Town mouse loves September in London

Sun in September. It sounds like a feel-good movie about old people-a sequel to On Golden Pond, perhaps? But that’s what we’ve been having. Just when it was beginning to feel cold without a pullover, summer returned.

In the market in our street, I bought a Turkish wrap (the kind you eat, not wear) and commiserated with stallholders about the absence of trade, blamed on the Olympic and Paralympic effect. But when did the Games open? A straggle of bunting still hangs from a first-floor balcony: how long ago the excitements of summer seem. I feel I should put on Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs, a muted paean to maturity: melancholy that is velvet-soft.

I’ve always liked this time of year. Summer isn’t Britain’s natural state. We so often get it wrong, in terms of dress, and how frequently it disappoints. But September is a golden month, producing its sunshine like a buried treasure you’d all but forgotten about in the headiness of high summer.

Amber light kisses drab terraces and turns them into gilded pleasure domes. Gone is the impatience of spring, when the first sunbeams make it impossible to continue sitting at a desk. September is a benison that gives peace.

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