Autumn Musings

 

Many people seem to feel a kind of displeasure when summer gives way for autumn. Certainly many of my own friends see long nights, rainy days and umbrellas in the months ahead. But I’m actually quite excited to see it making an appearance.

There is just so much to admire about the season as a whole. Fabulous shades of red and gold adorn the trees and bushes, it’s also the perfect time to go exploring and foraging, whether you live in the countryside or city. You just need a little green patch or park and you’ve got a wonderful family day out.

Raincoats and wellies at the ready, my children and I set out for a nature walk in the Derbyshire countryside. We were on a very simple mission, my children were searching for any signs that confirmed autumn was on the way. With a bucket in each hand and free rein to leap in puddles or collect fallen leaves, they had a wonderful time.

I adore these festive Hawthorn Berries, which were liberally scattered along our route. There was also the easily missed but just as beautiful raindrops clinging to a blade of grass . It’s so small and simple, but this patch of humble grass was my daughter’s favourite find. She thought they looked like miniature glass beads and insisted on touching them to check they were water.

We also uncovered an abundance of Elderberries. They poked through hedgerows, twisted through branches and generally made their presence felt. My husband makes wonderful Elderflower Champagne but the berries are always reserved for baking.  As long as they are ripe and de-stemed, cooking thoroughly renders them safe and delicious to eat. They are particularly good mixed with some Bramley apples in a crumble.

Our walk was not confined to wild plants and trees. We also met several cows, a horse and this little cat. Perched on an old wall and watching something moving on the ground intently, she looked as if she’d jumped straight out of a Beatrix Potter book. I don’t think she even noticed her photo being taken!

When we finally arrived home I had a new stash of Elderberries and the children had lots of acorns, leaves and Blackberries (we avoided Toadstools).

Autumn Craft Project

For a quick Autumn Craft Project ask your children to collect fallen leaves in a variety of colours. The flatter the leaf the better! Then pull or cut off the stalks and arrange inside a laminator sheet. Once laminated they look fabulous hung on a window. The sun streams through and almost ignites the jewels shades.

You can also carefully cut out each laminated leaf and make a mobile or garland, the only limit is your imagination. If you don’t have a laminator at home most good stationary stores can laminate in a variety of sizes for a small fee.

So while it’s sad to turn our backs on the summer, autumn has an awful lot of pleasure to offer. At the very least it’s a wonderful excuse to break out your Autumn wardrobe…

This post was originally written by me for the Boden Community.

Country Walks and Zatchels!!

I’m about to be exceedingly British and talk about the weather, but it has been truly glorious the last few days.

I’m always conscious of living in a temperamental climate and any minute Spring/Summer might disappear for another year and we’ll have snow in August (I really hope that is an exaggeration!) So as soon as Mr Sun makes an appearance we try and get out into the countryside if we can.

I love to visit Canal paths, they’re usually flush with wildlife and yet developed enough to be an easy track to plod along.We visited one near Cromford in Derbyshire yesterday and had a wonderful day. Mr Dog enjoyed nearly getting into the water (I think he’s secretly a bit scared of getting wet).

It was also an excuse to show off my latest purchase, a gorgeous Purple Satchel Bag by Zatchels. I’ve lusted after this beauty for quite sometime and finally ordered one last month. Due to their birthday sale it did take quite a few weeks to arrive (all Zatchels are made to order to your specification). It was well worth the wait :) the quality is second to none and I’m thoroughly pleased. The only problem is that now I’m drooling over all their other designs. This is the 11.5″ version which I think makes it the perfect size for a handbag. You can’t fit a huge amount in but I still managed a phone, wallet, keys and a camera with a little tetris style organisation :)

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Just a quick post to wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m not sure about love but frost has certainly been in the air of late and if that isn’t a good enough reason to snuggle up to someone then I don’t know what is!

Out and about the other day we took quite a few frosty pics near a canal. It was so cold that there wasn’t much time for hanging about to compose the perfect shot, but I think they are pretty none the less. It’s also a great opportunity to remind yourself that cold weather may be inconvenient at times, but it can also be very beautiful.

As ever I am looking forward to spring and all the wonderful fairs and events on the calendar. On that note, there’s still a couple of days left to win tickets to the Country Living spring fair, so make sure you’ve left a comment on the competition post to enter. I shall pick the winners later on this week.

Wherever you are I hope the weather has turned a little milder for you now. Even if you are not in the mood or position for romance have a wonderful evening whatever your plans!