You will have read Ralph rue the descent of the crunchy autumn leaves and, for me, the next delight of the weather wonder wheel is the donning of a hat, scarf, gloves and fur-lined waterproof boots, right? Wrong. This year, November has scuppered us.
The first frost kept at bay by cosy warmers is one of the best things a Scottish winter has to offer. Aside, of course, from wood fires and ungritted pavements. Rose-tinged memories come to mind of crackling sparklers and clear fresh air heralding the cusp of the chilly season.
Not one to deter myself from a path well travelled, the dark mornings signalled time for a wardrobe switch around – shorts to the back, woolies to the front.
That was my first wrong move. The gloomy dark, Victorian mists swirling the fields around Fife and a ‘v’ in the month fooled me. Fooled me into piling on the layers and setting off feeling smug at my elemental preparation.
I was not one third of the way to Haymarket when the flush of overheating was almost unbearable. Unable to stop to remove a layer, I powered on, at a speed predetermined to allow me the luxury to reach my destination with five minutes to spare. I arrived at the ticket desk. Two cheery morning ScotRail employees greeted me, both smiling one said: “Has it started raining again?” I shook my head. “In a rush, were you?” his colleague laughed. I laughed too. More from embarrassment than the hilarity of it. I couldn’t stand it any longer and ‘glowing’ profusely, not from rain, had begun to peel off the layers. No matter where I go or what I am doing lately, I am always over-warm.
For example, bent almost double, brunch-bound on Saturday with friends in tow, marching headfirst into the driving rain, we arrived wet but into the warm embrace of a traditional pub destined to be warmed further by warm things.
This November is shaping up to be one of the hottest in a wee while, still pushing the mercury into the environs of 13-19 degrees.
I’m ignoring it. Stubbornly putting my heating on, coaxing the cold from its hidden depths. I admit this all sounds like a pathetic reason to complain about something un-complain-able but, honestly, what is one to weeeaarrr? Boots are too hot, pumps are too wet; tops are too flimsy, jumpers are too warm; jackets need to be waterproof but not warm and umbrellas are a real stretch of desperation, not fashionistically but windily; hats work but are invariably too hot, sunglasses seem ridiculous but drive at your peril without them. A recent road traffic radio broadcast actually stated the reason for a three-mile tailback on the M8 was ‘a low sun’. The London-based news broadcasters giggled at the quaintness of our traffic plight, but, honestly, the low flying sun is a real hazard.
So here it is, my ultimate new November fashion, female style – sorry chaps, but I have enough to worry about without having to consider your wardrobe as well – wellies, bare legs, skirt, work blousy thing, jumper in the handbag (just in case), cagoule, umbrella-hat (if you’re not sure, Google it), sunglasses. Vogue eat your heart out.