Embracing Autumn : 39/52

Good morning! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend?

This is my first weekly journal entry starting with the 39th week of the year, as we enter the most beautiful season of them all. Autumn is well and truly here (at last!) and I couldn’t be happier. I yearn to be outside in the woods almost every waking moment, drinking it all in; for the fear that it will be fleeting and the colour will fade from the trees too soon. Last Autumn was so heart-achingly beautiful that I’ve longed for this one all the more. I get a little pang in my chest when I think about the next few weeks and wonder whether i’ll have the time to visit all my favourite local woodlands before it’s too late to see how each one looks in all their fiery glory.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Sorrento in Italy – it was as though I left in the Summer and returned to Autumn. The landscape had changed dramatically in the week that I was gone and so had the light. Even the sunlight is more beautiful now October is here. It’s such a short but sweet period when the leaves are turning and the days are still quite long. It’s getting darker earlier by the day now and the mornings even more so. Soon I expect that my routine will totally change as a result – I like to make the most of the lighter hours for being outside and then work more in the evenings in the cosy lamp light. My walks with Magnus will probably change from a reasonable morning and evening walk, to a longer walk in the morning or at lunch time during the weekdays. I feel very fortunate and grateful that I am able to alter my days a little, to be more in tune with the seasons – it feels much more natural to live this way.

This last week was mostly a struggle. I caught a cold virus which took hold in the week before last, ruined the weekend and hung around most of the way into this week. It was really frustrating, especially as the first few days after I got back from Italy were great. I had a fun day filming some outdoor cooking videos with Thryve, I was eating better, starting to exercise again and was getting into a really positive routine and mindset. You know, when you get back off holiday and it all feels fresh and you feel rested and motivated? That. Then the cold knocked me straight back down again. I was really worried it would ruin this weekend as well but luckily by Thursday I was feeling better.

On Friday, I travelled to Oxfordshire to meet up with a lovely bunch of adventurous people to go canoeing along the River Thames and camp for two nights with Magnus. We canoed for a full day as a group of ten, plus the two dogs, arriving in the dark to camp at Hardwick Estate on the first night. The next day, the group went for a swim in the river and then hiked to my friends woodland cabin to camp for a second night. I was feeling fairly exhausted and run down so I had to cut it short and drive home that evening because I felt so rough. In hindsight, it probably would have been a lot kinder to my body to allow it rest some more before doing anything too adventurous, especially as by Sunday I felt completely wiped out from it, to the point I could barely muster the energy to move around my house!

I’m hoping that this week I can pick up from where I was before the virus and start swimming again, maybe go for a run and get out in the woods to enjoy all the autumn colour.

Things that I’ve loved this week:

I’m going to start putting some of my favourite things I’ve stumbled across every week in these posts. I’ve seen other people do it and found some really great stuff by them doing so, so why not share my own.

“I want to get up early. Walk over cold floors to make a fire to keep the house warm. Drink coffee curled up underneath a blanket and watch the world outside slowly wake up. I want to read a book. Go out on long walks in the woods with the dogs and my family. Cook dinner with vegetables from our own yard. I want to swim in a cold lake while the sky goes dark and day turns to night. Stand on a porch with lungs filled with life and a heart filled with love as the aurora dances in the sky. No internet. No social media. No career. No nothing. Just us in the world. Alive.”

These words really capture a feeling that I have – a longing to live simply, be close to nature and revel in the little things. In today’s society, this lifestyle isn’t valued. You need to work extremely hard, move fast, be constantly connected to be a valid, accepted human being. I just love this text (and all of the other beautiful words and photography in this post).

  • This lovely Woodlanders film which shows a Swedish Guksi being made.

 

I’ve loved watching all the films in the Woodlanders series – a collection of short films which aim to document forest cultures. So far, they show traditional forest related crafts and practises from the US, UK, Sweden and Norway. I managed to find some time to watch the most recent couple of videos this week and I loved seeing how much skill and consideration goes into making these beautiful drinking cups. My friend Angeliqa actually has one of these, so it was really nice to see how they are made!

I say ‘love’ but actually it’s a love/hate thing I have going on here. I’ve started drinking Kefir this week in a big to improve my gut health. Kefir is supposedly great for building up the good bacteria in your gut, thus improving your sleep, your skin and health in general. I hate the taste of this fizzy fermented goat milk drink, as i’m not a fan of the goat’s cheesiness in general (one of the few foods I cannot stand) but I love the potential health benefits, so i’m giving it a go. So far nothing significant to report from the first couple of days of my 21 day course. But I do absolutely love the Kefir face cleanser and lotion that my Kefir came with. They smell amazing and feel really good on my skin. I was so excited about my Kefir, that I even made a no make-up awkward instagram story about it. I tried making my first vlogg about it too but my plans were thwarted so many times by getting tongue tied, Magnus walking in front of me on camera and then the camera over heating due to all my failed attempts that I gave up. Maybe next week.

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