14 Nov

Autumn is well and truly moving on in. I’ve felt justified in wearing long pyjamas (as opposed to just wearing them because they are blue, with polar bears on – see ‘bears’). I’ve worn a scarf heavier than a pashmina. I even put some glove-armsock-things on the other day. I know autumn is here with a vengeance today especially because after the roast dinner we had tonight, I suggested making stock for soup and the whole family practically shivered with excitement. Anyway. There’s a big dish containing an ex-chicken simmering away in our Aga at the moment and in the morning before I go to work I will skim it and refrigerate it for soup-making in the evening. This means autumn is here.

Other ways I know autumn is here: haze.

What means’t thou? I hear you cry. Well, perhaps not in those exact words. I’ll explain.

Autumnal haze is the sort of fog that the weather seems to have a hand in creating but is not a direct meteorological phenomenon. It’s a shimmery, dense quality of the air in and out of houses – inside houses where cooking of warming food is going on, and radiators have been turned up, and fugs of heat are swirling around, oozing off people and ovens and candles and baths and wood fires. Outside, this haze is a cross between mist and smoke – it has a tang of bonfire to it, because people associate autumn with bonfires and it’s amazing how your subconscious can turn a sight and a sensation into a smell. But it looks like it should cling as if it’s damp and it hangs in the air like low-lying fog patches. It’s a bit of a magic trick, too, because it seems to affect the eyes but nothing else – it doesn’t have any physical sensation; it evaporates before you can touch it – it’s a sort of weather mirage. It’s truly a ‘haze’ in that sense – it confuses and befuddles. Anyway, it’s particularly a feature of autumn.

Other hazy things: the word ‘Montezuma’. Say it out loud. Sounds a bit hypnotic, doesn’t it? Like if you repeat it enough times a cloud of sleep will descend ‘pon you and embalm you with its numbing, blanketing peace. Montezuma. Mmm.

Also related (especially¬†if you are familiar with the album ‘Helplessness Blues’) is the Fleet Foxes song ‘Blue Spotted Tail’. Go track it down.

I’m not sure what it is about this song that makes me think ‘hazy’ but it is, to me at least. I think it’s the guitar and the humming combo. And the words ‘why in the night sky are the lights hung’. Now that’s a hazily-framed question, for starters, but it also seems to recall that way that stars have of looking a bit fuzzy around the edges, like their light is sort of leaking out of them into the fabric of the sky, the way a badly-dyed piece of cloth leaks its colours. Add to that the idea the lights are ‘hung’ there, as if they are great big bulbs or candles with moths and all sorts flitting around them, softening edges of things and making everyone a bit sleepy.
Other things that make me hazy: real coffee. I had some today (why is it cheaper to buy filter coffee in a coffee shop than tea? Surely tea is always lower-energy?) and it was a bit like an out-of-body experience. I had the odd feeling that my brain was floating slightly above and to the right of where my head was physically located and the sentences it was forming were not ones upon which I would be prepared to stake my life that I was making sense. (In case you were wondering, I think I’m still suffering from after-effects).
Also, port. Now I frequently have a terrible time of things when port is involved (although often that is because of the quantity of other alcohols that precede the port, and not simply the port itself). Last night Michael and I watched a film (I won’t tell you what film it was because you will think less of us, but I expect its intended audience is not an alcohol-drinking one) and we finished my bottle of 21st birthday Tawny Port. Nothing terrible happened, for once (not even a hangover, to the chagrin of my poor mum, who had two whole glasses of wine last night and had a rotten headache all day, bless). But port and a sort of happy haziness of spirit seem to go hand in hand, and apparently, not always in a bad way.
Finally, my future. That seems to be enveloped in an ever-intensifying cloud of haze. The mists of uncertainty are thickening and if I do not escape them I am in danger of being sucked into the fog of obscurity and the swirling quagmires of boredom. This cannot be allowed to happen. I need to make choices! But not now. Now I am sleepy. There is a haze over my eyes.
And on that somewhat cryptic note, I bid thee goodnight X

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