It suddenly occurred to me this weekend that I was back in 'the zone'. And by that, I mean that I was actually out of the funk that had been suffocating me in recent weeks and getting things DONE. I only managed a blog post on average every other day in September, whereas in August, it was literally twice as busy on here.
I don't know whether it was linked to the children going back to school, my PA going back to Uni (how rude), the end of the summer, or all three, but I didn't know whether I was coming or going for a few weeks there.
I started feeling better towards the end of last week, culminating in a three day clear-out at home.
This all got me thinking about how much I love the change of seasons - I tend to do this a few times a year - and in particular, what I love about autumn....
- Weekends. My weekends are now family time only. I'm not panicking about blogging or social media anymore. I spent a little too much time this year being 'around' the kids but not 'present' if you know what I mean. I say that, but they have better social lives than us anyway - and are frequently out with their mates - which means I become a taxi service most Saturdays and leaves...
- Sundays - I love Sundays all year round, but autumn and winter have their own unique 'feel'. I hanker down in the kitchen with my telly and literally potter all day. Clean/cook/do the washing/iron/read/sort - all day. Lovely. The house smells of Dettol and roast chicken. Which is much nicer than it sounds. you'll have to trust me.
- A definite distinction between day and evening. During the summer months I would frequently catch myself sitting at the computer at 10pm. 'It's still light', I figured. No. Now I'm aiming to be done by 6pm. It's not easy, but I need the break from social and emails, even if it's for a few hours.
- Stew and Roasts. As busy as everyone is, Sundays tend to be the day for family meals. Massive stews and huge roasts are my forte. And they take ages, which means I get to spend loads of time in the kitchen...
- Cook books. New ones are always released at this time of year, and I buy them all. I very rarely actually use them, but I love reading them.
- Telly - Strictly, Downton, Bond and Darling Buds of May. Ok that last one is not new, just my Sunday guilty pleasure.
- Country music. As the weather gets colder, the country playlist gets updated and played on a loop. Poor Mr Hirons.
- More gigs - that aren't festivals. With the exception of the C2C festival in March, I've outgrown festivals. If they're outdoors, it's usually raining, and frankly, the toilets are enough to keep me away for the rest of my born days. All festival toilets should be torched. And don't get me started on 'glamping'. No. Just no. Everyone starts properly touring in the Autumn and it's far more civilised for my snobby old arse.
- Skincare switchouts! If you're changing your coats, you need to change your skincare. Obviously there will be more on that on the blog this month, in the meantime read this to keep you going.
- Clothing clear-outs. Everything that I didn't wear last autumn, or wore out over the summer, goes. I'm not sentimental about clothes. I have my wedding dress, Max's christening outfit - and that's it. Everything else is new (ish). Really old things make me itchy. One of my phobias. EEWWW.
Over the last few days I have sorted out my wardrobe and half of the Mr's wardrobe - don't tell him that though - filling four black bin bags for charity.
- New clothes! Jeans and jumpers and coats and macs and socks and SCARVES. Lush.
- I also started the sorting of my makeup and skincare in my bedroom - if you saw this video with Sali Hughes you'll know that was no mean feat. I've kept to my one in, one out, policy and now have a lot of product/clothing and bedding for Give and Makeup. A lot. And to those of you asking what I do with all of the product in particular, it all gets given away to Refuge. I never do blog sales.
- The kids room. If my children want anything new for Christmas they have to have a massive sort through of everything that can be given to charity by October/November. We've worked like maniacs for 25 years to make sure our children have more than we did, and they do, in abundance, but they are being raised knowing that there are plenty of children in need. If you want something, you have to work for it, and until you can work, mindful service for others is what we expect. (When did this turn into a parenting ramble?) I digress. Ava also had a huge sort and their room is now ready for autumn. Safe to say Ava is her mother's child. That child loves a black bin bag and some cleaning sprays. Thanks be to Jeebus.
- Bedtime. Cosy, clean, bedding, fresh pyjamas, a mug of tea (or three) and a good book. It's a miracle I ever leave the room to be honest.
- New books. I have a stockpile of new books to get through. And I cannot bloody wait.
What have I forgotten about?