Autumn on an island

My Instagram feed is full of fall.

Here, a picture someone has taken of their feet on a pavement strewn with autumn leaves.  There, artfully placed pumpkins tumble into frame.  Fashionistas exult that they can break out their #fallfashion outfits.


My obligatory fallen leaves post from last year

This year, I feel a bit left out for two reasons: (1) I now live on Caribbean island so autumn isn’t really a thing here, and (2) I have never had a pumpkin spice latte.While Europe-based gals will be insouciantly tucking Ganni mohair jumpers into tiered skirts, I will be yet again reaching for a sundress and factor 40.   I bet you’re not even shaving your legs anymore, you bastards.

The closest I get to layering is wrapping a towel over my swimming cozzie.  Flip flops remain the most practical off-duty footwear choice, but also remain the best way to make an otherwise quite nice outfit look a bit crap.  I long for crushed velvet boots, things with buckles, platform heels…

I know, I know, what a thing to whinge about!  And yes, come late January, I’ll be suitably grateful to have warm toes and no facial dandruff (does anyone else’s skin flake off in the cold or is that just me?).  But Autumn was my favourite time of year in London.  When the nights start drawing in it gives me a sense of anticipation.  That’s when I start looking forward to all the good stuff.  To stomping around from pub to pub in boots and a tweed cape.  To adding a tot of something warming into a rich hot chocolate.  To romantic chilly-cheeked walks under twinkling fairy lights. Preferably all at the same time.

It’s seriously too hot here for any of that. Layering is out, velvet is out, tweed is out, hot chocolate is out, fur is most definitely OUT.  Even walking is out.

So here’s how I’m going to combat Autumnal FOMO:

  1. Spiking my rum drinks with Christmas spirits for a more autumnal flavour.  Luca restaurant’s Caribbean Cobbler cocktail contains the usual suspects (fresh pineapple, mango, aged rum) but also a healthy dose of oloroso sherry and tawny port.
  2. Ditching the tinted lip balm for deep matte lipstick: anywhere from 90s plum to full-on gothic should do the trick.  MAC’s smoked purple matte lipstick looks suitably wintery.
  3. Going a shade lighter on my foundation.  (Yes, really.)
  4. Getting a bit OTT about fairy lights.  It gets dark quite early in the Caribbean and it’s warm enough to sit outside year round. So why not go bonkers on solar-powered outdoor lights.  (This one will have to wait, as I don’t have permanent address just now.)
  5. Reading the Land of the Green Man by Carolyne Larrington. The book explores the folklore roots of the creatures that populate cosy books like Harry Potter and The Hobbit: giants, boggarts, wights, black dogs and wailing women.   Even in the blazing sunshine it does a good job of transporting me to lonely little cottages and windswept moors.
  6. Going ladylike.  There are lots of pretty mid-length (long sleeved) dresses in the shops, that are ladylike in a Jessa Johassen sort of way.  I think you’re supposed to wear there with opaques and boots, but chunky blank block heeled sandals will have to do for me.  Fashion aside, I will also reduce the amount of infernal shaving I have to do.



Autumnal reading




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