Autumn – Fall, Oсень, Herbst, Automne or Jesień – is unconditionally my favourite season of the year. Rust-hued leaves twirling to the ground, blue skies with a crisp feel to the air and the best excuse to lay a crackling fire. Spring is a welcome relief to winter, but festooned with allergy-causing pollen; summer is normally disappointing or hot and smelly, and winter is icy. Nah. Autumn all the way.
Being a list junkie, there are a few things I have to tick off each time autumn rolls around.
1. Wander through a park and stampede through a pile of autumnal leaves. (Instagram proof is optional, though entirely irresistable)
2. Cook something hearty that makes you feel healthy all the way to your toes. Pumpkin and Parsnip soup perhaps, bubbling away?
3. Accidentally catch a glimpse of a glorious sunset (or hop out of bed half an hour earlier to intentionally spot the sunrise on a fine day).
4. Buy a new scarf to snuggle in, just because you can even though you have far too many already. #guilty
5. Spend a Sunday afternoon in the pub with a roast dinner and a roaring fire.
6. Take a walk in the crisp air and feed a local squirrel – they need all the help they can get (and seem to enjoy vegetarian sausages, well, North London ones seem to anyway) making a winter stash.
7. MULL ALL THE THINGS. Mugs of wine, hot cider or cranberry juice anyone? It’s easy; get a small muslin bag and pop in cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg; and less frequently star anise, peppercorn or cardamom. It also usually includes dried fruit (such as raisins, apples or orange rind). Tie it up and let it sit in your beverage of choice.
8. Sneak away for one last weekend break before gluttonous festivities kick in.
9. Break out those winter boots and novelty tights.
10. Cradle a hot coffee laced with naughty flavours between chilly fingers.
The time of the falling leaves has come again. Once more in our morning walk we tread upon carpets of gold and crimson, of brown and bronze, woven by the winds or the rains out of these delicate textures while we slept.
In October what a feast to the eye our woods and groves present! The whole body of the air seems enriched by their calm, slow
radiance. They are giving back the light they have been absorbing from the sun all summer.
~John Burroughs, “The Falling Leaves,” Under the Maples
What are your Autumnal must dos?