I love autumn deeply and after some of the hot days we have endured in recent weeks, I’ve never looked forward to it more.

The shorter, sharper, cooler days let me think more clearly, and appreciate again the distinct joys of being indoors, and being outside. I can sleep under a duvet, and enjoy the quiet joys of the garden without the peace being shattered by the din of the neighbours’ children in theirs. I can run with a cool breeze in my face, then warm my hands with a soothing cup of tea.

It’s not that I don’t like sunshine but September sunshine is somehow more precious, something to be savoured, not braced against. More importantly, my clear, cooler autumn head is ready to plan, big things like my website which has just gone live, and small things like which tulip bulbs I will sink into the earth ready for next spring. It is much easier to set out resolutions now rather than in January. Autumn might be a winding-down of the year but I feel my appetite for life whetted.

And yes, that does involve food. In three weeks it is the Autumn Equinox, a time when I stew blackberries for a crumble. I snuggle down inside a sweater and root out beloved soup recipes. This taste of the season keeps you balanced and in tune with the world – much better than the forced diets of joyless January. It is difficult to delight in cottage cheese and lettuce when you are de-icing your car every morning (and there is no Stilton lying in wait in the fridge.)

Autumn is the time I start a savings plan to afford Christmas, I get in touch with my old pals after the holidays, and sort out a new fitness regime.

It can be a challenge to search for that new job early on in the year – often, the offers are not there. The time when employers are working out their expansion plans is often right now, after the long summer break.

The cogs of British industry are moving again, the kids are back in class and things are happening. More new books and music are published in the autumn than at any other time and telly gets its groove on – Strictly and Bake-Off are back. The welcome rituals of Nottingham’s Goose Fair and Bonfire Night are close.

So thank goodness for autumn – nearly time for a celebratory kick of the leaves; if I didn’t life in a smoke-free zone I would light a bonfire like a beacon. Autumn is a time to get going – and as I write it is raining. Great! Where did I put those running shoes?