My A to Z of Autumn Comforts

Especially for those who dread Autumn as much as I do. I’m talking the mists, the dark, the cold, the damp…If your heart is sinking just at the mention of those things, maybe there’ll be something in here that you can draw some comfort from too.

Albums. Of music and photos. I’m determined to listen to more music. Whole albums I haven’t heard yet but I love one single from. And flicking through photos takes me some place else. Sometimes that can be a good thing.

Books. The ultimate in escapism. I literally lose myself in a book. And bed. I can’t not mention bed. Or a book in bed – that magic combination… 

Crumble. Blackberry and apple of course. And custard obviously. Then there’s chocolate. And cake. And chocolate cake. And let’s not forget candles. Life would not be complete without candles.

Dogs. Or cats if you prefer. Any pets really. Any animal that loves you unconditionally and will let you stroke it for hours on end.

Events. OK, I admit it, I’m a fan of the Facebook event. I love to have something to look forward to. And if there isn’t an event looming, I’ll create one!

Fairy lights. And fresh air. And fresh flowers. I buy myself flowers every week. And fire- indoor and out. There’s just something indescribably mesmerising about flickering flames.

Gifts. So maybe I’m not the only one who finds this time of year hard. Maybe I could make someone else smile with some sort of small, thoughtful gift. Or make myself smile with a small, thoughtful gift to myself.

Hot water bottles, hot drinks, hot baths. Hot, hot, hot basically. There is nothing more miserable than the cold seeping into your bones.

Inspiration. There’s a lot out there.  Those uplifting quotes friends share on Facebook. Blogs. Podcasts. TED talks. Seek inspiration out and let it work its magic.

Jellies. I have a thing for jellies. Those little brightly coloured pots of wobbly fruity deliciousness – and some have zero calories if that’s your thing!  And juice too – I’ve been craving orange juice with juicy bits this last week. It makes me feel so alive!

Karaoke.  Just singing along to your favourite songs basically. We’ve just discovered a feature on the TV that helps us out with lyrics, which is a joy…

Leaves. So the colours are stunning – and different every single day. And then there’s a wonderful freedom in kicking leaves up into the air. I just can’t help myself. I feel like a child every single time.

Mugs of tea. Constant mugs of tea. Our cupboard full of pretty little boxes of different types of teas and infusions is an instant comfort to behold.

Nature. Incredible all year round. We just have to open our eyes and look at the world around us. It will never cease to inspire.

Oranges. Again, it’s that craving for Vitamin C thing, I think. And the colour orange is so passionate and warm. And anything that smells of orange is so refreshing and zesty and life-giving. The more orange I have in my life, the better.

Pyjamas. Oh yes, as soon as you get through that front door and know you don’t have to go out again that day, it’s off with the clothes and on with the pyjamas. I know I’m not alone. Loungewear has developed into a whole industry. Some people have more sets of pyjamas than they do clothes!

Quilt. Getting lost in a duvet – all snuggled up and cosy. No cold air can get in. You feel cocooned and safe and warm and protected from the world.

Rhythm. Slightly weird I know but I have a thing for rhythm. Music that makes it impossible to sit still. I tap my foot. I nod my head. I move my shoulders. The rhythm consumes my body. It makes me move. It reminds me that my heart is beating.

Slippers. In fact, I’m currently on the lookout for the perfect pair of slippers, Ones with a good sturdy waterproof sole so I can get out to my writing studio in all weathers. But also ones that are so soft and furry on the inside that you sigh at the total bliss of it all each time you slip your foot inside. 

Throws. One of my all time favourite things. You simply can’t have too many throws. They have to feel just right. Supersoft to the touch. And tassels are great too. I’ve just bought the most exquisite throw in a luxurious peacock bluey-green – oh my word, the joy is indescribable!

Umbrella. I had one of those dome umbrellas when I was a kid and I loved it and a few years ago, Helen H bought me a proper grown up dome umbrella (if there is such a thing). I’m not a great fan of umbrellas, I have to say, as I hate rain and would just not go outside in it if at all possible. But if I had to, this umbrella would make going out in the rain almost pleasurable. In fact, I may give it a go…

Velvet. I’m so into touchy feel stuff, it’s untrue. I have a velvet dress now and a velvet coat with the most comforting of pockets to slip your hands into – velvety on one side, satin on the other. Stroking velvet brings me a huge amount of comfort.

Walks. In wellies. In the woods. Which I probably wouldn’t do as often as I do if I didn’t have dogs.

Xmas. Don’t judge me. Of course I don’t normally resort to ‘Xmas’, but I needed something for X, you see. And in fact if I’m being completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of Christmas. It’s complicated. Emotionally complicated. And having five kids to buy for on a pretty limited budget at times has been a nightmare, added to the total stress of all the shows and parties and general social pressure at a time when I naturally want to just hide away. I have discovered in recent years that what works for me is embracing it all really early and not saving it all up to cram it into one special day. Keep it simple. Have no expectations. Enjoy the simple pleasures along the way. So when I put my tree up in November, don’t judge. I’m doing my best.

Yoga. Yoga is actually my therapy. It reminds to get out of my head and into my body. It reminds me to breathe. I have to commit to classes. I know I could do it on my own but I know that I don’t, not really. I need a teacher. I need people.

Zumba. And then there’s Zumba. I’m so bad at it – so stiff in my whole body. I really need to learn to lighten up and to relax and to become more fluid and to shimmy! But Zumba makes me smile. Zumba is sunshine and Brazil and Pitbull and that crazy teacher in fluoro leggings and silver sparkly trainers…


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