I hate the autumn. It’s a season which belongs to the countryside. I’d like to be able to experience it entirely from behind glass if I could, ideally from behind my enormous Grade II single-glazed oculus which can never be double-glazed and so starts to gather condensation in October. In the city a falling leaf is only pretty until it lands, and then it’s litter, and soon after that it’s a slippery obstacle. Mulch. Piles of rotting leaves smell to me like the sweat of unhealthy men. On Oxford Road, the only road I ever seem to walk down these days, they’re pulling up the Victorian sewers. The smell is of bad teeth and ripe egg mayonnaise. Toilet roll is strewn across the street, not from the sewers, from Halloween. I missed Halloween. I’ll miss Bonfire Night too. The sewer renovations intrude on the pavements so everyone is walking shoulder to shoulder at mismatched speeds, clammy in clothes inappropriate for the weather, because everything you wear in autumn is inappropriate for the weather. The weather is inappropriate. When I was a kid I ploughed my bike through an enormous pile of dry leaves at the side of the road. There was a pile of bricks waiting in the middle for me and I went in a perfect arc over the handlebars and landed on my back. Autumn is full of surprises. How I hate it.