Thursday, October 09, 2008

Autumn melancholy

We are enjoying a few sunny days just now, but there is a decidedly autumnal nip in the early morning and evening air. As the evenings draw in, but it isn't yet cold or dark enough for cosy fires and welcoming lights, I have a tendency towards melancholy. Nothing serious, you understand, I am boringly optimistic in my outlook on life, but I find myself listening to the blues and reading more poetry than usual; I look out my 'comfort books', take up the knitting needles and dig out the unfinished quilts. I suppose it is the opposite of spring-cleaning: I'm getting ready to snuggle down for the winter but feeling a bit sad about the passing of summer.

We have had two consecutive rainy summers so perhaps we can all be forgiven for feeling a bit gloomy about the approach of winter. One of the casualties of the rain has been our family gathering at Westonbirt in July, for an open air concert and champagne picnic. The last one we attended was in 2006, when we saw Van Morrison. Thinking of that, I have been listening to his Veedon Fleece album - just the right sentiments for my current mood. I was going to share some of it here but, surprisingly, there isn't any on YouTube, my search was not in vain, however, because I came across a wonderful clip title: If Van Morrison wrote a song about Emily Dickinson .... The song is The Belle of Amhurst by the band Quoting Napoleon. Perfect for a melancholy Thursday. Watch out for Caspar David Friedrich's 'Woman at the Window', which I featured in a post in September.


  1. October 2008 at 21:19:00 BST

    I know what you mean - I always feel sad when the summer is over. Maybe because I know it will take more than six months before I can move out on my small verandah where I spend so much time from early spring to early fall.
    I love reading by the fire but I still miss summer!

  2. I share that melancholy and, for very specific reasons, November - not April - is "the cruellest month" for me.

    So, we must think of some joyfully uplifting activities for the coming winter months.

    And, yes, Van the Man can always be relied upon for a song to match the time, the place and the mood.

  3. Oh yes, D, some joyfully uplifting activities. All suggestions that are not immoral or fattening gratefully received!

    I'll start the ball rolling with a visit to a dear friend. See you on 15th!

  4. What a wonderful song and video. I'm afraid my SADs come on in Jan/Feb, whereas I find autumn wonderfully uplifting and inspiring and its melancholic aspects poetic rather than depressing. I imagine a lot of it is, as D implies, to do with association as much as anything and for me, with two daughters having been born around this time and with my life still being determined by the school calendar, it's a season associated wonder and new beginnings.

  5. My melancholia isn't depressive, J. I quite enjoy reading sad or thoughtful poetry and listening to deep and meaningful songs - just for a short time - and the autumn mists seem to encourage it. November is a good month because most of our birthdays happen then, so lots of parties and presents.

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    Hi Monix,

    On behalf of Exile Productions and Exile Publishing, many thanks for plugging Van Morrison and, for your readers’ info, up-to-the-minute news on Van’s latest album - Keep It Simple - and 2008 shows is, of course, available on and and, for a limited period, you can still see Van's exclusive BBC sessions at . We’re also pleased to announce that an increasing archive of exclusive film footage of Van Morrison performances has now been made available for fans on Exile’s official YouTube channel at .

    Thanks again for your support.




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