Last week I experienced the perfect autumn morning on my way to work. The sky was a streak of bright blue without a cloud in sight, the trees near the office yellowing and orange leaves littering the cobble stones. I could see my breath in the cool, crisp air and I had a scarf tightly wrapped around me. It’s a bit of a cliche, but it made me so wildly happy that I don’t care if it’s basic to love this time of year.
I wanted to write myself a little bucket list to inspire me to do more with the weeks that lie ahead before the Christmas tree comes out of storage and the shops become manic. As the days get shorter and the season for running after work falls away, I’m all too guilty of napping on the sofa in the evenings and watching yet another series of Friends when there’s so much more that I can do to enjoy this time of year. From painting to pumpkin spice lattes, here’s some items I want to tick off this list this autumn.
- Read at least three books
This year I’ve set myself a target of reading a book each month and so far I’m keeping up, surprisingly reading quite of a lot of non-fiction. I want to dive into a new book pile on a grey day, pull a blanket onto the sofa and just get lost in some new stories.
- Grab a pumpkin spice latte with a friend
I have to say, I wasn’t impressed with my first PSL of the year, which was topped in a gaudy orange cream that made it taste like drinking a candle. Without the whip though, it is still a tasty, sugary, barely-a-coffee drink that makes me feel all warm and cosy. I’m hoping I can sneak in a coffee date with a friend before they disappear at the end of October. I’m not ready for gingerbread lattes yet.
I’ve realised quite recently that outside of baking and recipe testing, I haven’t really been very creative in my down time, which is frustrating because I love it so much. I used to sit and watercolour while listening to podcasts and it’s such a great hobby to have to help switch off. Now that I’m more into podcasts than television shows, a few evenings mixing some colours together and creating something pretty sounds fantastic.
- Donate to a food bank
When the nights get colder, my mind turns to comfort food. Steamed puddings, macaroni cheese, pies with puff pastry lids and mugs of hot chocolate. But I’m always aware that for many people these things are such a luxury. Autumn was always harvest time in school and we would donate tins of food to local pensioners. I want to pick out some nice treats for a local food bank and drop them off, along with some toiletries. Sali Hughes’ piece on her Beauty Banks initiative reminded me that simple things like soap and toothpaste can go a long way to making people feel better.
- Bake something seasonal
A pie, a cake, a biscuit – anything pumpkin, spiced or full of apples needs to be put on the menu this autumn. We’ve only got a few weeks left before everything that is sweetly spiced turns to gingerbread and peppermint.
- Go for an autumnal walk in the park
Yes it’s cliched and yes Chris and I have kind of already done it, but what is better than kicking your way through crunchy leaves, coffee in hand looking at all the beautiful colours speckled in the trees above?
- Rewatch American Horror Story: Coven
I haven’t loved the most recent seasons of AHS until Apocalypse arrived this autumn and blew me away. I’m loving the direction the show is taking by offering a mash up of two brilliant previous seasons Murder House and Coven. I recently rewatched Murder House and want to return to those bad witches in NOLA so I can brush up on my knowledge.
- Carve a pumpkin
Where we stay means that we don’t get any trick or treaters on October 31 which makes me a little sad. In my old flat there always used to be a few kids all dressed up looking for mini bags of Haribo – which of course I had to make them work for by telling a joke. So I think carving a pumpkin watching Hocus Pocus is the least I can do to get into the Halloween spirit.