Time to think of Christmas

It’s September and I can really feel the turn in the season. There is a chill in the air and people around me are dropping like flies with stinking colds.

Yet for some reason every time I go outdoors into the crisp air I feel an overwhelming sense of excitement wash over me, mixed with a kind of wistful, aching undertone I can’t quite explain.

I’ve never been this excited about the onslaught of autumn, and it’s slightly confusing that I feel this way now, in a year when I finally discovered my favourite way to enjoy the outdoors, and have spent the entire summer doing so. I should be sad the season for frolicking around in the sunshine is over, shouldn’t I?

Perhaps it is all the climbing trips that I have been on this summer, spending virtually no time at home in London, which have made me crave a break from all that excitement and activity. Or perhaps something in me is fundamentally changing.

Read about my trip to the Wye Valley where I did my first ever trad climb here.

It is the anticipation of the festive season that is making me so excited, like a small child waiting for Christmas. Instead of mourning the dying summer, I can’t wait to wrap up in warm clothes and a hat and sit there having endless cups of tea. I can’t wait to smell the spices in the air and have my first mug of fiery mulled wine. I can’t wait to hear fireworks shaking up the quiet nights and watch them exploding on London’s skyline.

And for the first time, I don’t mind that it’s getting cold. I’m even looking forward to crisp winter mornings, and bouldering trips with thermos flasks to get us through the frosty days. I’m excited about coming home to a massive warm meal after spending hours out in the cold, or huddling up around a roaring fire in a country pub.

But how do I make sure I avoid disappointment this year? How do I make sure the season lives up to my expectations? Or will it always be a bit of an anticlimax, with the mulled wine tasting that little bit too weak, and the mince pies far too sugary?

The steady Morse code of raindrops on my window snaps me out of my fairy tale dreams.

Every year, I forget how much rain can ruin any weekend plan in England. We had enough trouble trying to book climbing weekends in the summer! The perpetual weather forecast checking, the indecision, the last minute changes of plan…

I know it’s too much to ask for, but can we please have a crisp, cold autumn and winter, like it’s supposed to be, not a wet and murky one?!

I’m going back to my fairy tale dreaming…

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