Help, I'm a pyjama-clad leaf falling into autumn's soupy sea of despair

Autumn's just a weird time of year when leaves fall off trees and everyone enters the autumn of their lives.

Autumn's just a weird time of year when leaves fall off trees and everyone enters the autumn of their lives.

AUTUMN'S just a weird time of year when leaves fall off trees and everyone enters the autumn of their lives.

No matter what age you are, it just happens: last month I was young and sprightly and brimming with positivity, but now autumn's here and I'm kvetching about the weather, and putting on pyjamas before dinner, and eating more soup, and listening to Magic 1278 while I eat my soup (slurp-humming along to the harmonica solo in Moon River).

And I'm even doing the unthinkable and emailing off PowerPoint attachments to all my friends and relatives, with photo montages of ''Amazing autumns in Canada'' - huge high-res 450-terabyte attachments that chew up everyone's bandwidth use for the month. Help me. Make it stop.

Autumn does this to you, makes you enter the autumn of your life: I'm not a big leaf-sweeper, I don't sweep leaves any other time of year, but autumn comes along and now every morning I'm out in my backyard, sweeping like an Olympic curling champ in the gold-medal playoff. SWWISHHH, SWWWISHHHH, I sweep leaves into little piles, SWWISHHH, SWWWISHHHH then I sweep those little piles into bigger piles, SWWISHHH, SWWWISHHHH then I sweep those bigger piles into ONE GREAT, ENORMOUS MUTHA-PILE, then I sweep that enormous pile out onto the footpath and just leave it there because I'm old and I don't care what anyone thinks. Then I go inside and eat more soup.

Autumn has plunged me into the autumn of my life: no other season makes me nostalgic, no other season makes me sentimental, but autumn's got me sitting on my porch, watching leaves fall from trees, while I softly sing to Jeff Wayne's Forever Autumn: ''The summer sun is fading as the year grows old/ And darker days are drawing near/ My red rheumy eyes welling with tears/ As I reminisce about life and love/ Each falling leaf a fleeting memory/ Like the sun through the trees you came to love me/ Like a leaf on a breeze you blew away/ Hundreds of leaf-memories falling, falling/ All over my car in the driveway/ And I have to go out in my pyjamas/ And clean all the leaf-memories off with a blue fluffy duster-wand from Danoz Direct/ My life will be forever autumn/ Coz you're not here.''

Autumn makes you behave like this, makes you obsess about temperatures: I'm too hot, I'm too cold, I'm too hot, I'm too cold. So I have the aircon and the heater on at the same time and I just find a spot in the house where both temperatures meet in a perfect balance - it's behind the laundry hamper in the bathroom, and I've put a chair there.

Or I go on the computer and check the Bureau of Meteorology's website for no reason at all, just to see if there's any moderate-to-heavy precipitation anywhere on the radar. If I see red areas of rain, if I see a few red dots, I get excited and I celebrate with a sparkling bubbly glass of soup.

Autumn has made me autumnal, turned me into a jammie-wearing, soup-slurping, kvetchy old leaf-sweeper with an interest in non-commutable allocated superannuation pensions even though I don't even know what they are.

The autumn of my life cannot end soon enough. Then if I can just get through the winter of my discontent, I will be younger than springtime again.

And after that, well ? I'm very much looking forward to the summer of love.

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