Tag: winter

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 things to consider if you fail at Dry January

For many people who committed to Dry January, tonight will be the first hurdle to overcome in their journey towards 31 days of sobriety. Last weekend you were probably full of good intentions and feeling smug for having a booze free weekend. Now reality has kicked in with a vengeance, it’s the first full week at work (unless, like me, you’ve been ill), you’ve missed your pyjamas/lie ins/eating chocolate for breakfast and, truth be told, you bloody well deserve a glass of wine for making it through the week.

dry-january

If you do give in to temptation and hit the bottle, don’t despair! Here are 5 things to make you feel better about not doing Dry January (for the record, if anyone’s interested, I made no such commitment and have been happily boozing since January 1st. Not everyday though, obvs).

In the interests of transparency, I have taken inspiration taken from an article in the Metro – where they come up with a whole 13 reasons! Read the full article here

1 – It’s January

Nuff said. Cold, dark nights, ages til Spring and currently with added snow. Alcohol is one of the few joys available at this time of year!

2 – It’s (probably) unsustainable and unnecessary 
Unless you’re planning on becoming tee total all year, Dry January just confuses your body and liver. I did it once and, at the end, I was drunk and asleep on two vodkas. Much better to not deprive yourself and therefore continue your body’s natural tolerance.

3 – You’ll end up wishing part of your year away

For most people it will be something to grit their teeth and endure, therefore wishing it was February already just to crack open a bottle.

4 – Drinking makes you happy

‘Tis true! Most of us can associate with the warm glow that comes with the Friday night glug of a wine bottle being shared (or not shared, in my case) and the softening of the edges of life as the alcohol makes everything that little bit nicer. Contrast with the steely glare of real life for a whole 31 days with nothing to take the sharpness off the corners. No brainer.

5 – Socialising will become a chore

If you have any social occasions, celebrations or outings planned for January and you plan on remaining sober whilst your acquaintances aren’t you should probably start making your excuses now. Schedule for your dog to be ill or your hair to need washing, ‘cos there is nothing fun about being the sober one whilst your pals get merry. And they’ll probably expect a free lift home.

There, you’re reaching for the vino already, no? You’re welcome!

(on a serious note, if you are doing Dry January, then all power to you, and don’t let my inane waffle persuade you otherwise!)

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Fabulous faux fur

As much as I’m totally happiest when the weather is warm and sunny, I’m actually pretty glad that it’s finally turned cold because it means I can bust out the fur!

One of the only good best things about winter is wearing fur. I love it. Fur coats (faux, obvs) are so glamorous and snuggly. I have 5 of them.

Which means, I’m most definitely not probably not unfortunately not in the market for a new one.

Although, if I was…

…I’d be all over this beauty from Dorothy Perkins.

Cream camo faux faur – £59

Dorothy Perkins cream camo fur coat

This one’s described as charcoal, but looks more brown to me?

Boyfriend faux fur – £69

Dorothy Perkins charcoal fur boyfriend coat

Navy fur is very unusual…I haven’t got a navy one…hmmm… (£59)

Dorothy Perkins navy fur coat

Oh, and Dorothy Perkins has 25% off today…double hmmm….

These two from New Look are lovely

Snow leopard – £49.99 currently down to £37.49 in their cyber event

New Look snow leopard coat

Leopard print – £69.99 down to £42 in the cyber event

New Look leopard print coat

Great value from Tesco F&F

Striped fur coat – £35

Tesco F&F striped fur coat

Multi fur coat – £39

Tesco F&F multi fur coat

And I’m sure there are oodles more everywhere, but in truth I’m scared to look in case I accidentally on purpose buy one.

So I’ll leave you with a (rather disjointed multi mirror) picture of me in my absolute favourite, from Tesco last year.

Me leopard print fur coat F&F

Are you a fur wearer?

Thanks, as always for reading! x

 

 

 

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