So I’ve just had a Peter Kay moment…I always thought the first line of ‘California Dreamin’ ‘ by The Mamas and Papas was “Autumn leaves are brown.” Turns out it’s, “All the leaves are brown.” Gutted. It was the perfect title for this blog but as you can see, I still went ahead and used it anyway!
You will probably notice that from now on my blog might not always relate to my ailments. I will of course use the blog to update as and when I feel I want to write about it but I also need to explore other avenues for my writing. I just hope you continue to read and enjoy the content; nearly a year on and I have had over 10,000 views which is an achievement I am thoroughly proud of so thank you for taking time to read about my life!
Autumn is here and I couldn’t be happier about it. This time of year, leading up to Christmas is my favourite and I seem to be relishing it even more since I missed out on any seasons apart from Summer in Dubai. It’s a time of change. I learnt the seasons by watching the huge tree at the bottom of our garden change colour as the year ticked by. I remember enjoying jumping in the hundreds of leaves that would float down and end up all over the place in Autumn and swinging on the swing set, gazing up at the green leaves in the Summer. It’s such a beautiful tree, that’s the only thing that’s slightly wrong this year because the tree owners had it pollarded so it isn’t quite the spectacle I’ve grown to know and love. In a funny way, that tree and I have much in common. We both lost our ‘hair’ at similar times last year but as I lost more, the tree grew and went from strength to strength. Eventually it will be back to its former glory, however, there is no knowing when or if my hair will grow and flourish like the leaves on the tree. Regardless of whether my hair returns or not, I won’t return to my former glory because I’ve changed too much in this year to ever be able to.
When I lived in Dubai, I adored the new landscape that I saw from my balcony but I did miss the seasons. I have always enjoyed taking photos and since being given a “proper” camera a few years ago, I have become even more interested in the skill. I never really understood why people would take photos that didn’t include people – they were boring, yet I have now been let into the secret! It’s actually quite fun to try and capture moments in life that perhaps only you see the beauty in. Those moments don’t need to involve people, it could be the beauty of a sunset or the simplicity of a cloud formation. And although there are countless times throughout the year that warrant capturing, in my opinion, Autumn through to Winter is the most photogenic.
Autumn signals the start of candle season for me. Mum has always been a candle enthusiast but I didn’t truly understand why until I discovered Bath & Body Works in Dubai! That shop opened up a whole new world for me and one I’m not sure I will ever be able to leave. I bought and burnt so many candles in Dubai but it never felt quite right because it was so flippin’ hot outside. When I was researching Dubai back in 2013, I read on one of the many forums that someone missed the Winter at home so much that they would increase their air con until it was freezing and emulated what was happening in their own town! Only then did they feel it was right to do some baking with candles lit and Christmas music playing in the background…you’ll be pleased to know that I never went to that extreme! However, my poor dad was also privy to my slight candle obsession when he came to Dubai to help me pack up and leave. I think one entire shipping box could have been filled with candles; we don’t have Bath & Body Works here so what was I supposed to do?! Since being home, I have refrained from burning any apart from the half used one that I still brought back with me! But now that Autumn is here and the cold weather is setting in, the candles will slowly be brought out in their full glory and I can’t wait! **disclosure..if anyone ever visits Dubai or America or is coming home from Dubai, any Bath & Body Works deliveries are willingly accepted! Particularly Mahogany Teakwood!**
Now I will broach thermostat wars. I am sure these arguments are happening all over the world let alone up and down the country and especially in our house! It becomes a little game with us – mum will sneak upstairs to turn it on and then when dad or Jack finally realise it’s on, they storm upstairs to switch it off. Then I will switch it back on as I head up to bed…and so on and so forth! For the majority of the time, girls win – we are a much better tag team! But then I am also a HUGE blanket snuggler! To me, there is literally nothing better than on a cold day, putting on your comfies, warm socks, grabbing a hot Ribena and snuggling down to watch TV or a film under a blanket. My point here is, if the heating is on too high, the blanket becomes like an incinerator and doesn’t bring the joys it should, so it’s all about balance, the right degree of heat so that the blankets purpose can be fully enjoyed. I tell you, it’s an art form that so many don’t appreciate! Most of my Autumnal love is based around an idyllic weather type – really cold but sunny. Inevitably though the rain comes and that shatters my idealism although I do love the sound of rain, it’s my go to sound for relaxation. Sleeping in the loft room is perfect on rainy nights when I can’t sleep, and if there’s a thunder storm the velux window provides an excellent viewing deck.
I have also come to be an advocate for Lush, in particular their bath products. When Autumn comes round, that means hot bubble bath season has begun and bathrooms must be stocked at all times with everything Lush. They also change their products with the seasons which pleases me greatly. At the moment the Autumnal/Halloween products are on sale but also, you can start to purchase the Winter/Christmas bits. Lush isn’t to everyones taste; I remember when I was at Uni, myself, Sarah and Deborah went to a Lush open night and after about half an hour I was aware the two of them were outside the shop, Deborah with her head between her knees (insert laughing emoji!) The fumes coming from the shop were too much for them and had made them all light headed and queasy – still to this day I don’t think they enjoy walking past the shop let alone going inside! I have already started working my way through some of the products and am in love. This bath process precedes the pyjama, socks, Ribena, blanket scenario – it’s a ritual! So far I have loved the Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb and the Golden Wonder Bath Bomb – which, incase you’re wondering, spits out little golden stars as it fizzes away! Heaven. This is the part when most bloggers/vloggers state – this isn’t sponsored by Lush…but I blinking well wish it was!
And now I come onto clothes. The transition from Summer to Autumn/Winter wear is glorious. Personally, I believe there is nothing cuter than seeing little ones in knitted bobble hats, oversized coats and wellington boots trudging along to go and feed the ducks or ride their bikes in the park! But for us adults it brings the joys of oversized, warm, comfy jumpers, jeans and boots, scarves and hats – it’s just the best time of year. I have always adored wearing hats at this time, I hoard them almost to the extent that I hoard my shoe collection! Hats last year were even more important due to the lack of hair although I found that some of them looked ridiculous without hair flowing from them. This year I miss them already. The crazy sensitive, painful head scenario still rages on meaning having anything on, near or touching my head is a living hell. I have no idea how I am going to survive this year – I may hibernate, which doesn’t sound bad when I think about all of the for mentioned rituals I have! The other day I did however purchase some ear muffs. Yes, you heard right, ear muffs. I am well aware they probably look utterly ridiculous but as mum stated, if it keeps an ear infection away, who cares?! And to be fair, I’ve mastered the art of braving the bald in public so let’s see how a bald girl wearing ear muffs goes down – I am always up for a challenge!
Halloween and Firework night also fall into this time slot that I so enjoy. We never really celebrated Halloween in our house although we did always carve a pumpkin and have sweets ready for Trick or Treat visitors. One year mum turned our house lights off and had a mask ready to open the door and scare the older teens that wanted to try their luck. It sort of backfired though as when she opened the door in her mask and let out a huge scream the kids ran off. She later had a phone call from a friend she hadn’t heard from in years to say that her son had returned home, petrified and with unfortunately, very wet trousers, yes, he’d wet himself because some woman had scared him half to death! We laughed so much at that story and continue to do so to this day!
Bonfire Night was always something I looked forward to. Walking down to the Chislehurst Rec, when I was little I was always on dads shoulders, and spending time walking round the fun fair and eating my annual allowance of candy floss. Then standing, watching the stunning fireworks go off to music, watching the Catherine Wheel and giggling at the odd sounds people made as the fireworks display continued. Then we’d either get fish and chips on the way home or return to jacket potatoes and chilli – just such blissfully happy memories. We would also, without fail, always get sparklers and play with them on our patio trying to write our name and capture it in a photo but never succeeding – I think this could be an achievable target for this year Dad if you’re up for it?! We continued to go throughout our time at Uni but since being in Dubai and being ill last year, I haven’t been out on Fireworks night for years. This year, I am going to try to get to see some because it really is one of my favourite nights of the year.
And then, for me, there is Greenwich Park. It is probably in my top three favourite places ever. It holds so many precious memories – dancing around on the bandstand pretending I was Mary Poppins, riding my bike in all seasons, being chased by squirrels, feeding the ducks, having pic-nics, going to the Sunday Market. I just love it. It’s a place to go when you need your faith restored in humanity. You go there and see that families are still doing the things you did when you were a child. They aren’t cooped up inside playing on their play stations or glued to a phone. There are families actually interacting with each other; playing football, roller skating, walking dogs, kicking up leaves and flying kites. It was the place I wanted mum to take me when I got back last year more than anywhere else. Although it is nearly always busy, it’s uniquely peaceful and I love it.
For those who know me, I’m not big on alcohol – like my mother, I don’t need it to have a good time! But, at this time of year, there is nothing better than being at Borough Market, having a mooch around with a hot apple cider or mulled wine – delish! My love for Borough Market isn’t specific to Autumn/Winter, that’s an all year round love of mine but when it comes to London, the best place at this time of year is Covent Garden. They have the most beautiful lights, the most festive live music and just the right amount of shops to start your Christmas shopping…or just treat yourself!
And that really sums up my love for this time of year and brings me to the end of yet another blog. I wonder if you have any Autumnal rituals or places you like to go at this time of year? Let me know.
Before I sign off, I would like to thank Jane for running the half marathon a few weeks ago and also thank those of you who so kindly sponsored her. She raised £383 which will help Alopecia UK greatly.
Have a wonderful week,