Tag: autumn

Autumn winter in the great outdoors? Go on then!

Any season that isn’t summer is not my bag. Summer is the absolute dogs danglies. Autumn is, in my opinion, the worst season. Spring means summer is coming, and winter at least has Christmas. Autumn? To me it just signifies the end of the good stuff (summer) and the beginning of the cold of winter. I don’t understand how people get excited about autumn.

I’ve already posted about my dislike of September (the beginning of Autumn, if so many are to be believed!) a few years ago.

I read about pumpkin spice lattes (I don’t drink long coffee drinks), jumper season (I prefer t-shirts), wrapping up in hats and scarves and boots, sitting in front of the fire and going for autumn winter walks.

And I Just. Don’t. Get. It.

You don’t really see autumn colours when you live in the suburbs of a city. Sure, my garden is covered in leaves and they’re a range of colours, but that doesn’t bring an appreciation of the beauty of autumn. It just brings a mulchy mess that ruins the grass!

And as for winter, it’s barren and cold, with no greenery, dull dark days and the only brightness in months of darkness is the excitement of Christmas.

Confession: I may have changed my mind a little bit, all thanks to Bodhi Bongo!

Overnighters in our campervan are very much for longer days and warmer weather. But as a day van, Bodhi has opened up new possibilities for us outside of summer. Our van has a twin gas hob, we have a kettle and a griddle pan and lots of space, which brings a whole new dimension to going out for the day.

Our first trip out was to Sudeley Castle which I posted about here.

November

In November I experienced a whole new take on Autumn. The husband suggested driving down to the Forest of Dean for a scenic drive and a wander. I was enthusiastic but wary. Autumn isn’t really all that, right?

The drive alone was beautiful. Being in the campervan you’re much higher than a normal car, so you can see a lot more. More colours, more streams, more bridges and tree lined roads.

Bongo drive to the Forest of Dean
Bongo drive to the Forest of Dean
Bongo drive to the Forest of Dean

We parked up in Speech House Woods, which is maintained by Forestry England, changed our shoes, and off we went!

Autumn Winter Bongo in the Forest of Dean

It wasn’t long until I stopped in my tracks, looked all around me, and declared “this feels like an autumn fairytale!”

I’ve never seen such beautiful shades of orange, rust and gold, interspersed by blue skies and evergreen leaves. The air was crisp, there was a blanket of leaves underfoot and trees of all shapes and sizes.

Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean
Autumn Winter Forest of Dean

It definitely turned me into a fan of Autumn walks! So much so, that, a couple of weeks later, we headed up to the Clent Hills, which is just a short drive from Birmingham. At their highest point, Clent Hills rise to 1037ft, with 360 degree views over multiple counties.

Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills
Autumn Winter Clent Hills

December

And so to Winter, where surely the drop in temperatures and bare branches would hold no interest for me? Well, such is my new zest for outdoor life (!!) that the suggestion of a post Christmas drive to the Wyre Forest was jumped upon by me. I adorned myself with coat, scarf, hat and gloves (all the things I sneer at!), packed our campervan bag with all the essential (teabags, sweeteners, kettle, bread and sausage) and off we went.

Autumn Winter Wyre Forest

Turns out that even winter in the forest is a joy! There’s a surprising amount of green thanks to coniferous trees, and the low winter sun creates beautiful shadows and casts a glow through the trees.

Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest
Autumn Winter Wyre Forest

How does our campervan make autumn and winter walks more enjoyable?

When you’ve been for a walk in bracing temperatures, you (I) need a little downtime before bundling back in the car to go home. Having Bodhi Bongo means we have plenty of space to take off all our layers, change our muddy boots and stretch out (and stop sweating!) before we head back. We can have a cup of tea and some food sitting at a proper table. So far we’ve cooked bacon sandwiches, cheese and ham toasties and sausage sandwiches, all fresh and hot. It’s a real novelty and makes it so much fun. Who thought I’d look forward to watching a kettle boil on a gas stove?

Buying our campervan at the “worst” time of year means that we still have the very best to come! But,, rest assured, when autumn rolls around in 2020, I’ll be chomping at the bit for days out. This is a year round hobby for us, and I’m excited to see where we end up in the future!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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5 blogger craves I just don’t get

Scrolling through various social media platforms there are certain things that come up time and time again – and each time I think to myself I just don’t “get” it. The only way I can explain it is I feel like an undeserved hype has developed around these things that is, in my opinion, over-rated. So I thought I’d share them with you and see if anyone agrees (or am I just a square blog peg in a round blog hole!)

Lush

lushHow anyone can spend any length of time in a Lush store without choking is beyond me – it’s just so smelly! Overwhelmingly overpowering, with so many different scents cloying against each other; it gives me an instant headache. Not only that, it seems bloomin’ expensive for what it is (then again, I’m not really the pampering type, so that has an impact on my feelings). You could count the amount of times I’ve been in a Lush store on one hand. Most recently I popped in a couple of weeks ago, to look for a lip scrub (I’ve read good things about them) but the flavours were just too icky sickly sweet and I couldn’t find one that agreed with me. I think some people buy into the prettiness and the ownership and sharing thereof rather than the actual products (I will admit that a Lush soap bar is imminently more instagrammable than a bottle of Nivea showergel).

Autumn

autumnFrom 1st September my Twitter and Instagram feeds were filled with people getting excited about leaves changing colour and wrapping up in boots and jumpers. No! Autumn, for me, is a time of mourning – lamenting the end of summer and feeling sad about less daylight and saying goodbye to sandals. Not only that, autumn is ridiculously unpredictable and difficult to dress for, meaning an outfit that’s appropriate at 8am may leave you sweltering by midday. It would be better to go from summer straight to winter, literally overnight. Then at least you know what you’re dealing with.

Starbucks

starbucksThis is partially down to the fact that I’m not a coffee drinker (I have one double espresso at home, every morning, and that’s it – I don’t actually like long coffees) and I really don’t understand the terminology and all the choice! I mean, what is a mocha Frappuccino caramel latte anyway? But it’s also down to the cost (so expensive!) and the calories (so much sugar!) I don’t understand paying for posh coffee. I don’t understand the modern obsession with coffee shops. I’d much rather to go to the pub and have a glass of wine. Even if it is breakfast time.

MAC

mac

This is, I think, another cult brand that some people buy into because of the kudos of ownership, rather than because it truly is a better product. Blog posts sharing a MAC lipstick stash are common, but I don’t see anyone doing the same with their Rimmel lippies. I can’t genuinely comment on the quality or value because I’ve never used any MAC products. I couldn’t justify spending so much money on a lipstick because I have a habit of losing them. My bad.

Yankee candles

yankee-candles

I like candles. I like nice smells. I don’t like paying a whole heap of cash for something that I’m just going to set on fire! Seriously, candle burn times are generally pretty short, so on a cost per use basis I don’t understand why you would bother. I have a habit of falling asleep in front of the TV which means that some of the burn time and fragrance would be a complete waste of time. I’ll stick to my Ikea tealights, thanks.

So, what do you think? Am I nuts? Miserable? Tight? Hit me up with your thoughts (or let me know which craves you don’t buy into).

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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The return of opaque tights

I have some strange fashion rules that I have made up in my head that I can’t bring myself to break.

One of them is wearing (or, more specifically, not wearing) opaque tights before November. It’s just a thing.

But now we’re firmly in November and the tights can come out. Hurrah! It also opens up lots of wardrobe possibilities that are closed during the cooler days of October, like skirts and boots (I tend to get in a jeans rut during the change of seasons). And some that are only possible in autumn winter, like mini dresses that would be on the verge of explicit without tights to hide ones modesty! And shorts. I’m a big fan of shorts and tights in winter.

Today I have gone for a black and cream spotty jersey dress from F&F (2 years ago), with my trusty ASOS stompy boots (these were such a good buy, I’ve worn them loads already).

Me in spotty dress and leather jacket

Spotty dress opaque tights ASOS ankle boots

My legs feel cosy and protected, it’s nice!

My favourite opaques are from Primark; they’re good quality, wash well and come in a variety of deniers up to 150 (I think). I need to stock up as I do at the beginning of each tight wearing season. Even though I’m only 5’6″ I always buy tall, because there’s nothing worse than a saggy crotch that you have to keep hoisting up!

Here’s some of the outfits I’ll be wearing now that the tights are back in town.

Beanie leather jacket nude tulle skirt opaque tights ankle boots

Fine kinit jumper tweed shorts black opaque tights black ankle boots

Grey jumper berry leather skirt opaque tights ankle boots

Leather jacket grey top tartan mini skirt opaque tights ankle boots

Nude boho dress opaque tights

Leather jacket chunky scarf burgundy mini skirt opaque tights ankle boots

Mini skirt black opaque tights

Printed tee red mini skirt opaque tights

(images from pinterest)

Thanks, as always, for reading!

 

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Autumn buys

Although I’ve been in denial about autumn, I have actually been buying some bits and pieces with a view to the change of season. So when I said in yesterday’s autumn inspiration post that I already have a lot of those outfit components in my wardrobe, it’s not because I’m virtuously using last year’s purchases, it’s because I’ve been buying anew.

Details schmetails!

Here’s a round up.

H&M jumpers – £7.49 each (on special offer), in khaki, light grey and camel (great basics in both style and colour)

H&M khaki jumperH&M light grey jumper

H&M camel jumper

H&M fine knit 3/4 sleeve olive jumper – £8 (I like the idea of this with denim flares and tan boots)

H&M olive jumper

H&M print dress – £9.99 (I wore this at the end of summer with bare legs and sandals and got loads of compliments but it will be equally great with tights and boots)

H&M print dress 2H&M print dress

New Look coated skinny jeans – £27.99 (these are fabulous, great fit and very leather look)

New Look leather look jeans

Boohoo grey fishtail maxi skirt – £8 (perfect with my chunky ASOS boots)

Boohoo grey maxi

Boohoo printed maxi skirt – £5 (I love the 70s print and autumn colours)

Boohoo print maxi

I’d love to hear what you’ve been buying for autumn (or if you’re a goody twoshoes, like I should be, according to my credit card statement!)

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

 

 

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Autumn inspiration

Despite my protestations and wishing it wasn’t happening, there’s no point hiding away and denying that it’s now autumn.

I managed to stretch “summer” out for most of October, which is better than normal, but with our holiday and the mild weather I haven’t felt the need to really change up my wardrobe, apart from covering my legs more.

But now I’ve packed my summer wardrobe away, the clocks have gone back, and it’s almost November, even I can’t deny it’s autumn any longer!

The one good thing about autumn is different clothes, so here are some pictures of ways I intend to be dressing this autumn.

Drapy tops and cardigans with skinny bottoms

All black

Blanket cardigan and hat

Blanket cardigan and heeled boots

Grey jumpers 

Camel grey and leather

Black leather grey jumper wine trousers

Grey jumper and denim shirt

Maxi skirts

Grey maxi skirt

Leather and maxi dress

Maxi skirt and leather

Stripes and maxi skirt

Mini skirts, thick tights and boots

Mini skirt and boots

Mini skirt and tights

And, of course, leopard print!

Leopard print and coated denim

Leather and leopard print

Leopard print fur coat

(images all courtesy of Pinterest)

On the plus side I already have a lot of these items (or variations of) in my wardrobe, so hopefully I won’t need to buy a lot (I’m sure that won’t stop me though!)

Here are some shots of today’s clothes – my first truly autumnal outfit this year!

Autumn outfit grey top cardigan

Autumn outfit blanket cardigan

Tan fringed bag

Chunky two tone heeled boots

Two tone boots with skinnies

I’d love to hear what you’re wearing into the new season.

Thanks, as always for reading! x

 

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Big black boots

With October has come a definite autumn feel – rain, wind, leaves falling off the trees and general non-summerness.

I don’t approve.

It does, however, galvanise the need for new boots, which can only be a good thing. Footwear purchases are always a good thing!

I’ve decided that my go to ankle boots for autumn winter are to be chunky black stompy ones; with a thick rubber sole and block heel.

Boots

They’ll look great with black skinnies (an A/W stalwart), give height under my patterned flares, and also work with girly dresses and thick tights for a touch of 90s grunge.

I ordered these London Rebel ones from the ASOS sale – £22.50ASOS black boots

But I wasn’t entirely sure if they’re quite high enough.

So I had a scoot around.

Deichmann have some of contenders – I’ve had a few pairs of boots from there in the past and it’s definitely a site worth checking out.

Deichmann chunky boots

Deichmann chunky buckle boots

These from New Look fit the bill.

New Look black boots

New Look leather

New Look suede

Boohoo have these

Boohoo ankle boots

Boohoo suede boots

Boohoo thick sole boots

So, just to be on the safe side, I ordered some more, to compare to the ASOS ones. All in the interest of doing the right thing. Because it would be awful for all involved (mainly the husband) if I didn’t get it absolutely right. After all, it’s a long time ’til spring and sandals time…

Turns out that, 4 parcels later, the ASOS ones were my preferred choice after all!

Here’s some inspo.

Black chunky boots

Chunky boots inspiration

90s grunge

Chunky black boots

What will be your footwear of choice this A/W?

 

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In betweeny dressing

One of the things I don’t like about the change of season (be that summer to autumn, or winter to spring) is what a pain it is to get dressed for work in the morning.

Change of season

I mean, mornings are difficult enough, right? And what works at 8am when you leave home could be completely inappropriate by 3pm in the afternoon, what with changes in temperature, morning dew giving way to afternoon sun, and the constant air conditioning battle.

I’m lucky in my new job that the dress code is casual. Which means I can wear jeans. I have this mental block around wearing thick black tights before November, or at least mid October – it’s just a thing – so when I worked in a corporate office I sometimes had to revert to nude tights. URGH. Is there an uglier item of clothing on the planet? They wrinkle and bunch and make whatever undies you’re wearing look horrible. Much vom. I don’t miss them in the slightest.

But it does mean that I fall into a bit of a denim rut. And I’m not purporting to have an answer to that. It’s one of life’s unexplainable dilemmas, like blackholes, or why people laugh at Michael McIntyre.

Because, in truth, it’s not really proper autumn yet, is it? And that’s annoying too. If summer’s going to be over, just get on and be done with it, so we all know where we are and can approach it accordingly.

Also not helped by the fact that I think I have some weird internal temperature gauge. I seem to experience extremes of temperature when everyone else is fairly constant. It’s one of the reasons I don’t have a fringe (naturally wavy hair + sweaty forehead = frizzy uncontrollable mess right where everyone can see it).

For the last couple of weeks I seem to have adopted an unofficial uniform of jeans, tee, scarf, lightweight leather jacket and hi-tops. Yawnsville. I start off my day at the office wrapped up, and gradually de-robe as the day goes on (only as far as the jeans and tee, it’s not that kind of place).

Outside of work I’m still just about getting away with skirts and bare legs with ankle boots, but that’s because I don’t leave home while it’s still single digit temperatures, and there isn’t an office air conditioning fiend in my flat at home.

Flares are mixing up my denim look from the usual skinnies, but then footwear can become a bit of a problem.

Same with maxi skirts. It’s not really cold enough for boots but not warm enough for sandals, and ballet flats just don’t work on me.

Maxi skirt 2

Maxi skirt 3

Maxi skirt

I know, there’s no pleasing me.

Maybe inbetweeny footwear is the real problem! And that’s a whole other post!

That was all a bit pointless, wasn’t it? Let’s give this post some purpose! I’d love to hear what you guys wear on in-betweeny days?

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September Sadness

Try as I might, I can’t but help let my mood be affected by the time of year. And even though it’s just another date in the calendar, I always find myself feeling pretty sad at the beginning of September. It signals the beginning of the end of summer, darker mornings and nights, cooler weather, leaves falling off the trees, summer flowers dying, and the onset of winter.

September

I’m such a summer person. I’m truly at my best in summer. I love being outdoors, not wearing a coat, wearing sandals, days out.

I’ve seen a few blog posts over the past few days with people getting excited about the fact it’s September, because it means autumn and a change of season and Halloween and Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Halloween and Christmas. I think it’s just the transitional period when summer is on it’s way out and you’re still craving warm days and outdoor nights. I just can’t get excited about descending into coldness and darkness.

Its difficult to say goodbye to summer, especially when it hasn’t been so good this year.

Even worse, September so far seems to have struck with a vengeance this year – it’s not even a gentle decline into autumn so much as going to bed in August and walking up in November! Rain, clouds, temperature drops. I mean, come on!

On the plus side, I still have lots of nice summery stuff planned before I totally give in to autumn and it’s cold, damp, miserable clutches. Including a local festival this weekend, a long weekend in Cornwall, a road trip to a gig in Leeds, a wedding and a week in Italy.

On the negative side, when all that’s over AND it’s autumn proper I’ll probably be really miserable.

What’s your favourite time of year?

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