Autumn always marked the beginning of a new year for me. It has always been the time when I’m full of beans and anxious to start a new season (read: buy proper clothes instead of summer dresses that do not qualify as clothing). This year, I’m just anxious.
I’ve tried to find a reason for this ennui that keeps lurking around (other than my obsessive-compulsive watching of Friends on Netflix, which has eliminated any time to spend on anything constructive. Remember the hand of God that I suspected of putting Netflix on my TV? Not so godly anymore).
The situation is of course that we find ourselves in October already, and being from the North, this also marks the beginning of the SAD-season (seasonal affective disorder), which is a mild depression that hits the fan as soon as the days, well, cease to exist because there’s never any light anywhere. I’ve never been a sufferer from SAD that I know of, therefore I’m curious where the current discontent is stemming from.
Autumn and winter, being unacceptably long, miserable, dark and cold in the North, are something us Northerners take to with a gusto of a rabid dog. We become obsessed with nesting (the old-fashioned word for hygge) and go crazy with candles and expensive woollen throws. Our glassware and cutlery is by Scandinavian designers, and perfectly normal people own serving dishes. As we are doomed to spending most of our year indoors, it understandably makes staring at the living room ceiling more pleasant if the said ceiling is painted with something expensive by Farrow & Ball.
As a consequence Nordic interior magazines are fantastic, if only ever make sense in autumn and winter (congratulations on your outdoor patio anywhere north of Helsinki – you might get two weeks annually to actually spend there, if the summer turns out particularly nice), which I noticed in Finland this week. Considering how small the readership is (language is a big barrier for branching out), the quality and quantity of lifestyle magazines related to interiors and being hygge (this includes cooking, knitting, preparing pickled root vegetables and carving wooden nest boxes for birds – and since you ask, yes, normal people* I know do this stuff) is astonishing. It seems like everybody up here is excited about the new season (and at the same time preparing for a nuclear winter,** judging by the amount of recipes for pickled vegetables).
As it happens, I made no plans for the new season this summer. No new hobbies or personal trainers booked, no new look – I didn’t even manage to update my iPod-playlist! I’ve plowed through most of the fashion magazines known to woman in multiple languages, yet am barely impressed and/or inspired. Most things (with the notable exceptions of eating crisps with wine, reading about women travellers and putting on lipstick***) feel meh, so I thought not to fight it, but let my inner clock find its inspiration naturally. With the Paris fashion week just finished, I suppose there’s still a little bit time.
Interestingly enough, I went to see my hairdresser this week and when he suggested a particular style to try this time, I shot him an annoyed look, waved my hand and spat “pas mon truc“. He gave me an enthusiastic look and shouted “quelle chose parisienne à dire!” I was equally elated. Could my ennui actually be me turning into a Parisian? Could it be that after all the years spent reading the style guides by the cool Parisians I accidentally became one?
Since the revolutionary encounter at hairdresser and the unexpected prospect of actually being an aloof Parisian, I have been ever so slightly less freaked out by my seasonal lack of enthusiasm. One thing that does not match this newfound Parisian cool is that I have been rather taken by the Bullet Journal hype that especially the Swedish style magazines rave about. So taken, in fact, that I turned a Leuchtturm in my hands at a bookshop the other day, despite knowing better. I did not surrender, though. Not yet.
* With the caveat of them being Finnish.
** Which, in this case, is actually an extremely accurate example.
*** I will come back to this later. To fight off ultimate ennui at airport, I loitered around Tom Ford -stall and bought their lipstick. It is essentially a wee, overpriced tube of Brazilian murumuru butter and soya see extract mixed with I don’t know what else, but it’s so much more than its essence. So much.