Summer has drawn to a close and we are well and truly into autumn. It’s one of my favourite times of year – there’s something about feeling that first chill in the air, layering tshirts with chunky knits, wallowing in a steamy bath reading a good book, putting socks on for the first time in ages, eating meals that have been left to bubble slowly on the stove, seeing Raff run through crunchy leaves in his sunny, yellow wellies and making hot chocolate for our little afternoon pick me ups. I love these nuggets of autumn so much.
With the change in seasons comes other, less wanted, things such as a family cold that we can’t seem to shift, achey joints – I’ve done my back in for the fourth time in as many weeks, the need to put our heating on and the dryness in the air because of it, and the loss of light. As a light lover, I miss the bright mornings and find the darkness draws in a little too early each evening.
I’ve been using eucalyptus oil in the shower to help clear our colds – dropping a little on the floor to help infuse the steam. I’ve been bathing in epsom salt baths for 40 minutes at a time to ease my achey muscles and tight lower back, (having two incredibly heavy children who need constant lifting hasn’t helped one bit).
I’ve also been very careful to put only the freshest and most seasonal food onto our table the last couple of weeks to boost our vitamin intake and help fend off the lurgy. I splurged on an organic fruit and veg box which proved a huge success in enabling me to create a number of nourishing, yet delicious veg based meals – turns out it wasn’t so much of a splurge after all! We’ve enjoyed pots of warming homemade soup, pumpkin risotto, simple roast dinners with turnip and rainbow carrots, glorious spinach broth and easy lunchtime toast toppers such as fig and ricotta.
Autumn is a bountiful time in the veggie department as we harvest all of the goodness summer left behind, so many of these vegetables are often overlooked or frowned upon. Having been skeptical about the humble squash, I’ve made it so many ways in the last month and been surprised at the results. My favourite is simply roasting wedges (skin on), of an acorn or queen squash with a coating of crushed garlic, olive oil, freshly torn sage and a little chopped rosemary. Once roasted you can do all sorts with it from jazzing up a base pasta sauce, serving it as a simple side dish, stirring it into risotto or making it the star of a lovely lush salad. Try it, I promise you won’t regret it.
I’ve also been inspired by the changes in season to have a little sort at home. Just getting on top of some of the dreaded tasks that loomed over me all summer. I’ve finally organised a whole chest of drawers that were total dumping grounds. I’ve filed away paperwork that had previously been filed in said drawers. I’ve got on top of the accounts and sorted through the understairs cupboard, (no one likes that job do they?!?!). I’ve put away summer clothes and pulled out my autumn favourites – wool galore in all her glory. I’ve folded away tiny dresses that no longer fit our little bird and dug out a whole heap of beautiful pieces I’d thrifted along the way since she arrived. They’d been waiting in the wings for her to fit them and for the first chills to arrive.
It feels good to wave goodby to the summer and welcome autumn in. I know there’ll be dark and gloomy days ahead when the kids and I are stuck indoors while it pours buckets outdoors, but, for now, I’m an old romantic and in love with the season that brings the most beautiful golden light a girl could wish for.
Happy October everyone x
Pictures taken at RHS Wisley