11 signs you’re ready to hibernate (when October betrays you)

This year, summer and I did not get on.

Intense thigh chafeing, daily sweating between my boobs, and burning all the freckles off my shoulders that one afternoon it hit 34 degrees. Not to mention chronic hay fever, Brexit (although the timing of that can’t necessarily be helped), humidity hair and a particularly alarming allergic reaction to a cooler fan.

I have never been more ready for autumn.

Winter pyjamas, candles, Halloween hysteria, fresh clean air, and giant scarves to hide from the world in; it’s always been my favourite. And I’m not the only one – when pumpkin spice latte starts trending on Twitter you know you’re living in a country that embraces seasonal change, and finally the season has arrived that we are actually good at – wet weather, pre-empting Christmas, jumping in crunchy leaves, making wellies look hot, and, of course, smoothies in knitwear.

However, amongst all the winter romance, the spices, the warmth of a fire, and the build-up to the end of the year, there’s one not-so-sexy autumn phenomenon that always finds us in the end. Sneaking through layers of protective knitwear, antibacterial gel, and bottles of immune-boosting syrups that cost more than your dream pug, there is nothing we do better than wallowing in the seasonal cold and flu bug.

It’s Saturday night. I’ve been horizontal for most of today, and if I shut my eyes and breathe through my ears, I think I can feel progress. I’ve stopped shivering, stopped sweating, and haven’t sneezed in six hours. Minus the fact I’ve started freaking myself out about being home alone on a Saturday night and there might be a clown in my garden, I feel better. I am so rubbish at being ill. Not only do I convince myself it’s something more serious, but mostly lie on the sofa crying and punishing myself for not being productive. So I thought I’d at least try to make spending my weekend under a duvet only eating jelly worthwhile.

Catching a demonic cold is hands down the worst thing about October except X Factor. So this is a list for everyone, like me, who’s caught the fucker and who’s ready to give up on reality and bed down for the winter.

1 It’s been a gradual realisation over the last three days but you’re pretty sure you’d trade in your boyfriend for a permanently hot water bottle.

2 You’re drinking so much lemon and honey it’s highly likely your wee is 90% Lemsip.

3 “Feed a cold, starve a fever.” Two packets of Jaffa Cakes and a curry later and you can add nausea and undisguisable food baby to your list of ongoing symptoms.

4 Your head hurts too much to catch up on Bake Off and you wish Mel and Sue would just come over and batter you with a rolling pin to put you out of your misery.

5 You think about sue-ing whoever’s responsible for all the oranges you ate in September which clearly had no effect in protecting your immune system whatsoever.

6 “SORRY FOR BEING WEAK” was the last email you sent to your bosses before signing off work and going home to die.

7 Nothing you wear is appropriate. All your clothes are either suffocating or hypothermic, so you decide your best option is creating an entire pyjama range out of those heat-sensor tights from M&S.

8 Your neck feels a bit stiff from propping yourself up on pillows in an attempt to breathe through your nose and you worry how long you should leave it before concluding it’s meningitis and calling it a day.

9 Everyone who is healthy is evil, including fictional characters on television, and the dog next door.

10 If there’s a GCSE in sneezing, you get an A*. Hi-five to you.

11 Your husky voice and throaty cough sounds almost sexy so you try to sing “sticky, sticky shoes” like Phoebe from FRIENDS but choke on the second “sticky” and go back to mourning your vocal chords.


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