I’ve been seeing a whole lot of rhapsodising on social media for the last week. Everybody raving about real fires, woolly jumpers, blackberry crumble and custard, conkers and falling leaves. If I read the word Hygge again this week I might vomit.
I am seriously not feeling excited about the prospect of Autumn. I am feeling distinctly miserable about it. I want to keep wearing flip flops and t shirts. I want to drink my tea sitting in the garden, watching the flowers blooming and the bees buzzing.
I think that Spring and Summer were particularly good to us this year. We did great work decluttering the house, making big plans for our future, totally redoing our garden, and having some pretty special family times.
As the weather has turned darker, colder, windier, more unsettled, unpredictable, it feels as if family life has followed suit. I may have written that we have passed the storm of my daughter’s current rages, but instead we seem to have progressed into generalised grumpiness, whinging, snapping and unrest. Family life is definitely feeling more unsettled and distinctly less sunny. The long slog of autumn and winter ahead of us feels pretty gloomy and dark right now.
There have been some pockets of sunshine. Autumn has meant some serious planning and preparing for next years garden. We are trying to turn our back garden lawn into a wildflower meadow. Now this involved trying to trash the areas of lawn that we’re hoping to meadowfy, and garden trashing is one task that my children can truly get involved with! We had lots of fun strumming and raking and bashing and hitting and stamping. They had lots of fun trying to make as much mud as possible, and then spreading wildflower seeds everywhere.
We were concerned that the chickens might just eat all the seeds, so we bought industrial quantities of chilli powder and covered the seeds with it. It turns out that our chickens are big chilli fans…
Who knows if any seed will actually survive to provide us with flowers, but I guess if you don’t try, you’ll never know. My boy has also helped me plant hundreds of spring bulbs in the front garden, so at least the chickens can’t eat those!
The other brief highlight of the autumn season is my birthday! Cornwall seems to always be kind to me on my birthday, and we have managed to always get out on the beach. We try to combine that with an apple harvest from my Grandmother’s orchard.
This year we also went to Apple Day at a local pick-your-own farm, where we managed to pick as many squash as our small family were able to lug back to the car.
In previous years, I would probably have been getting all excited about Christmas right now. I’m a bit of a Christmas obsessive. Last Christmas was tough though, think it was the first year that my daughter really understood the whole thing, understood that she’d be getting presents. I tried to concentrate on the build-up, the preparations, the traditions and the family togetherness. But actually I think my daughter found the whole process more and more overwhelming, combined with the anticipation of presents, and Christmas Day was just nightmarish, with horrible behaviour from start to finish. I spent most of the day in tears. This year I am hoping to keep everything much more low-key, whilst still making it special. We’all see how that goes, but last year has definitely taken some of the excitement out of my preparations.
So, by the time I have finished writing this post (only taken me a week!), I guess autumn isn’t all bad. I may not relish the cold, the dark, the wet, and the endless leaf slush, and I mourn the impending sleep of my flowery bee haven, but I suppose hand picked apple and blackberry crumble, roasted squash, and deserted Cornish beaches aren’t so bad, and the anticipation of spring, and the reemergence of my garden, will have to keep me going for now.