Autumn. It awesome.

My typographical calendar and felt acorns from notonthehighstreet.com

There’s something unexpectedly comforting about walking home through drizzly north London streets in October. It’s not especially cold, but it’s not warm either. It’s raining, but you’re not getting drenched, just a bit damp. There are leaves on the ground, but also on the trees. You know you’ll have a cup of tea when you get in. Maybe some chocolate.

It is autumn.

There’s something comforting about autumn, but also exciting. It’s time to get out the blankets, mittens, hats, jumpers, casserole dishes and crumble recipes. It’s time for evenings spent reading, watching films and having people over rather than going out. It’s time to light candles, take hot baths and get cosy.

Now that bright, dazzling, exposing, extroverted summer is over, autumn brings out my introversion, accepts it and allows it to thrive. There are fewer barbeques, parties, evening drinks, picnics — there are even fewer daylight hours — so it’s safe to read, write, curl up and keep quiet.

That’s not to say autumn is all about being a hermit. Oh no. I think we’re drawn to connect in the colder months. We need human contact to sustain us when nature is so cruel. But it’s different. The groups are smaller. The gatherings are more intimate.

It’s a time of regeneration, of transition. So there’s contemplation, a shift in priorities. I, for one, am ready for it.

This time of year reminds me of two quotes:

“People are stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

The darkness is setting in, so I’m lighting candles, breathing deeply and revelling in whatever beauty I can find.

“Leaves become most beautiful when they’re about to die, when they’re about to fall from trees, when they’re about to dry up.” – Regina Spektor

Another one about finding the beauty of autumn. Here in London, the leaves have only just exploded into colour, and it’s a spectacular way to go.

Anyone feel similarly about autumn? Also, I started a Pinterest board for autumn. Check it out.

Advertisements

October 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Jenny project. Leave a comment.

Extreme Thursdays

I woke up this morning and I was tired. Like, need a good few hours’ more sleep and a really quiet, cosy day. It’s my first week back at work after two weeks off (head spinning a little), I’ve been trying to cut down on sugar and carbs (a challenge: all I want is a bowl of pasta and some chocolate), and the nights are most certainly drawing in. All of which mean I’m tired and getting out of bed is not as tempting as I’d like.

But, you know what? The day has progressed and I’ve perked up. It’s ok to be tired. It’s ok to avoid being flat out. And good things give me a boost:

  1. A lovely colleague got engaged – happy news!
  2. Other people feel this way too. I spotted tweets about needing two cups of coffee before 9am, battling with tubes and buses, waiting for the weekend. They spur me on. We’re all in our own Extreme Thursdays and we’ll rock it.
  3. Getting some work inspiration. Yesterday, third day back, I wasn’t really sure what I needed to work on, what the priorities were, how to add something fresh to a pretty worn-out routine. Today: I can TOTALLY do this!

How are you rocking your Extreme Thursday? Check out #extremethursdays on Twitter. I’d LOVE to see more of these tweets.

Have an extreme day! x

October 11, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Jenny project, life. Leave a comment.

Santorini: six awesome things about my trip

I spent last week on the Greek island of Santorini, and it was awesome. There were so many great moments and gorgeous sights (there are about 1,000 photos from our trip) but I’ve whittled it down to six things…

1. Santorini is freaking beautiful

I swore a lot when we got to Oia, the town we were staying in, but in a good way. Because Oia is absolutely amazingly beautiful. We’re talking blue skies, white buildings, windy steps, cobbled streets and gorgeous sunshine. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been and it was great to hang out there for a week.

Blue domed churches rule

2. Food

I love food. And holidays are a time to enjoy food in a whole new way. We had some amazing meals and it was so nice to eat fresh, delicious and seasonally appropriate food. Some highlights: grilled octopus, grilled feta (I’ve never had hot feta before – it was a miracle), veal with goats cheese and tomatoes, and one pretty awesome chocolate mousse.

3. Sunsets

I couldn’t write about Santorini and Oia without mentioning sunsets. It’s pretty well known for having some of the best sunset views in the whole world. People ship in for it every day, and scramble to get a good place to see it. We were lucky: our hotel had prime views straight out across the sea. We were also pretty lucky to be there for a whole week, so we didn’t have the pressure of getting one great spot on one day. There are tons of sunset snaps, but I’ll just share this with you:

Santorini sunset from the Oia Mare Villas hotel

4. An awesome coffee place

Dave’s pretty into coffee. Like, really into coffee. Most of our London weekends involve hunting down the strongest coffee in the land. So we had to find somewhere to go for the caffeine hit. Fortunately, Oia has a perfectly placed little cafe called the 39 Steps. (There are a lot of steps in Oia. Hundreds.) We totally made friends with the dude there and hung out there for a bit almost every day, watching the crowds wander by. We got invited back for beers and had a really cool last night hanging out there with a group, a guitar and a whole load of beer.

39 Steps, Oia

5. Swimming pools and naps

I’m not so good with the heat. I get hot pretty quickly and then all the heat in my body tries to leave via my face. It gets really red. Not cool. So I was extremely grateful to be able to jump in a nice cold pool in the afternoons to cool off and return to being a normal (ish) human being. These pool antics were usually followed by a nap. I love napping and it was SO GOOD to sleep when I was tired, rather than have to soldier on.

6. A beautiful beardy man

Ok, so I’m about to get a little bit, y’know, romantical. The last great thing about my trip to Santorini was that I got to go with Dave. He is a seriously fun and awesome person and I sorta, kinda, maybe love him a lot. Being able to run around and do stuff and not do very much at all and eat great food and read books and write and doodle — that’s all fun. But having someone to do that with and share it. That’s kinda the best.

Here’s a photo of me and Dave being totally cool:

Me and Dave and a bowl full of yoghurt and honey. Mmm mmm mmm.

So that’s kinda it. I went on holiday. It was amazing. Now I’m just trying to keep that relaxed feeling and remember all the good ideas I had for improving my life now I’m back. Fingers crossed!

All photo credits go to Dave.

October 4, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Jenny project, life. 1 comment.

Back from holiday

I really really want to post a nice juicy blog about my holiday… But here’s the thing: there are too many photos. Dave took about a thousand photos of beautiful and weird and random and amazing stuff — and I just haven’t got through them all yet.

Also (and this might actually be the thing), I am WAY too excited about going to see Brené Brown tomorrow at the School of Life. Actually. Can’t. Think. About. Anything. Else.

The good news is that I have the rest of this glorious week off work, so I can blog away about holiday, Brené and some other bits and pieces I’m planning, so there’ll be way more by this time on Friday. I might even be an aunty by then!

In the meantime, here’s a photo of a sunset:

Santorini sunset

Dave gets all the credit for this photo.

October 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Jenny project, life. Leave a comment.