September brings the first touch of autumn but it doesn’t do it on the first day, it waits until the 22nd and then all of a sudden it’s there.
In the burnt sugar of a crème brûlée and the cinnamon on every vanilla latte; in the orange lights of Queen Square, the walks by twilight up Park St, the steps leading up to St George’s, the candles on the tables at the Rummer Hotel, the cocktails at Browns. Mojitos at Hotel du Vin, the steep decline from the top seats at the Hippodrome. Sitting alone at the Old Vic past an early bedtime and walking in the rain away from a folk acoustic gig at the Croft. An espresso at Pain Quotidien, an almond croissant while listening to I’d Rather Dance With You at an outdoor market in Brussels.
Every kiss in front of Thekla even if there was only one. The misshapen cupcakes for my birthday, the dirty martinis and single malt whiskeys at Woods, every bottle of wine and sad love story at Zen, the opening of Colston Hall and Westons Organic Cider at the Mother’s Ruin. Warm pecan pie at the Big Chill although they don’t serve it any more. It’s mulled port with orange and cloves in preparation for Christmas. Every forehead against a bus window with rain falling outside and overcrowded carriages and porridge on the way to work.
It’s a late dinner at Bordeaux Quay and not slipping and sliding on Pero’s Bridge. Red wine and olives at the Arnolfini and subtitled cinema in the cavernous hall underneath the stairs. It’s the lights on the harbour from the windows at the Watershed and joining other writers to discuss a month of novel writing. Potato wedges and hot chocolate and not enough space to plug the laptop in to the socket. Sushi overlooking the Bristol Bridge, fuzzy dinner following a wine tasting, swans floating by the Glassboat. Cobbled streets on the Welsh Back and jazz at the Old Duke. Every new beginning, every new book in the library, the book groups that meet for the first time and course materials that are still untouched.
Unanswered text messages and meetings in the yellow lights of All Saints Lane. Dim sum at St Thomas Lane, reading a newspaper at a pub on St Michael’s Hill and deciding never again to chase Guinness with red wine. Racing up Whiteladies to catch the last of the fireworks and stopping off at most pubs on the way back. Heading home via Cotham Hill to see all of southern Bristol lit up. Crackling bonfires, slower sunsets, scarves, mittens and walking in the rain to Miles Davies.
Today is the last day of September but only the beginning of the cinnamon season. Dusty, golden and muted colours everywhere as a reminder of all the falling leaves and every haiku and poem about to be written and re-read.