I can’t believe we are at the first week of September already. It’s been feeling much cooler for the last week in Scotland. Autumn always strikes first up here. We woke up this morning with a heavy mist laying low, below the mountains, across the fields, and condensation on the windows as the temperature outside had dropped overnight. And the tips of the leaves are turning that beautiful burnt orange already.
‘Do you think we should get a battery?’ my husband asked. ‘What for I asked?’ ‘To power the heating and the aga if there is a power cut.’ Whilst that might sound like some doomsday scenario, power cuts are actually quite common up here. We had an unprecedented one last year after storm something-or-other which lasted for days.
I love this time of year. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed quaffing Rosé, the BBQ smoking, the children scotting down water slides, the picnics, the swimming in the river, the low sun at 10pm, the sand EVERYWHERE (well maybe not that…), field loads of strawbs, buckets of asparagus, the fairs, the parties, floating dresses, swimming in the river in the early evening, the smell of suncream on the children, I could go on….
But now I’m ready. Ready for a new start, a new pace of life. I’ve also felt a certain ‘new beginning’ with the schools going back (despite leaving school 20 years ago…and having no school aged children myself). It feels very much to me like a new start. It’s an opportunity to metaphorically ‘sharpen your pencil’. So I’ve started a new notebook and bought myself some felt tips and started to think about what I want for the changing season. What do I want to do and achieve this winter? For me it’s a time for reflection and gearing up to make the most of the shorter days.
It’s also about preparing the nest though. It’s about thinking about what we need. I’ve recently been picking blackcurrants and bottling large jars of jam for the winter ahead. I’ve made red current jellies - for serving with sausages, chicken, lamb. We are tidying away logs in the garden and getting the log store in order for winter. I’ve tidied the coats, and the boots and brought out the hats and gloves.
For me it’s also about putting my bed socks back on. It’s about early evening baths, knowing that something is bubbling away in the oven for supper. It’s about putting on pyjamas outrageously early, with bed socks, and lounging around ‘like a fish supper’ as we say in Scotland, on the sofa, in front of the fire with a good film on. It’s about slowing down the pace of life, and pausing and taking some time for yourself. Yes, winter is about Christmas, but that’s a mile off. First we have autumn and what a glorious season of colour and smells that is.
What are your autumn traditions?