Sunday, 21 September 2008

Awesome Autumn!

I was talking to my mum on the phone the other day, she was complaining about how autumn’s here now and that it’s just going to get really cold and miserable. She moaned about how she won’t be able to get the washing dry, that she’s having to put the heating on during the evening, and Lord knows what else.

Every season has it’s drawbacks but they all have their good sides too. You don’t get bugged by mosquitoes and wasps the whole time during autumn, after all, and sweating your kiskers off isn’t a problem.

I personally try to make the most of every season and there’s plenty to do in autumn that you either can’t do in summer, or just isn‘t quite the same.

Kick leaves in the park like you did as a kid. There’s no shame in being ’childish’ - we need to just have spontaneous fun now and then.

Take a walk in the woods or just around your neighbourhood and admire the colour changes. The bright flowers of summer may well be disappearing fast but they’re being replaced by some fantastic reds, oranges and yellows that can be beautiful as a single tree - like the fiery colour of the hornbeam - and absolutely breathtaking when viewed en masse.

Bake an apple pie. Autumn’s apple season and home-made apple pie with lots of cinnamon tastes soooooo much better than shop bought varieties. Hot with cream or cold with warm custard... how can you go wrong? If you don’t want to make pastry, try a crumble instead. They’re dead easy and there are loads of recipes on the web.

Have a picnic. Just because it isn’t summer any more doesn’t mean the picnic seasons over - as long as you dress appropriately, a picnic on a crisp, sunny autumn day can be really nice too. Think cheese & pickle sandwiches, pickled onions, pork pies, sausage rolls, coleslaw, hot drinks, slices of fresh apple pie, and all those wonderful berries.

Make jam. Gardens and hedgerows are full of juicy berries in autumn just waiting to be turned into delicious sweet jam. It isn’t as difficult as you may think and you don’t need lots of special equipment either. In fact, I used to make loads of ‘jam’ just by crushing berries with sugar and freezing them. Delicious when thawed on fresh bread.

Get crafting. The dark nights don’t exactly inspire people to go visiting the way the long light evenings of summer do, but they’re great for settling down inside with some knitting, sewing, card-making or whatever other craft you fancy. Let your imagination run riot. Make stuff.

Enjoy your comfy autumn clothes. I love wearing a good pair of soft, comfortable jeans, a well worn t-shirt and a wooly jumper that’s just a bit too big and luckily that’s the perfect get-up for going out for walks in autumn. Shorts and vest tops are all very well and good but there’s something very comforting about big, baggy sweaters.

Visit a maize maze and get lost or a while. Lots of farms do these to make some extra money so there’s a good chance there’s one near you. We spent a couple of hours looking for our way out last time we went so it’s a good idea to take a few sarnies and a drink with you.

Fill yourself up with stews and casseroles. As much as I love the light foods of summer, once autumn arrives I can’t wait to get the stew pot out and start cooking rich, hearty food. Make use of all those lovely root vegetables that are about now - they almost all combine really well in stews and casseroles and there’s nothing easier to cook than a one-pot meal.

Bring out blankets and cuddle up in them during chilly evenings. A blanket, a good book and a cup of hot chocolate…. Heaven!

Richard and I are off to Cholmondely Castle Gardens for a picnic today. There's no point sitting indoors when the sun's shining and double Gloucester cheese sandwiches made with bread baked fresh this morning are up for grabs.

Is there anything you particularly love about autumn?

Sharon J


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Frugal Trenches said...

For me it is all about the leaves. When I spent my couple of years in N. America (East coast) I was in awe of the colours, it was out of this world!

Great list, it makes me want a house with a garden, a park with trees and a proper kitchen.


Anonymous said...

I like the (In theory) slightly cooler mornings, the leaves changing colour.

The dew on the grass... I like the autumn flowers as well. My garden is springing up delights at the moment I didn't expect as it's our first autum there.

I like the buzz of rolling towards Christmas as well. Have to say I'm a Spring and Autumn bird.

Jade of the Jungle said...

Fab post! Absolutely agree with all of it, especially curling up with a good book and a hot chocolate. There really is nothing better in life.

Thanks for posting this, it's really made my day x

Anonymous said...

I love autumn too!

I love the red and gold leaves and kicking through them! I live on a tree lined avenue and it looks beautiful in autumn.

I love the drop in temperature so that I can go for long walk without getting all hot and sweaty and I love not having to wear suncream - I'm really fair and days out in summer seem to be all about not getting sunburn!

emmani said...

...Oh dear, I'm the black sheep here for sure!

Of course I love the nature and the leaves and the apple pie, but for me any mention of cold and I run a mile (or several thousand!) I wear jumpers and socks out of necessity and loathe having to find a place to keep all my bulky coats and boots. Oh and did I ever tell you I hate Christmas? I guess I won't be invited round for a sherry and mince pie by the crackling fire!

Shall I go now?

(P.S. Sharon it was a lovely post, just not my cup of hot chocolate!)

Catz said...

Autumn is a pretty season with the leaves changing colour and yes it's a great time for chutney and jam making and cosying up under a blanket with a good book and a mug of cocoa, all of which I love, but, and I know this will sound mean as they don't live for long, oh how I dislike those daddy long legs! They just seem to float into your face whenever you step outside.

Hope you had a lovely picnic!

Chris said...

Hi! I love the colours and the fresh crisp mornings! We are lucky with the weather again for now and so have been trying to make the most of it!

The picnic ideas sound lovely and hope you enjoyed your cheese and bread! I had infused picnics last week whilst away and they were good too- being out in the sunshine and with friends was all that mattered to me!

Chris said...

Ps! Agree about the crafts- thankfully all my Christmas cards are made and I have completed some very small orders too! I am now making some small Christmas decorations using quilling - a great old fashioned craft which is easier than it looks and well wort any age from about 4 years old up to 104 - if you dare!

Enjoy your crafting times too!


Sharon J said...

@ Frugal Trenches. I imagine the colours on the east coast are pretty much like those in Norway. Unfortunately the colours we have here in autumn don’t quite match up to those but they’re still lovely to see. I’m really lucky because I have a big park right at the end of my street.

@ A Piece of Wood. My own garden doesn’t have much autumn colour but hopefully that’ll be rectified once I can afford to get it done properly (needs a LOT of work to ever become a proper garden). I’d love to have lots of shrubs that have berries in autumn, not just for the colour but for the birds to feed from too.

@ Jade of The Jungle. I’m pleased I made your day :)

@ mylifemakeoverjourney. Your avenue sounds lovely.

@ Emmani. Party pooper ;-P … Seriously, though, I do understand where you’re coming from as I have problems with the cold, too. While everybody else was walking around in t-shirts today, I was wearing a thin cotton jumper covered by a big, baggy jumper. Like you, I used to hate wearing anything bulky but I ‘reprogrammed’ myself - decided that I was missing out on too much so would just have to accept heavy jackets and big boots. Living in Norway helped :)

@ Catz. I don’t mind daddy long legs, it’s those big black scuttlers that I hate. I run a mile whenever I see one in the house. We did indeed have a lovely picnic. Cholmondely Castle Gardens is one very very beautiful place.

@ Chris. I’ve been making the most of the lovely weather we’re having too. I’m sooooo lucky to still be able to eat, even though it usually means desperately looking for a loo afterwards. I’ve never tried quilling and really shouldn’t get start on yet another craft hobby. I have far too much on the go as it is.

Lisemor said...

I often find that autumn is a very intence time.. more so in Norway than in the UK, cos even before the leaves change colour, and everything still looks the same, one can still feel the atmosphere has changed and it's when you get that feeling you know that summer is over...

Must admit I love this time of year, it's so... I can't put a word on it, but kind of like mystifying...

My wollen blankets have been taken out now, and are laying on the seats outside... love sittig out there in the dark with a candle! =)


donna said...

i've never thought i was that keen on autumn, but reading your post has made me really look forward to it. thank-you! positive attitude is everything

Sharon J said...

It is indeed, Donna. It's not always easy but it is really important to try to see the good in things :)

Eco Gites of Lenault said...

1. Hallowe'en when we all dress up and cook a scary meal and play scary games

2. Pumpkin patches full of hidden surprizes

3. Picking Nature's harvest

4. Wild, wet and windy nights when you are all safe inside in front of a roaring fire

Rosie x

Sharon J said...

@ Lisemor. My apologies for not seeing your comment before, sweetie. I don't know how I missed it. But I agree, the colours in Norway are absolutely stunning in autumn and I love the thought of sitting outside with a candle and a warm, cosy blanket :)

@ Ecogites. Oh yes... that wondeful snug feeling when the weather's bad outside. Heaven! And doesn't it make you realise how lucky you are to have a safe haven to call home?