2020, Autumn 1

Summer seems to have been swept away from under our feet this year. The warmer months always feel like a kind of fever dream given how quickly they come and how quickly they go. It's hard to believe we were opening the loft hatch in desperate attempt to let heat escape just some weeks ago, and now we're bundling ourselves under blankets.

I'm sure the truth is that our bodies are so attuned to a specific temperature that there's only a few degrees in it between being too hot or too cold – 'just right' is something of myth and legend.

It is these middle-months that are the most awkward, never being quite cold enough for some things and never quite warm enough for others. Always wearing too many layers and too few simultaneously.

Last week we set aside a Sunday building IKEA furniture, and the house felt like an oven. Meanwhile on colder days just sat at the computer it feels like an icebox.

So it goes. I promise to make this observation only the once – as an Englishman I have a duty to talk about the weather.

The change seemed to happen over two or three days while we were away on holiday in Suffolk. We arrived in the Summer and left in the Autumn. Suffolk was a go-to holiday destination for my family when I was in the interim ages of being able to form memories, so there was a strange familiarity to the whole thing, while not being able to put my finger on a lot of it.

I'm told it's where one side of my family 'comes from', although I'm sure in reality it's more complicated than that. I will admit there was a part of me that suggested a sense of belonging, particularly as the weather grew more grey and cold.

The place was littered with holiday homes, that were surely someone's actual home decades away, all closed, vacant and quaint. It seemed ghostly at times, likely in part due to the lockdown, and also in part due to the summer ending, any would-be tenants back to their 9-5s.

What a sad place these towns filled with get-away homes must be in the dull seasons. Perhaps one day all we'll need to work is an internet connection, and remote parts of the country will be appealing to live in again – once some double glazing is installed I imagine.

A short walk on the outskirts of my hometown last week made me appreciate the cooler weather and the change in the leaves.

Our 'IKEA Sunday' had high and lows. A few years ago Rachel was inspired to make a wardrobe out of IKEA's 'Ivar' shelving – a sort of rough, modular shelving solution designed for sheds or workspaces.

Seems we were just early to a rising trend. IKEA appears to have realized what they have in their hands, as they're now selling smart doors and drawer modules more appropriate for bedrooms.

With the lack of storage at the moment we thought it would be a good idea to expand our open wardrobe with these new options. We're both very happy with the outcome, although the putting together felt a lot like what it was – some more fancy ideas being installed into something that was never originally designed to accommodate them.

After a few undos, swap arounds, and hammered in parts not designed to be removed being forcibly removed, it eventually came together.

Again, we're very happy with the result – I like the combination of the open sections and the closed sections. The doors on the left aren't actually closed off, they are just aesthetic. I think that's ideal. I like an open wardrobe – it encourages you to keep things tidy, and allows the clothes to breath.

Return to work and life back in Bristol and back in lockdown remains uneventful and unbroken-up. Although I've always had a soft spot for the long lead up to Christmas for sheer productivity's sake.

The Great British Bake Off makes a welcome return. I'm not usually a fan, but I've been secretly looking forward to it if only for the small glimpse back into normality it brings. We have a lockdown-rule friendly meet up each week, as we did years prior. It's a lumbering 90 minutes each episode this year, but I'll gladly allow myself to let it wash over once a week.

Rachel and I had pizza today and watched Belleville Rendez-Vous in nod to our six years together. The delivery driver was the friendliest I'd ever come across. 'He's doing it for the tip', we agreed, but we tipped him anyway.


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