M Shelton discusses her plans to enjoy a cosy and comforting autumn this year.
Summer has well and truly gone. This year I found it hard to let go, as spending my days outside in the warm weather felt particularly freeing after a year of lockdowns. Nevertheless, Autumn has so much charm of its own that I’m keen to embrace.
There’s no better place to begin than with food. We all need to eat, so why not try some seasonal recipes? It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming – in fact, one of my favourite Autumn recipes is simply adding spices to my morning coffee. I use a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, with delicious results. I’ll also be making plenty of soup with root vegetables and squash, as well as my favourite spiced sweet potato cake. The latter might sound a little strange, but it tastes great! Hot chocolate is another simple treat that is perfect for cold evenings.
One of the things I love most about Autumn is the time spent curled up under a blanket, warm drink in hand, listing to the rain pound against the window.
And, speaking of hot chocolate, one of the things I love most about Autumn is the time spent curled up under a blanket, warm drink in hand, listing to the rain pound against the window. Weather like this is made for relaxation, and nothing helps me to unwind like a good book. I’m currently reading The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. Hygge is a Danish concept that is difficult to translate, but explanations include “cosiness of the soul” and “cocoa by candlelight”. As the book says, you know it when you feel it! Embracing hygge can help us live happier lives, according to Wiking, and Autumn seems like the perfect time to begin.
One of my newest hobbies is crochet, and although I won’t be making myself a jumper anytime soon, I think it’s another great activity for cosy nights in. Of course, I’ll be watching plenty of Netflix too – it might not be time for Christmas films yet, but I still have some comforting classics lined up. Gilmore Girls is top of the list, followed closely by Brother Bear and Coraline.
Even without the fireworks, earlier sunsets give us more time to see the moon and stars at night, which always lifts my spirits.
It can be tempting to stay inside as the weather gets cooler. However, the great outdoors is undeniably beautiful in Autumn, and I love the feeling of being bundled up against the crisp air. I, for one, am excited to break out my boots and beanies again. I’m also looking forward to bonfire night, and there are always terrific fireworks displays in and around Exeter. Even without the fireworks, earlier sunsets give us more time to see the moon and stars at night, which always lifts my spirits. Early birds will even catch some sunrises at this time of year!
People talk a lot nowadays about romanticising your life and living in the moment. For me, one of the simplest methods of appreciating the present is taking notice of the different seasons, and celebrating them in small ways. Autumn has a lot to offer, and we should all make the most of it before it’s gone for another year.