The wind rips through Birch branches outside, bringing twigs clattering onto the conservatory roof. Inside a fluffy fleece, I snuggle deeper into the chair, still in that hot-chocolate-glow that lingers after a long, piping hot bath. The old Bush stereo crackles Schubert in the background, as an unseen draught sends yellow flames flickering from beeswax.
For once, I don’t mind the pitch blackness of the early evenings. Instead, this inky night seems comforting, wrapping around the sandstone walls, telling the house that winter is coming once more.
It’s around this time that I’m drawn to contemplate and plan. October brings my year to a close – it feels natural to me to reflect on the months past at this time, as golden leaves float from trees and the earth settles down to sleep.
I cast twelve months backwards in my mind’s eye, and play forwards slowly, month by month. I see the ways I changed and the ways I stayed constant. I re-read my plans that I put to paper 365 days ago, and feel quite well – some achieved, some left by the wayside.
I build upon these, now looking forward to the next twelve months. And as the evening ticks on by, I pull my fleece a little closer and plan, and dream, and scheme into the night.