-peekaboo) are suddenly perfect for wearing under your favourite dresses for an extra layer of warmth. And I absolutely love the comforting snuggle of shrugging into a chunky knit, particularly first thing in the morning or at the end of a busy day. You know I'm right.
2. Autumn Drinks
Peppermint Mocha, Pumpkin Spice Latte, or the first Gluhwein of the season
(if that’s your tipple), there is just something so rebalancing about a warming
drink. I love a summer cocktail (or 3)
but not the headache that follows. I want sweet milky drinks, please, whose
calories are lovingly hidden under waterfall-esque knitwear.
3. Crisp and colourful, but brief, sunny days
The great thing about living in Plymouth is that we usually have fabulous
blue skies in Autumn, contrasting with the yellow and red carpet of shedding
sycamore trees. You can keep your neon
and nautical summer blues and pinks; cloudless cobalt, mustard yellow and
earth-red for me, please. And I don't have to reach for the full-body SPF.
4. Crumbles and custard
I buy apples and pears in the summer, but they hardly seem to be eaten. Chop and add to (washed and de-insected)
blackberries and you have the perfect excuse for a custard indulgence. May be enjoyed either at a table or wrapped
under a blanket watching a box set.
5. Beauty Shopping
Why buy beauty products at any other time of year except Autumn? Department
stores offer generous loyalty points and you can buy gift sets that aren’t
available at any other time of year (except Dec/Jan, when they’re likely
discounted!) It’s worth saving up in the summer, and emptying your current
stock of goodies, to really treat yourself once October appears. And don’t forget the deliciousness of Beauty
But until Autumn is here (mid-September when school is well underway, the stationery offers peak and milky drinks arrive) I will enjoy those last unexpected sunny days and top up my vitamin D levels with impromptu beach walks, which I never tire of whatever the season, and look for those first dropped leaves whenever I can.
How do you treasure your end of summer?