Tag Archives: autumn

But the last day of summer Never felt so cold

This year summer seems to be over as soon as it began for the school age children. All the good sunny weather happened before they broke up but I am pleasantly surprised that it remains light for so long in the evening still, 9pm last night. I know this specifically because I went to bed for a nice afternoon nap at 3pm having got home from work and a lovely lunch catch up with a friend. I woke up at 8.30pm and was completely confused, I thought it was morning because of the daylight outside, I was in a completely disorientated panic which lasted about half an hour. Horrid adrenal pumping head ache inducing way to wake up.

 

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But I know that soon the evenings will be drawing  in and eventually I will find myself in a subterranean like world of leaving for work in the dark and returning home in the dark. I am a huge fan of autumn and winter, of Christmas and lamplight (so good on the complexion), of cosy blankets and bed socks but equally I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

The NHS define it as follows:

“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern.

SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are more apparent and tend to be more severe during the winter.

The symptoms often begin in the autumn as the days start getting shorter. They’re typically most severe during December, January and February.

SAD often improves and disappears in the spring and summer, although it may return each autumn and winter in a repetitive pattern.

Symptoms of SAD

Symptoms of SAD can include:

  • a persistent low mood
  • a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • irritability
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
  • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

For some people, these symptoms can be severe and have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities.”

If I am not mindful then it can end up utterly flooring me. It doesn’t happen over night, it is the slow creeping in of lethargy, equaled to the diminishing of day light. Life starts to feel flat, if I don’t start dragging myself back up he hill at that point then the feeling can remain with me for months.

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I have no magic remedy, though I have found SAD lights to be very effective, 10 mins a day while at work. I have been lucky enough to have at least one exceptionally hot and sunny holiday each year so I feel I stock up on sunshine and energy. But I am also kind to myself, darkness does produce lethargy, that is normal, just as the spring sunshine makes us want to throw on coats and go on long fresh walks.

I’m not trying to wish summer and sunshine away but I know from experience that now is the time to start thinking about where I put my SAD lamp, time to transition into the new season in the healthiest way I can.

Marking the transition of seasons, as ridiculous as it may sound, helps too, so it isn’t just the long stretch towards Christmas (the best time of the year ever) that we are waiting for. And I love an excuse for a celebration. One of my favorites is the Autumn Equinox, Mabon, it happens around 21st-24th September, the The White Goddess tells us the story behind it:

“Mabon marks the middle of harvest, it is a time of equal day and equal night, and for the moment nature is in balance. It is a time to reap what you have sown, of giving thanks for the harvest and the bounty the Earth provides. For finishing up old projects and plans and planting the seeds for new enterprises or a change in lifestyle. Mabon is a time of celebration and balance.

This is the time to look back not just on the past year, but also your life, and to plan for the future. In the rhythm of the year, Mabon is a time of rest and celebration, after the hard work of gathering the crops. Warm autumn days are followed by chill nights, as the Old Sun God returns to the embrace of the Goddess.

The passing of Mabon is inevitable and The Sun God should be mourned. We too, must remember that all things must come to an end. So the Sun God journeys into the lands of winter and into the Goddess’ loving arms, but endings are a good time to celebrate our successes, thank our selves and those who helped us, and take part in the balance of life!”

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If you go down to the woods today

I am not a naturally outdoorsy person by any stretch of the imagination but now that we have the puppy and we live in the countryside I do try and make the effort to go on some long walks.

My current favourite place to visit is Wendover Woods, it helps that it has a little cafe so I can stock up on coffee before heading into the unknown. Coffee is a wonderful incentive if you ever want to get me to do anything.

A few Sunday’s ago, when all three children were staying we had our usual breakfast of pancakes and then off to the woods we went. They much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the youth but they soon got over it. After all the English countryside is so beautiful, especially during the season changes, who could resist? I wrote about the gorgeous summer bluebells earlier on this year.

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Refreshments purchased.

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Coffee in hand, crunchy leaves and dungarees. Perfect.

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Very enthusiastic puppy.

Wendover woods currently have a really great Autumn Trail to follow and each sign tells you a little bit about the wildlife at the moment and what to look out for. We weren’t entirely successful but it kept at least Lucia busy and interested.

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Conker shells, but no conkers, damn.

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We found the mushrooms.

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Just because it looked so unique.

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These little balls of plants reminded me of the stone trolls in Frozen. I may have watched Frozen one too many times.

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Such gorgeous colours.

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The weather held until just before we left thankfully.

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No woodland adventure would be complete without a little bit of muddy puddle jumping and potion stirring.

My week in pictures

Monday

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Lucia had her first guitar lesson, at 8am on a Monday morning! And it was ‘Talk like a Pirate Day’ at school so she went as a princess, obvs.

Tuesday

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I sweated non stop at Lucia’s swimming lesson.

Wednesday

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I visited the lovely ladies at phlebotomy.

Thursday

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I made a start on my PhD, on the train to work, during my lunch hour, on train home and after Lucia went to bed.

Friday

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Took Livia the Dachshund and Finn the Chihuahua to collect Lucia from school. They get loads of attention and they are always so excited when they see her.

Saturday

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We celebrated Livia the dachshund’s first birthday. Any excuse for cake in my house.

Sunday

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Hibernated while enjoying this gorgeous candle. Oh, how I love Autumn.

All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey

I adore Autumn, it is just so autumny. The colours of the leaves changing to gold and browns and red, the crisper morning air, the anticipation of Christmas starts to build and I won’t lie, the fact that it gets cooler is a great draw for me. After all I shaved my head a few weeks ago because I just couldn’t get cold. I am looking forward to it being cold enough to light the fire in the living room, I’ve started using candles more often and falling asleep to the sound of rain is so nice.

September also signals the start of the academic year so Lulu has gone onto Year 1 at Primary school and I have started my PhD, having had to postpone from January this year due to silly illness.

So now I have been getting involved in lots of lovely autumnal activities

I made a pumpkin pie with a brown sugar and nutmeg party crust and topped with caramelised pecans and gold leaf.

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I made my very own pumpkin spice latte, mmmmmm.

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I bought lots of gorgeous pumpkin scented candles and my house now smells completely amazing. My favourite is the Pumpkin French Toast.

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I bought a beautiful sparkly silver pumpkin that makes me smile every time I look at it.

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I enjoyed the last of the blackberry picking with Lucia and the puppy.

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