Tag: fall (page 1 of 13)

HELLO, November

Hello, November. We’re ready for our Indian Summer to finally give way to chillier days and nights. We’re ready for hot apple cider packed in a flask to take with us on walks in the nature reserve. We’re ready to smell woodsmoke in the air and the taste of a freshly toasted marshmallow on our lips.

We’re ready for the day to draw to a close sooner and the evenings to be filled with games of Scrabble or cards while records spin and conversation keeps us lingering at the table longer than usual. 

We’re ready for bonfire night with crispy sausages and gingerbread cake with homemade toffee sauce and lashings of whipped cream. We’re ready for Thanksgiving because the next day you will be bringing us a heavenly leftover turkey sandwich and cold slice of pumpkin pie, which brings me endless amounts of joy.

We’re ready to continue to soak up this season and this year, for it is going far too quickly. Welcome, November, we’re ready for you. 

{Autumn Palette by Mary Charles, 2015}

HELLO, October

Hello, October! We’re ready for cooler days and nights. The final weeks of September have already given us a taste of what is to come. We’re ready for crunchy leaves underfoot and freshly baked apple pies with heaping scoops of homemade vanilla ice cream and our home smelling deliciously of warm cinnamon. 

We’re ready for our world to be dotted with the golden mustard, rust red and burnt orange hues of autumn. We’re ready for pumpkins on the porch and mums cheerfully peaking out of pots tucked in between them. 

We’re ready to start watching some of our fall and Halloween favourite movies curled up with a bowl of popcorn on late Saturday nights. 

We’re ready for fall stews and cozy soups with crusty bread and salads filled with the bounty of fall, especially slices of pears, apples, raisins and roasted chunks of butternut squash. 

We’re ready for broomsticks and witch’s hats and hot apple cider on chilly afternoons. We’re ready for moonbeams and starry nights and magic on the wing.

We’re ready for the smell of woodsmoke floating on crispy air while we go for an evening stroll. We’re ready for all that you bring in this bewitching month and may it be more treats than tricks.   

{Ann Miller in an MGM Halloween Publicity Still, 1955. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images | Pinned HERE}

HELLO, September

Hello, September. You seem to have carried forward the cooler mornings that were August’s “goodbye”. The light is ever so subtly changing and evening is drawing in just a touch sooner than a few weeks ago. But the sweet potato vines are still spilling over our planters with their vibrant green and deep purple leaves and the ocean is still warm and there are still signs that summer is present. 

You bring with you today the return to a fresh school year, one I don’t think we are altogether ready for, but onwards and upwards we shall go. This summer has not quite been the summer we planned as life continued to happen, but we rolled with it all and still managed a few hikes, breakfasts on the beach, early morning swims, sitting with friends chatting while the wind whipped at our hair and lots of ice cream. 

We’re ready for that seasonal shift that you will most certainly bring, even though we will be teased with cooler than warmer days before you make the final push into a more autumnal feeling. We’re ready to still reap the last of the farmer’s market harvest of fresh corn and heirloom tomatoes before we move fully into embracing squashes.

We’re ready for those early days of school where we still might be able to slip away not too long after the bell rings to go for a quick afternoon dip and a lazy stroll home. We’re ready for our first taste of warm apple cider while a cooler evening breeze blows in. We’re not ready to wish away the summer as we like each season to have it’s due, but we are ready to see what you hold for us as we stand on the cusp of Autumn.

{Waterfall Valley by Charles Wysocki}

HELLO, November

Hello, November! We’re ready for the full shift to autumn that you will bring, early nights and darker mornings. We’re ready for leaves crunching underfoot and the smell of woodsmoke in the air and crispy apples packed as snacks.

We’re ready to feast by the glow of candlelight and sip hot apple ciders and munch on gingersnaps for our evening dessert. We’re ready for the promise of Thanksgiving that comes near the end of your monthly reign this year. And the smells of turkey and gravy and baked sweet potato pie that will fill the air.

We’re ready to move into “sweater weather” and take rambling walks with our wellies on, through the muddy fields and up to the hills to look out over the water. We’re ready for twinkle lights to glitter from every nook and cranny and we’re ready for the stillness that you bring with late autumn evenings where all the world is quiet except for the whistling of the wind.

Welcome November!

{The Mushroom Gatherers, by Abigail Halpin // Pinned HERE}

HELLO, October

Hello, October! You’ve arrived so swiftly on the wind that I’m not entirely sure what has happened to September? It has passed in a haze. But, we’re happy that you’re here with all the heady scent of autumn and magic that you bring. 

We’re ready for a chance to be still for just a little bit as that was not an opportunity we were given last month. We’re ready for the evenings to draw themselves in sooner. We’re ready to make our first batch of butternut squash soup for the season, with crusty bread to dip into it and a plate of sliced apples and cheese to go alongside. 

We’re ready for crisp clear autumn days to hike in the nature reserve with a sprinkling of rainy Sundays thrown in so we can curl up and read books with a cup of tea close at hand. We’re ready for our front porch to be decorated with pumpkins and mums to bring a smattering of colour to grey days.

We’re ready for our annual household festivities to begin in the lead up to Halloween, with decorating and witches’ hats and bowls of candy scattered around. We’re ready to feast on marshmallow popcorn balls while watching some of our favourite old Halloween movies. 

We’re ready for all that you bring and the enchantment that you hold, for you are truly the month that walks us into autumn and all of her glory. 

{Laurel Goodwin modeling for E.J. Brach & Sons, 1966 Halloween Ad HERE // Pinned HERE}

Beneath The Amber Moon

Today we celebrate the Autumnal Equinox. And without a doubt you can sense the transition of moving from one season into the next. The light is changing and so are the shadows. There has been a nip to the first blush of dawn air this past week, before the day fully awakens and gradually begins to warm up.

In autumn of last year, Fortnum & Mason held their second annual “Chocolate Library Short Story Writing Competition”. They had selected a number of titles from their chocolate library collection. A starting point for each bar was given and the writer had free rein to create a tale around the decadent chocolate bar of their choosing. Not including Fortnum & Mason’s opening, the story had to be kept to a maximum of 500 words. 

I read each chocolate bar ingredient description and the suggested jumping off point and one in particular stood out to me. For the fun of it, I thought I would enter the competition. I didn’t win, but it was an excellent exercise in working towards a concise story. Drafting, writing, cutting the fluff and ensuring that the tale you have woven has good “meat and potatoes” and not too much gravy. 

I wanted to save it for posterity and so I thought I would share it here, an autumnal story for the official start of the fall season.

Beneath The Amber Moon

On a cold autumn night, one of Britain’s smallest villages will become the country’s most infamous, with the perplexing disappearance of all its inhabitants.

She arrived on the wind; her gold stockinged feet landing amongst the crisp russet autumn leaves. Her skin hummed with magic underneath a velvet cape. Soft orange curls, tinged with highlights of garnet, framed a delicate face and the bridge of her nose was sprinkled with chocolate hued freckles. She smelled exotically of spice and musk.

She had heard tales of this hamlet while sitting on her grandmother’s knee by the fire. The shadows dancing and leaping along the wall transformed into shapes that told of a village filled with strange folk. A folk who made a concoction of velvet fire that tickled your nose and filled your belly with a radiant heat that traveled down into your toes. They celebrated this caramel hued elixir one night a year when the amber moon hung low and bathed the world in a shimmer of gilded beams.

She knew that one day she would seek out this mystical village to bring this epicurean liquid back to her land. It would be the singular ingredient that distinguished their hot chocolate above all others. Now, after the passing of many moons and her unceasing exploration, she stood at the edge of the oak woods and sniffed the air.

Dusk was not far off. The villagers were gathered round a radiant bonfire that had been lit upon the tor. For on this night of the amber moon an illustrious feast was held to toast the harvest. There was music, dancing and merriment as whiskey passed from one hand to another. 

Silently, she stole through the town, observed only by an ebony cat perched on its doorstep. As she approached the bonfire the revelry was in full swing. Weaving through the crowds she came to stand in front of the flames. From within her cloak she produced a small copper pot and a bar of milk chocolate. Nestling the pot amongst the embers she broke the chocolate into it. The sweet aroma of warm cacao drew the curious villagers around the stranger.

Suddenly, a hand thrust out a finger of whiskey. Taking the offered dram she poured it in. The mixture bubbled and frothed. Decanting the brew, she took a sip and was momentarily overcome; she had found the ingredient she had long sought. From one villager to the other it was passed while she whispered an incantation. They all imbibed and the goblet never ran out.

The air around them sizzled and sparked. With every word that fell from her lips, their dancing became more frenzied, their singing more raucous, and the fiddling more thunderous. They were bewitched. And, with a snap of her fingers they all vanished. A hush fell over the village. 

No one knows what happened to these poor souls. But, as night falls, beneath the amber moon some say you can still hear the merriment of laughter and song; catch the potpourri of chocolate and whiskey in the air; and see the bonfire flickering on the tor.