It’s mid-September. I’m reaching for the blanket of autumn, while still snatching every chance I get to enjoy the expansive freedom of summer. It’s an in-between time, caught between the pleasures of the last few months, and the hopes of the next. It takes me a while to settle comfortably into this new season: shiny new boots full of promise, wearing a coat for the first time in months, and feeling surprised that darkness falls earlier every night. It’s the same every year, yet it always creeps up on me so quietly.
This is my list of good things to eat, wear and read this September. Do share your own in the comments.
A new pair of boots
Every Autumn, I’m drawn to new boots. It’s my version of a fresh pencil case. This year, I’ve invested in my first pair of cowboy boots. Well, a sort of baby ankle length cowboy boot. They feel fun and flirty, giving everything else in my wardrobe a little edge and a much-needed boost. Currently I’m wearing them bare legged with trainer socks hiding inside. So practical and charming! Mine are these Spanish ones from Asipiga. I am a 6.5 and sized up to a 7. They are a perfect fit with thicker socks but may need an insole with thin tights.
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
If you’re not quite ready for cosy autumnal reading, then this book filled with sun-drenched summer days is perfect. It’s the coming-of-age story of Vix and Caitlin, the Summer Sisters, who spend their holidays together on Martha’s Vineyard. We meet them every summer – from the late 1970s to the 90s – and watch them flourish, flirt and (occasionally) flounder. It’s classic Judy Blume, capturing the agonies and ecstasies of growing up – yet contains enough maturity to appeal to an older audience. I loved it.
I also highly recommend you watch the Judy Blume documentary on Amazon Prime and the new film adaptation of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Both are an absolute joy and wonderfully nostalgic.
Nothing says autumn quite like corduroy. I think cord trousers are infinitely more comfortable than denim and last year I lived in Brora’s pull-on tapered ones. This season, I’ve invested in some high-waisted slightly flared ones from Marks and Spencer. It’s a little tweak to my usual silhouette, which feels simultaneously fresh and nostalgic. Also, everyone’s favourite Uniqlo bag now comes in cord.
A magic vegetable chopper
This is a wonderful little gadget that turns all your salad and vegetables into neat little cubes with one karate chop. It saves me time and helps me make those American-style chop salads that I feel Jennifer Aniston would approve of. I throw in carrot, celery, peppers, cucumber, apples and more and then toss everything with some ranch or Caesar dressing. Yes, you’ll have to wash it up afterwards, but it’s no real bother. Easier than a spiralizer.
Conkers and candles
My youngest son brings home handfuls of conkers every day and I diligently gather them into a basket. They look quite pretty, really. I’m lighting a scented candle every night and enjoying the pungent scent of rose incense during the day. I’m tending my indoor geraniums and getting them ready for a winter indoors with a little drink of plant food. As seasonal cut flowers become less plentiful, I’m enjoying a big vase of fresh eucalyptus with some faux berries from Closet and Botts – the blackberries are particularly sweet.