Falling for you: It's autumn and we love it!
The seasons are changing and there’s a golden glow appearing. Louise Rouvray is embracing autumn. . .
Farewell summer, it’s been fun. You did us proud this year with a heatwave that almost rivalled the scorching sun of ‘76 all while avoiding a hosepipe ban (sorry Northern Ireland).
September has arrived and the dreaded ‘only this-many-weeks until Christmas’ countdowns have begun popping up on social media, while shops are already stocking the shelves with seasonal cards and cookie scented candles.
Children are back in class and workers are slogging it out on the long stretch from the August bank holiday to Crimbo, but it’s not all doom and gloom.
The sweaty summer can sigh its last days away and the freezing winter can wait – autumn is where the magic really happens.
No more bikini bodies and eating spinach leaves, now’s the time to master the art of cooking hearty meals, picking blackberries, and of course carving pumpkins.
Instead of forced nights out in pub beer gardens wasting away evenings nursing lukewarm ciders for fear of missing out on the summer sun, you can get snug and warm indoors and even start nurturing a new hobby. How about picking up some pretty pieces of lace, buttons and coloured cards from Hobbycraft or The Works, finding a beginners guide on YouTube, and become a master of crafts in time for Christmas? It’ll save you money on presents and mean so much more to friends and family being homemade.
The nights drawing in means it’s now perfectly reasonable to curl up in bed with a book by 8pm without being judged by friends. So hit up the local library or second hand book stores and expand your mind with a new adventure. Or if reading isn’t your cup of tea, whip out the laptop and learn a new skill, from playing an instrument to learning how to solve a Rubix cube in 60 seconds, there are numerous videos on the internet which can give you an education for free.
It can be tempting to stay glued to the radiators and fireplaces when the first sign of cold hits, but fishing out those winter coats from the back of the closet and getting outside is a great way to embrace autumn in all its amber glory.
Head to the local park and crunch your way through fallen leaves, soaking in the golds, burgundies and browns as the trees transform. Why not go hunting for chestnuts, and bring some home for roasting in the oven?
Now’s the time to go foraging for blackberries to make homemade jam – or blackberry vodka or gin, whatever takes your fancy.
If you’re an early bird, get up before dawn and go on a mini-photo shoot, capturing the changing colour of the leaves at sunrise.
For the outdoorsy types, don your thermals and thick woolly socks and head out on an autumn camping trip – don’t forget to bring marshmallows to toast on an open fire. Or for the homebodies, bring nature indoors and decorate sideboards and fireplaces with acorns, dry leaves and pinecones.
If you’ve got a garden, now is the time to get planting bulbs for next spring and don’t forget to protect the hedgehogs! Give the prickly creatures a helping hand to survive the winter by making a safe home for them to hibernate in.
The mornings may be darker, it may be getting colder and the rain may be more regular, which means holing up and being anti-social can be very tempting, but this is the perfect time for gatherings – from Oktoberfest and Halloween parties to apple picking, corn mazes and guided ghost walks, there’s so much going on.
Grab your Lederhosen and get ready to party at Birmingham Oktoberfest, running from October 4 to 7, or don your thinking cap and navigate your way through the maize maze at Lower Drayton Farm in Penkridge. And don’t forget to hit up the pumpkin patch at Essington Fruit Farm in Wolverhampton and choose your own squash to take home.
Be sure to keep an eye on your local paper for upcoming events or search online – alternatively host your own.
The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning takes place on Friday, September 28 this year, so get baking and do your bit for a good cause.
Sweet treats are a staple of the season. You can’t walk five minutes down a high street without getting a waft of pumpkin spiced lattes and cinnamon buns. So if you can’t muster the energy to fire up the oven, then head to your local café and spoil yourself.
Hearty stews are also a necessity, why not cook up the biggest one pot you can manage and invite some friends round for dinner?
Now’s the time to take full advantage of this spectacular season.