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“This would make an excellent spot to bury the dog.” Pic courtesy of Dorothee Janssen

Autumn has enveloped my corner of the world, the trees are turning murky brown, the birds are all smegging off somewhere warmer for the winter (because they’re sensible) and there’s the unmistakable stench of damp rotting leaves.

You see the problem with Autumn in the UK is the same as every other season. It’s damp, rainy and generally miserable. A lot of the chronically ill people I know say their symptoms worsen when it’s humid/damp out. I wouldn’t know because it’s always damp here. It’s either hot and damp, mild and damp, or cold and damp. The kind of damp that seeps into your bones and makes you feel like you may have actually absorbed the water through your skin. This is why British bathrooms are always arctic. If you’re ever in the UK and visiting a friend’s house between September and April, take a coat to the bathroom, you’ll thank me later. To avoid mould issues from the dampness, Brits like to keep windows open in the bathroom. So you get a brisk Arctic breeze flowing into the one room of the house where you spend most of your naked time.

It rains so much here we have a rich vocabulary to describe our familiarity with this form of precipitation. Raining buckets, pissing it down, chucking it down, teeming it down, cats and dogs, pelting, pissing and pouring. Drizzling, downpours and deluges. Sideways rain, can’t see a thing rain, rain storms, showers and torrents.  We have all these terms for rain, and only one for ‘sunny’, and one for ‘snow’. Sleet doesn’t count because it’s a type of rain – really cold rain.

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My UK weather mug. Click to see an enlarged version.

The chronically ill often feel the weather differently from non diseased people. A lot of us have been talking recently about how we’re in our ‘autumnal dip’. My symptoms are flaring up, but luckily not as bad as last year. I have an App on my phone called TimeHop and it tells you what you posted on Facebook and other social media a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, etc. Last year I unleashed a picture of my red, swollen, pus filled tonsils onto the world, so apologies to anyone who saw that.

The major silver lining of being diseased and feeling the weather differently is  that I have turned from a cold blooded person into some kind of exothermic bread oven. I have yet to find a use for it though, I can’t cook anything on my stomach, I’ve tried. Well, I haven’t technically tried, but I have been too lazy to remove any stray crumbs from where I’ve eaten in a reclining position. Yes people. If I’m feeling ropey I eat while half laying down, and often end up making a bit of a mess. It’s an improvement from when my face was numb and I’d dribble stuff down my face, anyway.

Being much warmer than I used to be has the advantage of not minding so much that it’s going to be cold for the next 6 months, and as I don’t leave the house much, I don’t mind about the rain either. So although illness is largely a huge pile of excrement, it’s not too bad being sick over the winter. No one wants to go out or do anything, and there’s loads of great stuff on TV that you can watch while reclined on the sofa with crumbs all over you.

Oh and you can get very melodramatic / emo about it and make comments like “Oh it’s got very dark outside, JUST LIKE MY SOUL.”  I don’t really like Autumn (as you may have noticed) but I’m willing to milk it for all it’s worth. 😀

Do you like Autumn? What’s your favourite thing about it, and do you have the ‘Autumnal dip’? Let me know in the comments!


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