The Sunday Supplement is back after it's unintentional holiday in August, aaand it’s a week late too, which is fairly indicative of our summer! I spent a lot of it offline and it was wonderful, and has taught me a lot about the importance of boundaries when it comes to work and social media. The summer holidays were party lovely time spent with the kids and partly stressful as we were both juggling work with limited childcare! It was a home-based, bimbling around sort of a summer with lots of friends and family visits, and a wonderful spontaneous week camping too. No big trips or excursions, but just perfect for where we are right now.
September in the UK is usually quite warm but the temperature has dropped quite suddenly in the last few days and Autumn is feeling very present. It’s in the chill in the morning, in the darker evenings, in my desire for duvets and proper socks. (Seriously, i’d forgotten how good it feels to sleep under a duvet instead of a sheet! ) Autumn is both my birthday and my favourite season so I’m excited to welcome it.
September is a doorway month bridging the gap between the hot bright days of summer and the cooler days of Autumn. We’re leaving behind the slower paced, languid days of summer, and revving up for a new term and new season. A social and active summer season spent outside is slowly being replaced by a season in which our desire starts to turn inward.
I’m still gearing up for the change of pace September brings, and possibly still readjusting after our summer, but I’m slowly starting to change my rhythm and routine and it feels good. The end of the year is often a really productive, busy time so I’m being mindful to approach this season carefully, with lots of rest too.
Here are 10 wonderful things to make, do and celebrate in the month ahead!
Get organised. To honour the start of a new season and term, I am running a flash sale on my planning bundle. Use the code BACKTOSCHOOL to save £5 on the bundle for one week only! (This is based on part of my Life Book e-course and is all about planning and organisation for non-perfect people. It’s kind and realistic but effective click here to read more).
Celebrate the Autumn Equinox on Monday 23rd September. The official start of Autumn is a wonderful excuse for an autumn celebration, whether with family or friends. Harvest Festival is the previous day, Sunday the 23rd. In Britain, thanks have been given for successful harvests since pagan times. Eat a seasonal dinner in celebration, and don’t forget to donate some food to a local charity or food bank.
Pick blackberries. September is a foragers paradise with so much produce ready to be harvested. I love how prolific blackberries are in urban areas too. Sweet treats around every corner!
Have a clothes clear out. Don't put any summer clothes away you wouldn't LOVE to see again next year. As you get out the Autumn/winter clothes and blankets, donate anything you no longer love or doesn't fit. (I finally did my big clothes sort out and it feels good! So glad it's finally done)
Why not play The Minimalism Game this month? Discard 1 item on the 1st, 2 on the 2nd, 25 on the 25th etc. It's a great way to kick start decluttering and September feels like a great month to have a big clear out.
Create a bedtime rhythm. Often over summer, bedtimes slip later, so spend some time working on everyone catching some more zzz's before the cold germs of Autumn set in.
Prepare your home for Autumn and winter. Get the chimney swept and the logs ordered, freshen blankets (I wash them and hang them outside- this also helps deter moths too), stock up on candles. We are in the middle of having smart meters installed which will hopefully help us to reduce our energy consumption. Fingers crossed!
Celebrate the change of season in your home. Display Conkers and pretty leaves as they change. Get out the cosy blankets, sheepskins and layers. Also: candles. Everywhere.
Print your photo's! Print out your favourite summer memories or make a photo album.
Pamper yourself. If your summer has been action and adventure filled (or work/childcare filled like mine!), you might find yourself approaching September feeling exhausted. Make time to pamper yourself with a long hot candle lit bath, lots of early nights with a book, or book a massage or spa day.
The Nature Sessions Day Retreat.
I’m delighted to be running a couple of workshops during the Nature Sessions End Of Summer day retreat at Elmley Nature reserve. Join us for a day of creative workshops, yoga and delicious food, in a bird hide in the middle of a nature reserve. Dreamy. There are 2 tickets left, it’s £100 and It’s on 22nd September. https://www.naturesessions.co.uk/dayretreat
Eating : Cooler weather = this Anna Jones Dahl with sweet potato and coconut chutney. Mm mm MM.
Reading:I have been reading lots. In my last newsletter I asked for recommendations and WOW did you deliver, thank you! I loved Sally Rooney’s Normal People (compelling and couldn’t put it down), Maggie O’Farrell’s “I am I Am I Am’ (an autobiography about the authors many near death experiences- fascinating) and Lisa Taddeo’s ‘Three Women’. (True stories, feminist erotica!) In the non fiction category (!) i’m re-reading The artists way by Julia Cameron (and doing the morning pages too-life changing) and Philippa Perry’s “The Book You Wish Your Parent’s Had Read’ which I loved but found a little rigid.
Wearing: It’s second hand September! Read about Oxfam’s campaign here, and consider having a go at switching your buying habits to second hand. eBay, and Facebook marketplace are my current favourite sites for secondhand.
Listening: My revamped Autumn playlist. I finally worked out a way to transfer Soundcloud playlists to Spotify (thanks Soundiiz!), so I have merged two of my favourite Autumn playlists and you can listen here! I'm listening to it all the time and it really helps me to feel cosy and ready for the season.
Lastly- Uk citizens: take a stand!
The political situation in the UK is in turmoil and it’s baffling and at times frightening to follow. Combined with Brexit and climate change, things have felt a little scary. But i’m committing to action rather than being resigned, and I encourage you to do the same. Please please register to vote and especially encourage the young people in your life to do so. Sign all of the petitions, write to your MP (templates here) and consider signing this international petition to make ecocide a crime too. Get along to a demonstration if you can, talk to your friends and neighbours and I dunno. Just something. Open to suggestions too!
Have a wonderful, fruitful September season.