Friday, 16 September 2011

...an Autumn enthusiast.

I've wanted to write this post for a couple of weeks, but life was a wee bit stressful, we have been in limbo, and talking about lovely trees and things didn't feel right.  This week we found out, after a very long and anxious-making wait that Dave has passed his PhD. He has a few corrections to do and hopefully, *fingers crossed, touch wood, anything else I can do for luck even if  I don't believe in superstition*  in the next couple of weeks those will be done and signed off and things will be official. This is a tremendous wieght off both our minds. We can go on with life now, make plans, start things. And I can revel in the season.

The autumn leaves are falling from the trees...

With the exception of the last two years, I've been in school since I was three. The autumn term is as much the beginning of a year for me as New Year's is, and with things being suddenly lighter at home, it feels rather more promising than summer did.

I love this time of year. I know some people hold onto the end of summer firmly, but as soon as the first leave tips change colour, I am excited. Cold, crisp mornings filled with autumn sun (less harsh than summer, isn't it?), the sound of windblown leaves skittering down the street, people moving quickly, knitted clothes mixing with the last of summer ones. Autumn and winter clothes are so much better than summer ones, full of texture and warmth.

Autumn, by oldest of my charges.
'Because autumn is windy, and there are lots of colours'
(Given to me. Rather a lovely gift)
Working with kids in the countryside, we spend a lot of autumn wrapped up in jumpers and scarves and hats against the chill, walking through the open country, running through piles of crispy leaves, picking up the very best ones to hang in windows and stick on collages.

Cowl by Hazel. It matches my coat buttons!

I still get excited about getting new hats and scarves at this time of year, just like I did when I was five. This year my hat, one of my 'scarves', a lovely cowl, are extra special as they were made by my sister. I still, having been long time student, like to get a new bag. Once it was my school or placement bag, now it's my work bag - fulfilling much the same purpose since I look after children. This year it - my shiny red satchel - has been provided by Dave. I love it so much I might not want a new one next year!

Hat by Hazel. Good with my new scarf I think.
oh how I love red and mustard.

As I write this ode to the idyllic autumn, it's blowing a gale and tipping it down. We live in a block of tenements, surrounded by other blocks of tenements, and pretty much everything outside is grey. But against the grey, through the drizzle, there are oranges and red and gold on trees, bright against the dull background. Autumnal colours are the very best ones. On days like this I do washing as an excuse to put the heating on, and I am grateful for the warmth of my hot water bottle and blanket.

Hot tea and mug waffles.
Staying inside on days all grey and wet, I read cookery books, make food full of warmth and spice, and bring back traditions of the season. Today I had my first mug top waffle* of  the year. I first had one of these in my second week of uni. We sold Fabulous Bakin' Boys ones when I worked in the Student's Union shop, but since then I have discovered Tregroes ones, and the slight cinnamony flavour(which I might be imagining) is more to may taste. Melting caramel atop a mug of steaming tea shouts autumn to me.

Tea, which I am obviously fond of, is joined by other hot drinks - hot spiced apple juice, spiced cider, hot chocolate with spices, and towards the end of autumn (because it is a thing of Christmas really) mulled wine. I tend toward spiced tea too - ginger, Russian caravan, chai (which Elizabeth taught me about, and which I must blog at some point).

As it gets darker, earlier and earlier (it was properly dark at eight last night! I read more, and I look forward to period dramas on TV on a Sunday (now iPlayer), and I really hope this year to craft much more too. I have so many plans and weekends cosied up stretch before me, full of ideas for things to make.  I would be grateful for autumn book recommendations - I really enjoy books that are anchored in the season I am in, and of course any recipes are welcome!

*you stick the waffle on top of your mug of hot drink for a couple of minutes. The steam melts the slighty crystallised toffee inside, and softens one side of the waffle-biscuit, so that it is at once warm, crunchy and gooey. They are ace. They taste like autumn.

17 comments:

conversationpieces said...

Lots of yays for this one! :) I'm still holding onto summer a little but only as I'm hoping for some NY sunshine soon! Except I have started wearing my new scarf already... Loving the cowl (even if that's such a weird word!)

Linsey said...

Well done Dave!! Bet it's such a weight off for both of you, such a great feeling to know it's over.
And nice woollens :)

Elizabeth@rosalilium said...

I enjoyed reading this blog post so much. :-)

First of all, a huge congratulations to Dave. Hoorah! I know exactly how he must be feeling right now. Awesomeness.

Secondly, waffles with chai? That is a genius idea. All that warm spicy cinnamony goodness.

And finally, yey for Autumn. It is totally my favourite too and September is the bestest.
x

trashsparkle said...

Awww - well done to Dave; hard work, but now there'll soon be a Doctor in the house!

I'm liking your word "skittering" - its perfect. You've totally sold me on Autumn, though I love it already, and will be drinking even more tea/coffee now due to the waffles tip-off ;)

I tried making a cowl/snood last year; totally misjudged the size when I started the first row, so ended up with a strange woollen garment that could be a mini-skirt. And still a cold neck... this year I'm scaling the ambitions down a bit and will be making wrist-warmers... x

Spare Thoughts said...

Wooo Dave!!

I'm loving the arrival of Autumn, bringing my jumpers out from the back of the wardrobe.

Hazel said...

Good to hear things may be at ease for you and Dave, as i know its definitely much needed.

I am really glad you like your gifts :) and they suit you!

And mmmmmm waffles on a cuppa, been ages since I have had one of those!!

TheFoodieHistorian said...

Where did you manage to find the waffles? My flatmate is dutch and has to import them! I love them!

Know what you mean about autumn. It's the perfect excuse to eat meals involving mashed potato and gravy!

jules said...

Congrats to your other half on his exams/phd!
And yeah Autumn is a fab season, I love September the best! I just come back from hols and I'm trying to hang on to Summer as much as possible!!!

jules

Silmi Sabila said...

Too bad there's no autumn in my country so I can't feel that enthusiastic feeling. I'm glad you posted about it, now I technically know how it feels like. Keep writing wonderful post! :-)

grace said...

hooray for dave! i, too, am a fall aficionado--i love scarves and cider and colorful leaves! the only trouble is that it all too quickly becomes winter. :)

Lottie said...

You are a woman after my own heart...I am always so happy to welcome autumn in with that chill in the air, cosy knits, and some new stationary, I haven't been in education for a couple of years now but i can't break the habit. And this year tea waffles...they look pure genius, I hope I can find some xx

Joanna said...

Well done Dave!
I used to love getting all new bits for school. Stationery and a new bag - were my fav's!
I loved this post - it made me feel all cozy - I would quite like to go home now and cuddle up under a blanket with a book and cup of tea (and a waffle of course!) x

KatGotTheCream said...

I think it's safe to say I'm with you on being an Autumn enthusiast!

Big congrats to Dave!!

Also, LOVE the hat and scarf!!!

Laura said...

I agree wholeheartedly!

Staying in when it's grey and cooking, or going for walks in wellies and scarves. All perfect.

Well done to Dave!

The Sentimental Suitcase said...

Mug waffles! What the hell are those? and where do you get them? Oh I'm having dreams of mug waffles and maple syrup......

XO
Sam

The Sentimental Suitcase said...

And congrats to Dave! YAYAYAYYA DAVE!

XO
Sam

Gaynor {Our Day by Design} said...

Im not so keen on the cold but loving getting my scarves out! I just had to buy myself a new coat as couldnt do mine up and was getting cold!