It used to be something I could only admit to a select few close friends. It’s was a bit of a shameful secret that had to stay hidden to the general population for fear of scorn and ridicule. But the tide is turning. The army of people in the same camp as me is growning, the movement is gathering momentum. It’s beginning to be socially acceptable to say it in public…
I hate summer. I love autumn. And winter, come to think of it. I love the dark night, the clocks going back, the winter weather and all that comes along with it.
So now that there’s enough people in the cold weather camp that I can comfortably hold my head high and admit I love the sometimes drab and dreary season, here’s my top 10 highlights of autumn.
1. There’s loads of stuff to collect!
Its nice with little ones to have a purpose when you take them out, so you can give them a clear mission for what you’re doing; ‘we’re going to go the park and have a go on the swings’, ‘we’re going to go to a shop and buy some milk’ etc. I find it easier so they can understand a bit more about the world around them and they can feel in control of what’s happening. It just so happens Autumn gives you so many missions! It starts early autumn with picking blackberries, then there’s acorns, fir cones, conkers and even pretty leaves to name but a few. My boys love going on a mission to collect something and return proud as punch with their pockets full of treasures! It really engages them with the world around them too.
2. You don’t get your hopes up!
The summer fills you with false hope! You visualise weeks of wearing a t shirt and being outside in the sunshine. Major disappointment. In Autumn you get prepared with warm coats and jumpers and you expect grey and miserable. So when you have beautiful sunny days it’s a delightfully unexpected bonus! Which leads me nicely into number 3.
3. The sun isn’t too hot!
Moan about everything weather related in the U.K. dont we? Well on the whole I won’t moan about much, except it being too hot! If you have ever seen the hair colour of my family you may sympathise a little more. When both boys were born the first thing the health visitors said to me was ‘you’ll have to be very carful with them in the sun with that hair colour’! And although I’m not a red head myself, I’m extremely fair. This means summer is riddled with sun cream fights, feeling greasy (never yet found a suncream that doesn’t feel gross) and saying ‘put your hat on’ a hundred times a day.
4. Amazing shadows!
I just love that low afternoon sun! So magical.
5. The clocks go back!
Strange thing to love isn’t it? Thing is, in our line of work, when it’s light you are out working. Plus the animals can’t be shut in for the night until it’s dark. So you can’t get an evening in and switch off until that’s done at 10:30 in the evening in the summer. In the winter the evenings in the house are longer which is a delightful bonus. Yes, there’s still work to be done in the home often, but it’s inside and comfy! And there is the odd chance for an evening film.
6. Lighting the fire!
We are so lucky to have a log burner in our house. Family snuggles in front of the fire are second to none. I try to not put the central heating on until after the clocks have gone back, but we do get a sneaky fire or 2 in before this time. When my Dad grew up in the house that we live in now, there was no electricity so the fire and candle light were essential! Explains why he now hates candles!
7. The scenery
Its just breathtaking in Autumn. The colours, the changing views as the leaves thin out, the very early frosts that show up the dewy cobwebs in the hedges. I’ve never had many skills in photography, but it’s the one time of year that I always think it would be a cool skill to have. We go out on far more walks on Autumn just to take it all in. Plus it’s easy to take for granted the wonder of nature, so it’s good to remind ourselves we are very lucky to live in the middle of all this!
8. The cute winter clothes come out
Because who doesn’t love to see a toddler in his snuggly overalls?!
9. The crazy train comes into town!
If you work in retail and you don’t love this time of year as we start the preparation for Christmas, you seriously need to re think your career choice. Especially food production and retail! It’s stressful, its pressured, normal life and routine go out of the window for a little while; but would we have it any other way? NO! Because when hundreds of families sit around their beautiful Christmas tree, sit down together for their most important family meal of the year, or share hand made mince pies while carrying out their annual carol singing tradition, there is no better feeling of satisfaction and pride for us. We know we helped make that family occasion special, we provided food made with love to a family occasion full of love. And that’s pretty amazing, and definitely worth long hours, sore feet, and very little sleep for a month or 2!
10. I’ve saved the best for last…THE FOOD!
What more is there to say? The food! I was made to eat Autumnal food. I love the orange and greens, the gravies and sauces, the slow cooking and roasting, the casseroling the and soup-erising (this should definitely be a word)! I love all the squashes and root veg. I love the meals that you can put in the slow cooker in the morning and return to a wonderful smelling house later in the day! And I actually thank summer for this. It’s long enough to miss this sort of food that you really appreciate it when it comes back!
So haters of the cold and dark, I’m sorry. I will be silenced no longer! I love Autumn. I shall hold my woolly hat covered head high and say it with pride!