According to Google, Autumn starts this week, and I’ve been itching at the bit for it come sooner. I don’t like Summer, I never really have, which is odd because living in Scotland our summer months are not really all that different to those in Spring, or Autumn or Winter for that matter. Our weather here is fairly constant (consistently bad) and the only thing that really changes is my expectations. When I think of summer, I think of warm days, of ice cream from the van, of beaches. I think of sand and sun and happiness – and ultimately every year I’m faced with a bit of bitter disappointment. The months are happy, don’t get me wrong, and we do make the most of what we have, but this expectation of the classic picturesque seaside and the comparison to the dreary reality falls a bit short. Autumn however never disappoints. With Autumn, I expect the cold, I expect the rain, and I sure as hell expect a Pumpkin Spice Latte or 40. What I expect and what I am met with marry up, and that is exactly why I love Autumn. This Autumn will be slightly different, as it will be first proper year experiencing Autumn with a child. Harrison was born at the end of October last year, so although right in the thick of it, we were so caught up in newborn life that the months passed without even noticing it. This year I’ve already made my list of my plans for Autumn and I thought I would share them as a way to look back and tick off what is left to do.
A corn maze was never something I associated with Autumn, in fact it’s never something I’ve bothered to associate with anything at all. I did not think there were any corn mazes within driving to distance, just as there is no Lavender or Sunflower Fields anywhere near us, I thought a corn maze was another day out lost on us poor Scottish folks. I came across the Cairnie Fruit Farm while looking for a Strawberry Field to pick in, and after realizing they have a maze made of the corn crop, it was added to my to-do list instantly. Now, the crop will be harvested in October meaning we’ll have to head over pretty quickly into Autumn, and it probably should be on our summer to do list going forward, but for this year and this year only we’ll be getting our winter hats on and losing ourselves in 6 acres of maize.
There is actually a bit of a story behind this one. Last year around pumpkin time, I was extremely pregnant and was confronted with picture after picture of people visiting pumpkin farms , and was desperate to visit myself. I had Harrison on the 21st of October and begged my friends to come with me before Halloween, I eventually convinced them to make the hour and a bit trip that weekend, only to realize I had no chance of going myself. I was completely recovered from childbirth, and yet I could not get a pair of welly boots over my swollen ankles. At this point in time, the only shoes that could go anywhere near my feet were flip-flops, and I did not quite think they were suitable for a farm. This year, no excuses will be made and I will be choosing my own pumpkin, as will Harrison.
My mum makes the best homemade soup in the world – now, I know everyone says this, but I promise you, my mums is truly one of the best. I’ve asked her for years to teach me to make it, but somehow it always descends into her cooking and me talking, and after 23 years I’m still none the wiser as to how she makes it taste the way it does. I asked her to write down her recipe earlier this week, determined to replicate it myself, and her exact reply was that she has no recipe. She throws in what she feels like at the time, and it looks like I’m going to have to learn to do the same. It may not last exactly like my mums, but I’ll be creating my own masterpiece this Autumn.
Falling just short of scattering painted leaves on my living room floor and lining my windowsill with pumpkins, I am very much ready to update my home for Autumn. At the minute, everything is still very light and bright with a sunflower on every surface, but I am now ready to welcome the seasonal change. I’m ready to introduce the dark and moody colours, textured blankets and scented candles and to transition alongside the weather. Step one will always be updating every single candle and infuser in the house, anything musky and woody is perfect and I’m so keen to try Aldi’s new Yankee Candle dupes. There is nothing better than walking into a home with a distinct smell (a nice one, of course) and I love the idea of matching the scent with with the season. We have pretty neutral décor in our house, so we’ll be adding in a few Autumn prints and a cosy knit blanket (or five) to update the rooms. I’m looking to add in lovely rich browns, mustards and deep red hues to really make our home feel warm and cosy. We’ll also have to start switching on our lights, which is almost sad to say. Our house is really naturally light and bright and we rarely have had to put them on, I suppose that will have to change…
There is no Autumn without Pumpkin Spice, fact. I understand I may sound like a basic bitch right now, but I am a shell of a person in October without my autumn coffee. It quite literally brings me joy. What doesn’t bring me joy, is the cost of my special autumn coffee. I’ve managed to go nearly an entire month without buying coffee (not including my jar, I’m not giving up coffee entirely – that’s manic) and have saved a small fortune doing so, I don’t want to take a step backward all for the sake of cinnamon. I have no recipe, I’m yet to look and I’m a bit worried about my first few attempts, but this year I’ll be making my own Pumpkin Spice Latte’s. Starbucks, watch out.
Hocus Pocus is easily one of my favorite movies – after every Christmas movie made – and I can’t wait to spend Halloween this year on the couch watching it. My years of no requirement for trick or treating are very numbered and I’ll be making the most of a different sort of Halloween tradition while I still can. If you’ve never seen Hocus Pocus, your missing a trick. A close second is the Halloween Town movies, which I’ve not watched since my childhood says and will be digging out especially for this Halloween. I’ll be cuddling up on the couch with roasted marshmallows and embracing the colder weather. I worked in a summer camp in America a few years ago, and I will now never forget the taste of a proper roasted marshmallow. Smores’ were very much something I had only seen in movies, but ever since tasting one I’ve become fixated on making them a tradition throughout the year. As yet we have not (and probably never will) went camping or been able to create a fire outdoors, so our smores’ may just be coming from a stick over our hob, but the end result will be the same.
I’ve never been handy with making Halloween costumes – I used to get so much enjoyment out of going to the dress up store (normally on Halloween when it was pandemonium) and choosing my costume and all of the accessories. It was fun, but it’ll never really be the same as making a costume. I don’t see myself making my own anytime soon, but I now have a very little, very cute person that has little choice in what costume they will be wearing for the foreseeable future. I’m on the lookout for a way to create a Mike Wasowksi costume, so watch this space.
What are your favorite things to do in Autumn? If I’ve missed any biggies please let me know! Like every single other year, I thought I was ready to say good riddance to summer, to move on to the favored months and rid myself of the inconvenience of fake tanning my legs. Now very other year I could wish the months away and gear myself up for hot chocolate and overrated pumpkin spice scented everything, this summer, although as nearly as dissapointing as every other, was filled with firsts. It was Harrison’s first summer, his first holiday, his first visit to a beach, his first ice cream. It was mine and Jordan’s first summer as parents, our first summer where we had limitations in what we could do, but also the first summer where we could experience everything in a completely different way. I will always remember this summer, but I am completely ready to welcome Autumn with open arms.