There’s a day every year, usually close to the turning of the clocks, where I am suddenly, viscerally aware that the season has changed, and it is autumn.
Today was that day. After resolutely wearing summer clothes despite the rain, and fighting my thermostat because I really don’t want it to be the time of year where I put the heating on regularly yet, I stepped outside to pop to Tesco this evening, turned around after locking the door – and it was cold, it was dark, it was blowing a gale and it was most definitely autumn.
I don’t notice the other seasons in the same way, but today there have been lots of little signs that winter is coming and now is the time to prepare. I am tired and lethargic, and found it hard to get out of bed (though admittedly, that might be more down to the 3.30am bedtime after podcast recording last night!). I am craving comfort food and made a massive pot of pasta carbonara to combat the chilly outdoors. My winter duvet is back on my bed, and my summer duvet has been moved permanently to the sofa, to enable my morning pages to be written without shivering. Suddenly, I want tea all the time – I am usually a strict five-can-a-day Pepsi Max girl.
If September is full of that back to school feeling, then for me October and November are the months where I go into full cosy mode. This week I’ve had to reschedule a shoot due to rain, I’ve had several meetings cancel (and have been relieved rather than annoyed because honestly, who wants to go out when you can drink hot chocolate and work on the sofa?!) and I have been sleeping really weirdly.
I love autumn’s colours, the obvious change, the starting to hunker down for winter. I feel like it’s snuck up on me this year and I’m not terribly well prepared – I am still wearing flipflops 90% of the time, for starters – but on the whole, I’m so grateful to live somewhere where the seasons are obvious.
And more grateful, these days, for the freedom to notice the seasons changing. Because once upon a time, I didn’t see my home in daylight from October to March, because I was either commuting to London or working in a high rise office. Nature didn’t feature in my life and I was sadder for it.
I am thankful for so many things, big & small.
Oh, and this article made far more sense than it should have done, in a weird, time-melty, how is it October and more to the point how is it nearly the end of 2019 already kind of a way.
Today marks the equinox – twelve hours of light and twelve hours of dark.
When I bought my house last year, and redesigned the garden to become a patchwork of patios and decking, with one big flowerbed and lots and lots of pots, I initially wondered whether I’d done the right thing. I thought I might find it annoying to have to water my garden and care for it (it felt initially like another thing for my endless to do list).
Actually, in a whirlwind of stressful events over the last few months, I’ve found it incredibly and unexpectedly soothing to wander round my garden each evening with a glass of wine and the hosepipe, as my Dad used to do when I was small. To talk to my pots and my plants, to trim them and dead head them and harvest my accidental chilis.
I’ve once again been able to watch the seasons change, and as autumn starts her approach, I am happy to draw my snuggly pink shawl around my shoulders, stockpile my herbs, and plan soups and stews and casseroles for the colder weather that will come.
In the meantime, this Indian summer is filled with walks with friends, conker gathering to see off the spiders humanely (I love my cats but they are rubbish at that particular job), and a fresh perspective on what I really want to be doing with my life.
I’m not quite there yet (does anyone ever get 100% there?), but I’m streamlining and shifting so that my various online homes, businesses and blogs alike, better represent me and what I do and all I stand for.
I’m also nearing the end of my current bullet journal and excitedly awaiting the next (it’s hot pink!) while planning a Get Bulleting subscription for Ink Drops. Perhaps it’s true that the back-to-school feeling never really goes away… and it’s the best excuse I know for new stationery!
What a year it’s been.
Much like 2014 appears to be doing, 2013 snuck up on me somewhat. Tbe new year is only a couple of hours old, but I wanted to get my review up before my planning posts.
I saw 2013 in at Rob’s with a bunch of new friends, getting rather whimsically tipsy and generally having a wonderful time.
January saw a craft swap with some of my favourite people, lots of snow, a notice to vacate my flat, a ukulele workshop and a visit to London Edge trade show. Who knew that just a year later I’d be helping out Contrariety Rose with her stand there?!
was my birthday month (I celebrated by having dinner with Mum & Gran, and heading to bed with wine and six books. Utter bliss.), and also the month in which I visited Lou’s shop for the first time, had an impromptu school reunion and modelled in a collaborative photoshoot.
March held moving house in the snow, to a little house with a spiral staircase in a riverside village full of mad creative people. I finally got my garden and couldn’t be happier! I spent the very last morning at my old flat creating memories with my best friends, taking burlesque photos for the Paper Dolls. I also had six inches chopped off my hair – eek!
Lovely Kathryn at the brilliant The Business of Introverts has nominated me for a Liebster blog award, which is rather happy-making 🙂
The idea is that:
1. You choose a few young and evolving blogs that you love and believe in to receive the Liebster Award (which is simply like a stamp of approval from one blog to another)
2. You write a blog post stating that you are nominating them and asking them to answer 10 questions of your choosing (this is that post!)
3. They write a post on their own blog answering the questions and nominating more blogs for the award
I’m passionate about blogs and one of my very favourite things is finding new ones to read… so here goes with my answers to Kathryn’s questions:
1. Why did you decide to start your blog?
I’ve been blogging for just over eight years and I started my very first one to record my life at university, accompanied by two tiny rubber ducks called Freddie and Frankie. It’s a way of keeping track of some of my life – a journal and guidebook all rolled into one!
2. What’s your favourite season and why?
Spring! I love the feeling of newness as we emerge from winter, lush greens all around and the bracing fresh air, with sunshine and a promise of summer to come.
3. What is the last great book you read?
I am in the middle of re-reading for the umpteenth time, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I’m on book eight of fourteen and as always, I’m so hooked that the stories and characters are weaving themselves into my dreams. I’m a complete WoT addict, so much so that my 18th birthday present from my parents was a gold ring I’d designed, taking strong inspiration from the series.
4. What 3 things would you take to a desert island?
This is such a tough question! First up, Larry the lamb – I’ve had him since birth and he’d be a great comfort if I was alone on said island. Secondly, a boxed set series of the aforementioned Wheel of Time – they would at least keep me occupied. Thirdly, a never-ending notebook and a pen with everlasting ink (you didn’t say I had to stay realistic!) so I could get my jumble of thoughts and experiences down onto paper.
5. Name 3 people that have inspired you
You don’t make these questions easy, do you Kathryn?! Ok so firstly my parents, for living all over the world before that was a normal thing to do, for starting a business at nearly 60 and for learning and changing with the times and not being set in their ways like so many of their generation. They’ve set me a brilliant example.
Next up, one of my best friends, the genius behind Contrariety Rose – for having the guts to quit her day job and focus on developing her own indie fashion label. She has the most determination and focus of anyone I’ve ever met and I admire her for it every day.
And lastly (though by no means least, and by no means the only other person I admire – this list could go on for aeons), a newer but no less treasured friend, Rachael, who was brave enough to listen to her instincts, move to the other side of the country and start a whole new life over there. I’m proud and in awe all at once!