This can be my favourite season when it behaves properly: autumnal sunshine, crisp coloured leaves underfoot, and, as it gets colder, sparkly pavements to walk on, not to mention some decent local apple varieties (if you can get your hands on them). I don't appreciate the nights drawing in so much, especially as the new cohort of students in town (as usual) think they are visible without bike lights and that it is their right to cycle on the pavements. But, as that isn't autumn's fault, I'll let it pass. One of my favourite things to do at this time of year, especially once the clocks have gone back next week, is to go to evensong in Durham cathedral; sit in the choir stalls, mainly in the gloom, and feel the full force of the prayer to protect you from the dangers of the night, knowing you are going to walk out into night at 5.55pm or so. It just isn't the same in the summer. If I'd blogged again last week, there would have been much on the indignity of being a research gopher, so you can be thankful perhaps that the indignities kept me busy.