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. And, there 10 things that I have to do in autumn without fail every single time we complete a rotation around the sun.
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 irresistible.)
2. Cook something hearty that makes you feel healthy all the way to your toes. Pumpkin and Parsnip soup perhaps, bubbling away?
3. Stop and revel in glorious sunsets as they unfold over the horizon (or hop out of bed half an hour earlier to intentionally spot the sunrise on a fine day – let’s be real, it’s going to be the former.)
4. Buy a new scarf to snuggle in, just because you can even though you have far too many already. #guilty (Don’t tell Mr Kiwi about this one, ok?)
5. Spend a Sunday afternoon in the pub with a roast dinner and a roaring fire. Or maybe a few.
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 break before all those 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.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
– William Shakespeare
Quite! It makes me want to burst into iambic pentameter.
What are your Autumnal must-dos?