Autumn Daze

Autumn might be my favourite season. Mind you, I say that about every season, except Spring. Spring is just sort of there, it’s usually a bit damp, chilly and disappointing, an end to Winter and a preclude to Summer rather than a season in its own right.

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FOUR FOR YOU WINTER, YOU GO WINTER!

I love so many aspects of Autumn; it’s the season for the swotty Hermione’s like me; all preppy leather shoes, woollen tights and knee length socks, colourful leaves and beautiful sunsets, perfect walking weather, there’s bonfires and fireworks and a sort of sense of communal spirit, you feel justified staying in and just curling up to read in a cosy nook or marathoning a show on Netflix, you can actually buy real pumpkins to make all the plethora of delicious pumpkin recipes that you have to sadly use butternut squash as a substitute for if you want to bake outside of the months of September and October…

Autumn isn’t the exciting bloom of change, it’s the slow comforting ageing of the year. It’s the time for reinvention and progress.

This year, I’m dreading it.

Every year of my life so far, September has always brought a new beginning with a solid routine; a new academic year. Reassuring, comforting routine, even when it was nerve wracking, there was a sense of familiarity to it. This September instead sees me in a new house, but with no new course or academic institution, no job, no money, no means of transport and far away from some of my closest friends. I’m living back with my family after three years of independence, a strange regression in routine. It’s a new house from the one I’ve called home for the past 19 years, and currently I’m sleeping on the floor until the carpet is fitted and my bed is delivered. It’s exciting, but in a slightly detached way, as this is my parents’ new home, not mine. We don’t have a working oven in this house yet, which puts pay to the way I filled a lot of my last empty year in Worcester. The news is relentlessly depressing, with seemingly little hope for my generation, reminding me this might be the last ‘bought’ house I ever move into.

Hmm. I didn’t intend this blog to be a list of my woes. As people keep saying ‘things will get better’, ‘it’s just a moment in time’, ‘it is what it is’.

Those are all pretty empty words, so instead I shall share some things I’m going to try and fill my Autumn with. You can suggest some more to me, or join in.

Autumnal Playlist: 

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Ironic – Alanis Morissette

Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira

Defying Gravity – Lea Salonga

Revelry – Kings of Leon

Do You Want The Truth or Something Beautiful – Paloma Faith

One More Time With Feeling – Regina Spektor

Paradise By The Dashboard Light – Meatloaf

 
Most of these have precisely no discernible link to autumn, but they evoke that warm, slightly melancholic, reflective feeling I associate with autumn anyhow…art is all about interpretation, okay!

Autumn TV and Film:

 

It’s a wasteland out there folks.

The BBC is dredging up it’s most outdated, offensive sitcoms for the enjoyment of people who voted for Brexit.

I suggest looking up The Chronicles of Nadiya here if you love food and travel shows (who doesn’t?!), and Jenna Coleman is resplendent in Victoria if period dramas are your cup of earl grey.

Otherwise, trawl Netflix/Amazon Prime etc for your latest boxset binge. I’m personally looking forward to the French-British collaboration on Amazon Prime, The Collection. It is about the glamour and ugliness behind the scenes of a Parisian fashion house just after the Second World War. It has a stellar cast; Richard Coyle, Michelle Gomez, Frances de la Tour and Tom Riley, amongst others, and I’m hoping for a sort of Mad Men meets Dancing on the Edge vibe.

And of course, you should all already be watching Steven Universe.

Autumn Reads: 

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I recently bought a beautiful deck of animal spirit cards from The Wild Unknown; I’ve always had a great interest and attraction towards what I’m going to collectively term witchiness (judge all you like, Hermione never cared). I’m going to use them as a tool for personal insight and as creative inspiration because they’re gorgeous. But as someone reminded me recently, the way they are interpreted is very similar to the alethiometer in His Dark Materials. This has made me desperate to re-read this book series.

His Dark Materials (Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) by Phillip Pullman

The world created by Pullman is so immersive and beautifully built and expressed. The concept of Dust, daemons, the witches and armoured bears…there are so many diverse ideas and characters overflowing from this series. It should have been a beloved classic alongside Harry Potter, but they completely screwed up the feature film which seemed to curb the number of people my age who have read it. It also epitomises a lot of autumn for me; the ideas of a coming of age and both a nostalgia for that which is lost and excitement for what it is to come.

If you enjoy human-rooted fantasy, flawed protagonists and the idea of your soul being a visible animal who lives beside you, I recommend you give this book series a go before the BBC TV adaptation hits the screen.

Pumpkin Recipes:

 

Pumpkin Pie

Chimichurri Pumpkin Bowl

Classic Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Spiced Syrup

Pumpkin Cocktails OH YES INDEED

Basically All Of These

I just love pumpkin DON’T JUDGE ME.  I’m sure I can do some of these without an oven.

Miscellaneous 

I’m also going to be having a peruse of these online courses, as well as hopefully kick-starting my writing again. In case any of these also interest you, here are some links:

Healing from Toxic Whiteness

Mindfulness for Wellbeing

Italian for Beginners

How to Read The Mind of a Fictional Character

I know all that was an odd mish-mash of content after a long while of not posting, but I hope by sharing all that I’ll actually keep to some of my autumn intentions…including keeping on top of this blog regularly (anyone else got deja vu…).

 

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