If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen my post about all the forlorn ‘end of Summer’ posts I had seen. I do understand, I love nothing more than hot Summer days, however Autumn is such a magical month and not only is there a huge amount going on in the natural world, there is also so much to enjoy ourselves.
So, as Autumn begins, I thought I’d write about the signs we’ve seen and the things I’m looking forward to the most this Autumn.
1. Crisp Sunny Autumn Mornings
Ok, so they aren’t always sunny but when they are, those mornings feel incredible. The air is colder but there is something so invigorating about the nip in the air and it makes even the chilliest of mornings stunning.
2. Crunchy Leaves
The sound of crunching leaves beneath your feet… need I say any more?! I don’t think one ever grows out of playing in and stamping on the crisp Autumn leaves; from dogs running and rooting through them to children throwing them up in the air, it’s just magic.
3. Taking in the changing colours
This is one of my most favourite things. Down here, we don’t just see the seasons change, we really feel that we are a part of it. From the mighty oak to the woodland bracken, the leaves turning is a sure sign that Summer has come to an end but this is also something incredibly beautiful. We are naturally drawn to the colours of orange, brown, yellow, bronze and gold, it’s these colours that give us some warmth on chilly Autumnal days.
4. Long walks & Pub Lunches with friends
Living in the middle of nowhere we walk a lot. During the week, I often walk through our woodland and neighbouring fields with my daughter strapped to my back in her Ergo Baby Sling or with her running around with our dog. We hunt for chestnuts and conkers and collect them up in a basket. The chestnuts we wait until we have enough and then we roast them and enjoy them as a family. Once the conkers are ready they are a deep brown and shiny, they are perfect for playing a game of conkers. At the weekend, it’s the perfect time to walk to a local pub and meet up with friends for a pint of local beer or a hot chocolate and catch up in a beer garden or in front of a crackling log fire. Just that alone makes Autumn so appealing.
5. Blackberry Picking
The brambles I curse year after year, but this is the season to give thanks for these prickly weeds. Blackberry pies, crumbles, jams and so much more. We are literally surrounded by these tasty berries so when they’re perfectly juicy we begin picking. Baking a blackberry pie keeps my two year old’s hands busy, not from baking, but pinching the blackberries before they make it into the pie! It’s also the season for apples too so we often pop to my OH’s parents’ house and pick some apples to throw into a delicious Autumn fruit pie.
Living as we do in the Kent countryside, our woodland is surrounded by hop gardens and the smell of those Kentish hops is truly intoxicating. We support our local hop farmer and pickers by buying a bundle and having them in our kitchen. As they age, the smell matures and the colour changes and it adds a touch of colour and warmth to any country kitchen. Bringing nature indoors adds to any interior style.
7. Sloe Gin
This is a real favourite in our household so much so, that for our wedding, we poured (quite literally!) hours and hours into making sloe gin for our wedding favours. Every year we pick our sloes from my OH’s parents’ field and freeze them in bags, we then pour the finest gin over the top, add sugar, leave in large Kilner Jars and let the flavour mature for as long as we possibly can. Once it is ready, it tastes incredible and we’ve found that one of the best times to have a tipple is at the end of a lovely long walk! I’ll add our sloe gin recipe to the blog over the next few weeks.
8. Big Jumpers & Cosy Coats
I know, I know, the Summer dresses, vest tops, shorts and flip flops are lovely but Autumn is a time to wrap up in your favourite jumper or cardigan and embrace Autumn fashion. Throw on those trusty jeans and thick socks and stay cosy indoors or outdoors. There is no better excuse, in my opinion, than Autumn for digging out my favourite items of clothing.
9. Wellington Boots
I love a pair of wellie boots! I’m either seen around here in my old, trusty Hunter wellington boots or my Blunstones. I throw on my Autumn clothes, my boots and my favourite hat and I’m set up for a good long walk while my daughter stomps around, searching for the biggest puddle or muddy patch she can find with her Croc wellington boots.
10. Snuggling with Loved Ones
Just as lovely as it is to be outdoors, the Autumn allows us guilt-free time indoors, snuggling up to the ones we love. Watching TV with a glass of red wine while a hot stew cooks in the slow cooker. It’s not just about sitting indoors and doing nothing; some quality time indoors is also the perfect time to keep those busy little hands busy with a craft project.
John Keats summed Autumn up perfectly with his poem, ‘To Autumn’
“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.”
…so why not give in and let yourself really enjoy Autumn and all it has to offer.