Things I love: October

Now I have to say that I completely LOVE October. It is, by far, my favourite month. I am also partial to a good bit of December (who doesn’t love the mood at Christmas?) but October just pips it for me. So here are some of my reasons for loving October. Perhaps I will convince you to be an October-lover too..!

  1. Writing this now in my pyjamas (yes it is 10 o’clock) and my fluffy socks, I am all warm and cosy, snuggled up on the sofa. I take a bite of my toast and look out through the window next to me. The garden has a carpet of leaves. The trees above are a rainbow of colours, red, yellow, orange, brown, dabs of green. The scene makes me want to get up and run through the fallen leaves. I am lucky enough to live next to a wood, and at this time of year I love to take walks through the wood, running through the falling leaves, and trying to make the loudest crunch possible.
  2. October never signifies much work to me. The end of October is usually filled with a lovely two week long half term before another 7 weeks of work. So although the beginning of October can be a hard slog as your motivation dwindles after the initial start to the term, I always know that there are two weeks rest coming!
  3. As children we were always brought up with the firm rule that no matter how cold it gets before October, the central heating would only be turned on at October half term. We would pile on the jumpers and duvets and blankets and fluffy socks just waiting for half term. I always remember waking up at this time of year with the tip of my nose and toes feeling freezing cold, and the rest of my body really hot because I had gathered up all the spare duvets in the house and attached them together using the poppers on the corners to make a 19 tog duvet…! On Saturday we reached half term and as usual I was very excited to have central heating again. Well, fate decided it was not to be, as at some point between February and Saturday our boiler broke. We had no hot water. Yesterday, we had no water whatsoever. I await the arrival of the BT man this morning!
  4. October was always also associated with another strict rule in our house. Between the beginning of October and the 6th January, it is permissible to sing Christmas carols around the house, the reasoning being that when we were younger children after half term we always began practising Christmas carols for concerts and services at school. This rule developed into thinking about Christmas altogether, so October half term also marked the point where we could begin to think about what we would like for Christmas. So for us, the first few days of October half-term are usually filled with Christmas carols just to annoy our parents, even though now we are older we don’t start practising Christmas music until after Remembrance, and we really should be rehearsing Duruflé requiem…But who doesn’t love a bit of Christmas in October?
  5. As I mentioned above, I love walking in October. Wrapped up in a scarf and coat, crunching through the leaves, I could walk for hours. But the feeling I love is walking in the October sun. The air is crisp and bracing but the sun warms you right to the inside. On returning, your cheeks are tinged red from the wind and chill, but inside you are warm.
  6. It is totally OK to drink hot chocolate and make cookies. Nothing else to say! In addition, there are always deals on multipack chocolate for Halloween so we can stock up on treats 🙂
  7. House Singing always happens in October. At our school, House Singing is one of the major house competitions of the year, and the first in the calendar. Each House sings both a unison and a part song. This year our unison was Some Nights by Fun, and our part song was How Will I Know by Whitney Houston. Although incredibly stressful, what I love about this competition is the positivity and the incredible atmosphere in the Chapel. Everyone gets involved, no matter what ability they are, and has a good time. It was a bonus that this year our house came 3/9 in the unison, and 1st in the part song. It made the late night rehearsals and my terrible piano playing worth it..!
  8.  It is the perfect weather to curl up on the sofa with a book, blanket and mug of something, watch the rain racing down the windows, and read.

Those are the main things I love about October. There are probably more things I have forgotten! And the only negative thing about October? Getting ill… I know that for several days in October I will get ill. I always get ill during the holidays. It’s the season of colds and sore throats…But I don’t mind spending a few days in bed, as long as I can watch the leaves outside, sleep and read.

I have always been a fan of October, and up in the attic the other day, I found boxes of my old work. Here is a poem I wrote in year 8 which I found, that was inspired by October, and the falling leaves.

Metamorphosis       c. October 2012

In the end, we shall all die,

I am another. Gone.

My life flashes in front of me as I plunge downwards.

 

Emergence.

The snow melts into the rocky terrain.

Despair and emptiness linger in the morning mist.

Bare trees, row upon row upon row.

Yet I spring forth, a tiny bud; a tiny glimmer of hope.

Infancy.

A gentle sun beats down on my head.

Smiles and laughter ring and echo in my ears.

Surrounded by elders towering above me,

I play, skipping and swaying, twisting and turning in the peaceful breeze.

Maturity.

The aging sun overwhelms me and I am still.

Thoughtfulness and wisdom engulf me

Watching the juvenile beneath me.

My tip turns brown; I lose my old ways.

I convince myself that deep down I am still me.

Senility.

Rain patters on my skull and I am degraded by the deluge.

My bones are brittle as glass and wrinkles cover my face.

Snap me and I shall break.

All brown. No green. All dark. No light.

 

Lying silently on the soft damp ground below,

My family whispering to me from above:

“Don’t go, don’t leave us, don’t go!”

But I am just another in this graveyard.

I am just another. Gone.

 

Metamorphosis complete.

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