Highlights of Autumn 2013

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Back in September, I drew up a little bucket list of things to do this Autumn. It was an ambitious list by all accounts. When you add in the fact that I was unable to do much due to yet another long drawn  pregnancy related nightmare (emotionally and physically exhausting, ambulance calls and lots of time in hospitals etc.) and that we are in the process of moving our lives to Edinburgh (a good few hundred miles up the road), my bucket list was starting to look even more unachievable. But that my dear readers is the beauty of having a focus list, it makes you achieve more than you otherwise would because you want to tick things off! Thankfully, I crossed out a fair share of the list before my hospital dramas began and here is a pictorial account of the highlights which included exploring Canterbury, visiting Paris again and re-learning to knit ( at Tilly's Vintage)!

Whilst the days were still mild, we harvested the last of our autumn crop ( to be blanched, preserved, frozen for the winter) and put the allotment to bed. Apples tarts were our staple dessert through early autumn along with crabapple and pear preserves for breakfast. With our move to Edinburgh imminent, we will have to sadly give up our plot which is heart-breaking. The waiting times for a plot in Edinburgh can be up to nine years!! Storm St Jude threatened to come our way with lots of autumn showers so an autumnal outfit shot (Hunter wellies and warm jumpers included) was a natural development. Amongst other things, I sorted out my autumn wardrobe and trimmed my lovely little bag and perfume collections. Other fun activities included an impromptu trip to Bicester with my friend (and falling in love with pieces from Kate Spade and Jimmy Choo), discovering Canterbury and Whitstable (amazing sea food options!), wandering through pumpkin farms, girl dates at Laduree and trying new recipes using quince!

In October, we managed to get cheapie tickets on the Eurostar to Paris and fell in love with the City all over again. I enjoyed exploring Parisian flea markets, vintage shops, patisseries and can now tick steak tartare off my foodie bucket list. I also came home with a large (and bargain) pharmacy haul which I'm thoroughly enjoying using on a daily basis. Other fun activities in Paris included exploring local fashion stores, queuing up (and eventually giving up) at Pierre Herme, trying out vintage Chanel shoes at stores around Marais ( but proud of not succumbing despite bargain prices as they were not comfortable enough) and loving every minute of it all. Oh and if you haven't read Ottolenghi's Jerusalem yet, you really must. It is amazing and I'm loving cooking from it!

As the days grew shorter, the nights colder, I filled our house with my favourite scented candles (Diptyque, Cire Trudon, Jonathan Ward and my own creations), put Christmas decorations up in stages from November ( a favourite cheer-up activity to take my mind off stuff) and created a happy space at home. I've learnt that life is more bearable when you create positive spaces and happy memories to cope with tragedies. Whilst I could, I wandered the streets of London after work (indulging in a cheeky sale purchase or two, sourcing treats from Pierre Herme and Cocomaya and wandering Covent Garden market). My favourite activities in Edinburgh were similar albeit with a lot of hill walking to boot. And when I stopped being able to do much physically, I had matcha and chocolate croissants for breakfast (my husband is a star), put on sparkly nail polish, read my favourite books in my hospital bed and got lost in the latest addition to my foreign Vogue collection (from Australia). Not sure if I've mentioned before but I am collecting Vogue mags from all over the world as I enjoy gaining insights into the cultural perspectives that influence fashion.

And that sort of sums my autumn highlights! What have you been up to this autumn? Ann x

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