Traces of summer linger long in southern climes.

The beaches are still bright with parasols in late October, and bathers still splash happily in our calm Mediterranean waters still warm from the summer sun. Tourists fill the pavement cafés, sipping coffee as they soak up the autumn sunshine. Visitors still wear their summer holiday clothes, while we locals are back in our jeans and jumpers. That’s a Mediterranean autumn.

Of course, the clocks go back on the last Sunday of October every year and soon there will be a chill in the air. Some welcome this milestone, relishing an extra hour snuggled up warm in bed. Others find it a nuisance, because it disturbs sleep patterns and the evenings are so short. However, we all want to save energy for the good of the climate, and the idea of changing the clocks is to make better use of natural light, and hopefully save money on lighting and heating.

So, let’s embrace autumn. As the nights draw in, put away your sandals and sundresses and say hello to cosy cardigans and pyjamas. Bring out those hobbies and projects you haven’t touched for months. When it’s too chilly for a warm evening stroll, get your heart pumping with some Nordic walking, a cheap, fun way to loosen up a stiff body after a day working.  Walk in nature during Autumn and soak in the beautiful colours around you. Russet reds and oranges, yellows and browns will make your heart sing.

And on the subject of colour, autumn is also a wonderful time to take up painting. Even if you’ve never done it before, it’s never too late to bring out your inner genius and express yourself with colour. Pick up a sketchbook and some watercolours, find a pretty spot and capture the beauty around you. If you need inspiration, look no further than the magnificent autumn sunsets that transform the sky into a festival of pinks, oranges and blues.

Cooler temperatures also remind us of our favourite comfort foods, soups and casseroles. Nothing tastes better than a family recipe made with seasonal vegetables, fruits and mushrooms. Sweet potatoes, persimmons, apple pie and beef Bourguignonne. Why not do as the American’s so and bring some pumpkin spice into your life or celebrate Halloween with some fun decorations and candy.

Don’t cry because summer’s gone. Smile and embrace autumn.