November is a time of solid grey. As Winter approaches the sunshine looks like a dying breed - getting scarcer and scarcer - until one day you’re taken aback by a patch of yellowish hue that glows and fades away on a garden wall. Leaves take over. The red and brown ones are trodden in to mush that make a dirty patchwork carpet for us workers to pad over - to go unnoticed - with our heads down heading in to town like curmudgeons.
The wind makes it harsher than it should be in this placid autumnal humidity and it’s where anything shouted across the street won’t reach your ears; instead it’s tossed aside by the rustle of plastic and soaring jet engines. The feeling of grey “the presence of grey” that puts you off your toast and tea, that makes you wonder how we could possibly hunker down in time for Christmas and get jolly about it all: the fairy lights, the mistletoe and the bells that will follow. Surely they’ll follow. Watch as clothes become coats and boots and loose hair is cropped and kempt beneath big hats and all the while coughs become prevalent in city carriages.
But in the darker months you notice things that are smaller, softer, quieter and keep you warm at night. The muscle memory of a sweet hand squeeze that lingers with you for ages. Or the taste of tea and milky things - the speed of a pup rushing past your knees - the rumples in a bed sheet.
I’ve spent time consuming things in awe of these creators - Giacometti, Auerbach, Hepworth - and I can’t seem to put a finger on it but they have the will to do things to completion by moving on and not stopping. During November I have stopped. And it’s sad. But I have to remain and something however small will start again, like a little broken clock inside my skull that needs a winding on.