10 pastimes to take up now the nights are drawing in
1)Astronomy: For those of you in the darkness of the countryside, this is the perfect time to spot Andromeda, the Milky Way and Mars. For those of us in towns, if you stand outside your house and squint, those sodium street lights should look exactly like Ursa Minor, near enough.
2)Candlecraft: Why not make the most of the darker evenings with the ancient art of waxdripping? Cover your surfaces with splatterings from IKEA-sourced tea lights, hold your nose as the whiff of essential oils wafts through your house, and prepare to meet your local fire brigade after your bathroom catches ablaze.
3)Night-gardening: In the dark it's impossible to tell whether that plant is a weed or a hardy perennial, so go on, just whip it out anyway.
4)Bored Games: What better way to pass a dark evening than by being ritually humiliated in a pointless game of chance by your four year old nephew? Or by changing the rules of Monopoly as you go along to make sure that your four year old nephew doesn't thrash you at that too.
5)Influenza: Curl up under the duvet with a pint of Beechams Hot Lemon, a wad of paper tissues and a bucket to cough your phlegm up into. Makes a very attractive display.
6)Hallowe'en: Knock up your own devilish costume out of an old sheet and a ski mask so that you can terrorise innocent children anonymously on the streets later this week.
7)Arts & Crafts: Fill up your evenings by creating something unique out of fabric, glitter, papier maché and ribbon. It'll greatly reduce your Christmas present bill, but don't expect to get any thankyou letters this year.
8)Fireworks: Spend a fortune on some small cardboard tubes of gunpowder, invite the neighbours round, stand in your garden in the freezing cold eating hot dogs and watch your money going up in smoke.
9)Needlework: A big stash of heroin, that'll help get you through the winter.
10)Book next year's summer holiday: Don't worry, it's only going to be dark until March. There is light at the end of the tunnel.