Adjusting to a City

When I moved to university last year, it was a big change from my tiny village to living in Wales’ capital city. It was busier, louder, and tea tasted a bit funny. If you live somewhere rural, or a small town, and you’re moving to a big city, there are a few things nobody really tells you about…

 

Hard Water 

Three weeks into university, my hands were cracked, my skin was irritated and my hair felt like straw. I thought it was part of freshers flu, until someone pointed out the actual culprit: hard water. Hard water is just water with a high mineral content, it’s not a health concern, but it can cause dry and itchy skin, as well as making your hair more tangled and tough.

The solution is so simple – for your hair, consider investing in a tangle teaser, and getting a deep conditioning treatment for your hair, like argan oil, a hair mask or Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Treatment. As for skin, I turned to Soap and Glory Body Butters (Any of the scents are great, my personal favourite is Smoothie Star Body Buttercream – it has shea butter so its great for moisturising). Soap and Glory Sugar Scrubs are also great for removing dead skin from your body, especially your legs before shaving. You can always buy a Lush Lip Scrub, or you could make your own.

 

It’s Loud

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Whether you’re in university or not, living near a city centre is loud. If you’re in uni, there’s always that flatmate who plays grime music at 3pm when you’re getting a headstart on your essay, or a flat party when you’re exhausted and you just want to go to sleep.

Otherwise, it’s always sirens, helicopters, planes or cars. Always loud, non-stop. Get a pack of foam earplugs from Amazon or something, they’re a massive help.

 

Nights Out Are Different

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It sounds cliché, but I’d never been out anywhere with more than two clubs. There’s loads more choice and the night goes on way longer, but I don’t know, sometimes it feels a bit… dodgier. Especially if you’re a woman. Keep an eye on your drink, and don’t get left alone. There’s also massive drug problems in university – don’t get caught up in it, it has and it will ruin lives.

 

It’s Expensive

Food is dear, taxis are dear, the cost of living in general is so much higher – switch to a discount supermarket, make the most of offers and budget, you’ll have way more money to spend on fun stuff.

 

There’s Way More to Do!

From film festivals at independent cinemas to musicals and shows at the theatre, it’s so much better than walking around the same small town shopping precinct week after week! One of my favourite opportunities in Cardiff last year was going to my first rugby game, the atmosphere was just great and it was nice to do something different. There are great restaurants in cities and loads of people, music gigs and protests. There’s every opportunity you didn’t get in a village – so take advantage of that.

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The Limehouse Golem – Review

Bill Nighy investigates a Jack the Ripper-esque murderer who plagues London, whilst we deduce the culprit’s identity from the testimony of a troubled woman in court – sounds a bit boring, but it’s quite interesting.

It was a strange film. There are far too many themes which the film never fully utilised: Kildare’s sexuality is touched on, but never explored. Lizzie Cree’s gender identity is brought up, appears to be a plot point, but is somewhat glossed over. Dan Leno is underused. The film’s presentation is rather unique, told in flashbacks, beginning at the end. This ultimately falls flat, it feels repetitive, it’s hand-holding. Speaking of which, the killer’s identity doesn’t appear as much of a mystery. The plot-twist at the end? Completely expected. It’s obvious from the first twenty minutes.

The one thing that stands out in this film – the thing that perhaps saves it? Olivia Cooke’s performance. Her other notable appearances, such as Bates Motel, have her down as a New Scream Queen. She’s a horror actress, a damsel, a victim. In this film, however, she shows her real acting ability. She’s versatile, a unique period woman. Her performance in the final 20 minutes of the film will have you wanting to go back and watch it all again, just to take her in.

My main issue with this film is that it was coined ‘A feminist twist on Jack the Ripper’ by the Telegraph. In no way does simply including female characters make a film feminist. Ultimately, both female characters are bad people, they’re horrible stereotypes of women. One is the over-sexualised Aveline Ortega, the other is the pure-looking Lizzie Cree. Aveline uses sex as a weapon, and has no other depth to her personality. This film does not even appear to pass the Bechdel test, as each time Lizzie speaks to Aveline, it concerns her husband, John Cree. Do not expect a feminist triumph out of this film, any feminist messages are destroyed in the film’s final moments.

Cooke saves this film, watch it for her. If you’re big on period and gore, but prefer a slower pace, this is for you.

My Top 5 Studio Ghibli Films

I’m back! Finally. It’s been far too long! I’ve absolutely hated not having internet this week, I’ve been so lost. But what comes with being so bored is finding something to pass the time. Luckily, I had some DVDs. I’ve really been enjoying Studio Ghibli lately, something I’ve been into for some time. I thought why not tell you about my top five Ghibli movies!

For the record, I am a huge fan of Princess Mononoke, but I have no idea how to talk about it! It’s such a huge film with so much in, and I’m not sure what it is that makes me love it so much.

  1. Ponyo

For when you’re feeling lonely. Ponyo is The Little Mermaid of Ghibli movies, by which I mean, it’s nothing like Disney’s version, but it is about a tiny redhead who turns human. It’s this really charming little story about a fish who becomes a girl, she and the boy who finds her end up going on this little mission when the land is flooded and they must find the boy’s mother. Nothing bad happens and it’s just nice. It’s sweet, visually beautiful, kinda funny and obviously odd.

  1. Howl’s Moving Castle

For when you’re sad and you need the comfort of a fairytale. Howl’s Moving Castle has a lot in it. A lot. There’s war, selfishness, curses and the question of what exactly beauty is. It is perhaps the most ‘teenage’ Ghibli film as the love story is all about this girl who doesn’t believe she is beautiful, and a boy who is far more powerful than her, but he’s troubled, difficult, and unattractive on the inside. They both learn what beauty means, and become better people. It’s feelgood – it doesn’t have that painful part that most of these films do. I like this one because of its simplicity. It’s comforting.

  1. Only Yesterday

For when you’re feeling homesick. Ironically, I watched this film for the first time yesterday. The English dub was only recently released, and features the talents of Daisy Ridley and Dev Patel. What’s really nice about this film is the way it feels. I’m not sure I loved the story very much, and there are a few things that went over my head as it’s set in Japan in the 60s and 80s. But I understood the protagonist so well. She was sick of the city, longing for the countryside. It was a place that wasn’t exactly her home, she didn’t come from there. But it felt like home to her, she wanted to make it her home. That longing for a peaceful, simple existence is something we can all understand.

  1. When Marnie Was There

For when something’s bittersweet. I can’t find another word to describe this film. It’s bittersweet. It’s a mystery, with a really great payoff – if you read this blog regularly, you’ll know I see twists coming from a mile off, but this one was a complete surprise. It was a surprise that made sense! It’s one of those Ghibli films set in a beautiful idyllic place. It happens over the course of a summer, so it’s a great one to watch while summer ends. The characters look fantastic in this one. The houses are beautiful, the lakes, the scenery. It’s quiet and calming, sweet and shattering.

  1. Kiki’s Delivery Service

For when you don’t feel like you can do it. If you’ve seen one Ghibli film you’ll know how well they do female protagonists – they’re always these young, unassuming but headstrong girls who learn who they are and what they’re looking for. There isn’t one where the protagonist doesn’t come out of the story a better person. No other protagonist exemplifies this the way Kiki does. She’s a witch, who’s only just old enough to leave home and train away for a year – she needs to work out how her abilities as a witch will aid a community. It so easily parallels that feeling of going off to university, or starting a new job: you’re all on your own and you know you can do something but you haven’t quite worked out how to do that yet. Every set back only makes Kiki better, stronger. Confidence knocks are so accurately presented – that slipping feeling of losing what you’re good at. Slowly we watch Kiki work out who she is, regain those abilities, and become the woman she’s meant to be. If Kiki can, you can.

 

I wish I could have included Spirited Away – but that film is an essay in its self!

 

I’m sorry for the lazy post today, but I can’t wait to be blogging every other day again!

Thank You!

So, this is a bit exciting for me, as someone who hasn’t been blogging for very long – I certainly haven’t been blogging regularly for very long!

Yesterday I reached 100 likes on my blog. As a thank you, I’d like to name a few people who have been helpful and supportive of my blog, and whose blogs you should definitely check out.

Princess Blabbermouth – one of the first people to comment on my blog, who herself has a wonderful blog with DIYs and travel. Check it out!

The Electric Oracle – who was my 100th like, congratulations! She has very thoughtful, positive posts, so visit her!

afracturedfaith – left some really lovely, supportive comments about my writing, of which I’m so grateful for. A very thought-provoking blog.

Auroraanna – we only started following each other a few days ago, but I’m so in love with this blog! There’s makeup, books, fashion. I love reading it!

Sophie @ Blame Chocolate – a brilliant book blog that I love to dip into every now and then. Also, how relatable is her blog name?

Absolutely Olivia – when I first started to blog regularly, I reached out to this blogger for some advice. She read my post and gave me positive and constructive feedback. I’m so grateful because it really helped my confidence with blogging!

Thank you to everyone who’s liked even one of my posts, left a comment or just read something of mine. I’ve really loved the start of my blogging journey, and I’m so excited to continue this with all of you. Hopefully by 200 likes, I’ll have even more people to thank!

Pembrokeshire

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a quiet little holiday to West Wales. It’s a nice, quiet place for a holiday away from it all. Pembrokeshire was a great, dog-friendly holiday – It’s especially nice at the end of the summer as it’s far less busy, and dogs are allowed on most beaches out of season. Here are the places I visited, which I would recommend.

Cilgarren

There’s not much in Cilgarren. There’s a castle we didn’t get the chance to visit. We had some nice food from a pub, and the village shop sold the best bacon I’ve ever tasted. Other than that, it was a nice base with plenty of room for a round walk with the dog. The cottage we stayed in was cosy, a lovely place to cuddle up on the sofa after walking all day, or to watch the morning go by with a cup of tea and toast.

Poppit Sands

If you’re walking a dog around towns all day, the most important thing to do is to give them a good run first. We learnt this the hard way. We took the dogs here every morning for a run, and they loved it. It was huge, so it was easy to avoid other dogs. They loved paddling in the sea, and ended up being very sandy dogs afterwards! Just a warning, it was freezing cold, wet and windy, so maybe wear a coat. Although, there is a cafe if you need to warm up, the food looked lovely, and the hot chocolate and a huge slice of fluffy victoria sponge. On a more serious note, avoid the sand dunes, as adders have been known to bite dogs there.

Fishguard

Fisguard has the usual shops, so it’s a good place to pick up essentials. There are also nice little shops. It’s a quiet seaside place, with pretty coastal walks and a lovely harbour. It’s worth a visit just to see the multi-coloured pastel houses on the way there, and the boats in the harbour.

Tenby

Again, beaches. It’s very much a seaside holiday town, the kind of place that has a hundred of the same shops with buckets, spades and fudge. Don’t let the cliché put you off. The beaches are really nice, and there are boat tours to see puffins and seals. We ate at Caffi Llew, which was a very cute and did lovely smoked salmon sandwiches. There are plenty of the usual shops to browse, where I picked up a shirt I can’t wait to wear, as well as a few independent ones. By far, the best shop in Tenby is Roly’s Fudge. The fudge is handmade in store and comes in loads of unique flavours, like Bailey’s, lemon meringue and sea salt. You get to watch this sticky mess before you get turned into fudge, what’s not to love?

St. David’s

While we’re on the topic of independent shops, St. David’s is probably the place to find them. Though, there aren’t many, after all, this is the smallest city in the UK. The ones that are there make up for the lack of stuff. My favourite shop was Chapel Chocolates, a tiny little place tucked away in a corner, which sold handmade chocolates – the range of flavours was incredible: I ordered rose creams, salted caramel chocolates, pralines and cherry blossom just to name a few. The design of the chocolates was so impressive, I loved the way they brought in Wales’ national flower. I visited a quirky little shop called The Peepal Tree. They had bohemian clothes and accessories, along with some really nice candles and bath things – I got some interesting bath tea bags. The Cathedral is a really lovely piece of Welsh architecture, I’d have loved to see the inside, but we had the dogs so we didn’t get the chance.

All in all, Pembrokeshire makes for a quiet, relaxing, homely holiday.

My Top 5 X Files Episodes

January of 2016 was an uncertain time. I fell out with friends, university offers were rolling in, A Level exams were creeping ever closer as I entered the final few months of school. Ever. However, I discovered The X Files and let Mulder and Scully make it a good time for me. I feel kinda rubbish again, and we’re getting a new season next year, so I thought it would be nice to revisit my favourite series.

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So, I’m not old enough to have the 90s nostalgia, but I’m a massive fan of The X Files – shoulder pads, big phones and all! In celebration of The X Files’ 24th birthday, here are my top 5 favourite episodes:

  1. Eve (1×11)

I’ve seen love at first sight in countless Disney films, and this was the first time I experienced it for real. Sadly, it was with a TV series. The moment I watched this episode, I knew I was going to binge The X Files so fast. The episode follows Mulder and Scully as they try to understand how two identical girls were caught up witnessing an identical murder, on opposite ends of the country. It’s creepy. The twist is genuinely good, and brings some frustratingly fantastic dramatic irony. Mulder and Scully’s teamwork is really present in this episode, not to mention they act as pseudo-parents for a section of the episode. The aesthetic in this one is beyond good – it’s autumnal and the twins’ matching red outfits are unforgettable. It really is one of my favourites, but it comes in at number five because it’s probably not that good of an episode, especially since it was the first really good episode I watched.                                                                                                

  1. The Post-Modern Prometheus (5×5)

This one has a problematic plot, it wouldn’t fly on television today. Modern-day Frankenstein is ‘helping’ women to conceive. Hey, it was the 90s. Besides, the plot really isn’t the best part! The entire episode is filmed in black and white, once again, the aesthetic is unbeatable. This is one of the (surprisingly many) funny episodes of The X Files. Every deadpan look is made even funnier in black and white, making some iconic scenes. The ending of this episode is what makes it: Cher (sadly not the real Cher, she had other commitments) sings Walking in Memphis to the episode’s cast. Mulder stands and extends his hand to Scully, who accepts his invitation to dance. If you love Mulder and Scully – who are you kidding, nobody watches this show for the plot, it’s all about the agents – this episode has one of the loveliest scenes between the two, and it’s just as weird and wonderful as they deserve.

  1. Bad Blood (5×12)

Again, I keep choosing the funny ones. I think X Files did funny best, and I think the second-best writer as Vince Gilligan – season 5’s Bad Blood is proof of this. It’s a classic unreliable narrator story, with Mulder and Scully explaining their sides of a case that could lose them their jobs. Each agent’s story is acted out, giving us a brilliantly goofy out-of-character Mulder and an unusually whiny Scully. It shows us how Mulder and Scully see each other, and the flaws in their relationship – whatever that is at this point. There’s plenty of bickering between the two, and some very funny scenes. Honestly, they’re more iconic than The Post-Modern Prometheus. This is also Gillian Anderson’s favourite episode, one of the few episodes she actually remembers. She talks about it a lot. A lot. And so should you.

  1. Irresistible (2×13)

A horrifying death-fetishist serial killer targets women, Mulder and Scully have to catch him. This one isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s genuinely unnerving. Donnie Pfaster is nightmarish, because he’s human, and he could exist (let’s ignore the season 7 revisit of this character). As Scully is just recovering from her own abduction, this case hits her particularly hard. Scully episodes are just so great because there’s so much about her character to sink your teeth into. She’s also so badass in this one, and the Mulder-Scully hug at the end of the episode really signifies a change in their relationship. Don’t watch it at night, and maybe watch Bad Blood straight after to lift your spirits. This episode is a reminder that whilst The X Files does funny best, it did scary really, really, well. 

  1. Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose (3×4)

Season 3 is the best season. Well, it’s a tie between seasons 1 and 3, but this is where the show really found what it was – there’s not too much focus on the mythology, there are funny/quirky episodes, and some of the best writers, Darin Morgan and Vince Gilligan, got their most iconic episodes out there. This episode is Darin’s second, but probably his best. It follows Mulder and Scully, but mostly Scully, as they deal with someone who appears to be a genuine psychic. It stars Peter Boyle, who, rightly so, won an Emmy for his performance. The focus is mostly on Scully, as her sceptic ways are challenged by Bruckman, and we see more of her character than ever before. It’s poignant, it’s quirky, and it’s funny at times. Queequeg also shows up for the first time. So it’s a winner.

First Impressions – Bath Products

I don’t post about cosmetics or bath products a lot, so you’d be forgiven for not knowing about my obsession with baths. I can go in the bath for three hours, easily. Nearly all the books I read are read at least partly, in the bath. Naturally, I like some good products to go make those 3 hours a bit more luxurious.

 

Lily-Flame Fairy Dust Scented Candle

Step one to the perfect bath is a good candle – the smell makes everything better and the flame gives you that cosy autumnal feel. Lily-Flame candles are British-made and absolutely adorable. This is a miniature of Fairy Dust that I had as a gift in a pack of three. I love the smell of this one, it’s like a sweeter version of Yankee Baby Powder. Another reason I would recommend this candle is that they never seem to end because of the conveniently shallow container. The large sizes cost around £10, and they’re way more reasonable than Yankee candles because, let’s face it, a big glass Yankee Candle is hard to light once it gets low, so you never get to quite finish it.

 

Wild Olive Bath Tea Bag in Marshmallow Rose

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I took this picture so you could read what it says on the label. It’s a bad picture.

I picked this up at a cute little shop whilst on holiday in Pembrokeshire, it cost £1.75. I can’t resist products that are rose-scented, so I couldn’t ignore this one. There’s always a lack of good rose products, partly because proper rose oil is so expensive. This bath tea bag was a little, well, tea bag, filled with bath salts and rose petals. The product is vegan and the salts are from the dead sea, so they’re filled with minerals. It didn’t change the colour of my bath much, but I have a double bath so it might do something to a smaller bath. The scent wasn’t particularly strong, but it was still lovely. The best part is that you can break the bag open once the crystals have dissolved, and have some petals float around in your bath. It was nice, but since I really love rose, I probably should have picked up two or three for my bath. Recommend me some good rose products in the comments please, for my sake!

 

Soap and Glory What a Peeling De-Clog Mask

This product cost £4 and came with two masks. £2 per mask is cheap for a good mask, so I was already sold. I wasn’t expecting the mask to have such a fantastic pink colour, I’m very happy about that! It smelled nice and applied like a dream thanks to the spatula which is included. The only downside, as with any peel-off mask, was that it doesn’t dry while you’re in the bath because of the humidity, so I didn’t get the satisfaction of peeling it all off. I doubt I’ll use this in the bath again, I’ll probably stick to mud masks. Honestly, I’m not sure whether it did much to my skin but it felt nice afterward. Regardless, I’m happy I bought it because the spatula is going to be so useful for applying other masks!

Leeds

Leeds is a gorgeous city. If you’re headed there to uni, you’re very lucky. If you just fancy a day trip, this post should convince you to head up North and experience everything the city has to offer!

The Shops

 

Leeds has all sorts of shopping options. Obviously, there’s Trinity shopping centre, which has all the usual brands and an amazing Everyman Cinema, complete with couples seat, blankets and pizza. There’s Kirkgate Market too, Europe’s largest indoor market – it’s filled with cute local stalls. Leeds’ arcades are the best part of the city. Victoria Quarter arcade is beautiful, if only just for a walk down to look at, especially at night near Christmas. Victoria Gate arcade is new, and has more high end shops like Anthropologie and the tea shop pictured – sure, you can’t afford any of it, but it’s fun to look around.

Food and Drink 

 

The Dry Dock is bar that looks like a boat, it’s great for a quirky-casual night drinking with friends, it’s also on the way to some of the university accommodation, so it’s a tempting place to visit. Leeds (actual) Dock is quiet and relaxed in the day but has plenty of bars and restaurants to keep you entertained at night. If you’d prefer a more refined meal, I would recommend visiting Tattu. It’s an Asian Tapas restaurant with a great big pink tree inside. It’s pricy, but gorgeous. Trinity Kitchen (the shopping centre food court) is my favourite place in the city – it has all different kinds of cuisine from all over the world, and you can pick what you want and sit together. It’s perfect for friends with different tastes. Especially if, like me, you have an unyielding obsession with Pho.

The Sights

 

Hyde Park is a huge, pretty park in Leeds that’s great for relaxing in if it’s sunny. However, Leeds has far more outside to explore. The University of Leeds campus is especially pretty, it has some beautiful old buildings, interesting statues, and that sculptures like that amazing bench. The campus also has a garden, which students can get involved with, and harvest from responsibly. If culture is really your thing, visit the museums in Leeds. They’re not quite the ones in London, but they’re a fun day out. The city and campus are industrial, combined with this old Northern architecture, which works strangely well.

Featured Place: Hyde Park Picture House 

It’s an independent cinema, originally opened in 1914. It’s been “The Cosiest in Leeds” for over a century. Catch some quirky indie pictures there, support it!

Bonus: My outfit for a casual day around Leeds (I was clearly very tired after Leeds Festival)

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Everything, Everything

I saw Everything, Everything last week in the cinema, because it didn’t release in the UK until August 18th. I had read and reviewed the book not long ago, and wasn’t a massive fan. Now that I’ve finally seen the film, does it hold up? Mild spoilers ahead!

The casting was good. Amandla Steinberg did a great job of portraying Madeline. Amandla was relatable, sympathetic and strong. I had a few problems with Nick Robinson’s Olly – he looked the part and acted the part, but they stripped his character of most things that made him unique – especially his active, fidgety, free-runner personality. The side characters were good – Ana de la Reguea portrayed Carla as I imagined: motherly, friendly and gentle. Madeline’s mother (portrayed by Anika Noni Rose) was probably my favourite portrayal – she was much more sympathetic and kind than she was in the book, which makes the ending so much more heartbreaking.

There were a few changes I disagreed with, however. Rosa became an actual character, as one of Madeline’s friends instead a character who was only mentioned. This would have been a great change – it would have made Madeline’s condition much sadder as they tried to focus on her only friend going off to college soon. It humanised Madeline, rather than making her that ‘princess in a glass castle’. But they didn’t. Rosa barely had any lines, or any larger role at all. I question why they even bothered. The other big change they made was taking away the detail that Madeline can only have specially-sealed, untouched books. In fact, it is Carla who gives her a copy of Flowers for Algernon. This makes the whole used-bookshop-wish-and-scene devoid of significance.

The overall aesthetic of the film was brilliant. The house was gorgeous, with everything pristine and white, touches of greenery and glass everywhere. I loved the block colours and the simplicity of Madeline’s clothing as the film progresses. However, the glass room that’s supposed to make Madeline feel like she’s outside was unimpressive. It had yellow walls as opposed to the tangible rock walls that Olly could climb. It had a boring blue sofa and no hint of that flowing water.

Some scenes felt displaced, as if they belonged in a different film. When Olly wrote messages with a sharpie on paper, it all felt too You Belong With Me. It wasn’t its own film, its own unique entity. Another scene was the strange Annie Hall-esque subtitled scene. It was silly, it took me right out of the film, it just didn’t work! However some scenes were totally unique to Everything, Everything, and there should have been more of those. These scenes were set in Madeline’s architecture models, set in her mind as she built them. Madeline and Olly’s texting conversation took place in the diner she’d built, complete with her astronaut. It was memorable, unique and quirky. I really loved those parts.

Overall it was an average teenage film. As per usual, with book adaptations it had that occasional unnecessary narration I wish I could have taken away. I wish they would just present things to the audience in conversation with other characters, or hint at it, we’re smarter than you give us credit for. I’m glad I saw it, but I don’t know if I’d watch it again. It was quite faithful to the book, so if you liked that, I imagine you’d enjoy. If you haven’t heard of it and you like teen dramas like TFIOS or If I Stay, this is definitely one for you.

How to Enjoy Autumn

Let’s face it. When the air starts to cool and the leaves start to fall, it gets much harder to get out of the house, especially if you don’t need to be outside. But you can’t waste the prettiest season of the year stuffed up indoors. Autumn is my favourite season, so here are the reasons you should never be sad to see summer go.

 

Autumn is the Prettiest Season 

Some seasons come at us so quickly, there isn’t a chance to watch them turn. Summer, especially in the UK, is usually a four-day heatwave, followed by weeks of unyielding rain. Yeah, summer had flowers and green grass, but she’s got nothing on Autumn. The blackberries turn from pink to black, Autumn leaves are all different shades of gold and red and brown and yellow, there are toadstools and fungi everywhere which are way more interesting than colourful flowers.

 

Harvest Some Wild Fruits and Bake a Pie

Every September, I go up the mountain with my grandmother and pick wimberries (otherwise known as bilberries) to make a dessert for Sunday Dinner. I know, it makes me sound like I’m in a Studio Ghibli film, but it’s fun. Make a blackberry crumble or a wimberry pie. They’re warm and sweet and they taste like the end of summer for me. You can’t buy anything like them and there’s a narrow window for picking them. Here’s a guide and another guide so you can make sure you’re picking things that are edible!

 

Autumnal fashion

Burgundy. Brown. Red. Purple. Ugh, I love Autumn clothes. I love getting out of my shorts that don’t even fit and replacing them with skirts and tights. I love wearing coats over dresses with boots. I love big grey jumpers and I love cozy scarves. There’s nothing better than going for a walk in your biggest, comfiest coat. And before you ask, yes, it’s better than Winter because it’s not too cold to enjoy wrapping up.

 

Walks Are Actually Fun

Look, I’ll just say it, I don’t like going outside in the summer. It’s too hot, there’s so much pollen, you don’t wear a coat because you’ll sweat then it starts to shower and you get soaked and your hair is frizzy. Autumn doesn’t come with this kind of stress. You can walk around and enjoy the fact that there aren’t a thousand screaming children on their summer holidays running around. Taking my dog for walks is also easier in the Autumn because you can often take dogs to beaches out of season. Yes, he gets a bit muddier than he does in Autumn, but he enjoys it, and he gets to run through the leaves and go for a swim. The lack of actual green in Autumn also makes walks more fun because there’s way more to notice – aside from the den I found in the picture above, take a look at these adorable painted rocks I found hidden around Colmere in Shropshire. They say #ShropshireRocks on them, so it’s some kind of local project for walking trails. If you don’t have anything fun like this in your area, why not start it? It’s evidently simple!

 

Geocaching

If you really can’t go out for the fun of it, there are some really great activities to do on walks. Geocaching is a personal favourite. It’s quite a strange hobby for me to have, but when my friend and I were studying A Level English together, I would go to her house, convinced we would study together, but we ended up procrastinating by Geocaching in the huge country park near her house. I’ll probably make a larger post on this soon if anyone wants that. If you don’t know what Geocaching is, it’s basically a big treasure hunt. You get an app, of which there is a free version, and look for little containers people have hidden in public places. It’s competitive, genuinely frustrating and it tricks you into walking really far. It can be done with kids, friends, as a family or with your dog. It’s really great for all ages because it gives you a purpose to be outside. It’s much more fun in the Autumn because there’s less huge plants and long grass to get in your way, and there’s no sweltering heat.

 

Staying In 

Alright, so I’ve raved about how nice it is to be outside in the Autumn, but what about curling up inside? There’s nothing like being inside by the fire whilst it’s cold and rainy outside. There’s something about getting back from a cold walk and getting in a warm bath with a bath bomb and some yankee candles. I love getting a fluffy blanket, my favourite hot chocolate, marshmallows and biscuits and settling on the sofa for the evening. You poor people outside the UK will never understand how good Autumn TV can be. We have X Factor (admittedly, it’s rubbish, but the auditions are funny), I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here (what’s more Autumnal than watching a D-list celebrity gag on some camel testicles?), and The Apprentice (Everyone on that show is clueless, Alan Sugar’s jokes are awkward, and Lady Karren Brady is an icon). It’s the run-up-to-Christmas TV, and your best excuse to spend Saturday Night watching reality TV and films.

 

Bonfire night and Halloween

The best holidays come in the Autumn. Halloween is the best because you get to dress up as whoever or whatever you want and if you’re old enough, you get drunk, or if you’re young enough you get to ask for free sweets from your neighbours. I love decorating for Halloween more than Christmas, because Halloween can be as cutesy or creepy as you like! Not to mention carving pumpkins and getting my grandmother to make a pumpkin pie out of it. Speaking of pumpkin, after the 31st of October has passed, there’s always plenty of pumpkin left over to make spicy pumpkin soup, to warm us up whilst we stand outside in our wellies and scarves and watch the fireworks. Bonfire Night is the best because it signifies that run up to Christmas, and you spend the whole evening holding a burning sparkler and writing your name out with it – no matter how old you are. These holidays are my favourite because they don’t command you to buy gifts or do all these grand things or cause that dreaded Christmas family tension, they’re just a bit of fun.

 

Yes, Autumn is nostalgic for me. I’m obsessed with it and I start listening to Christmas music in October. I exhaust the season because some of my best memories happened in the Autumn – the excitement of starting a new school year, teenage me being a massive fan of The Hunger Games and reading the books all Autumn whilst I eagerly awaited the next film’s November release, and of course, in Autumn of 2013, I conquered my anxiety for the first time after spending the entire summer a complete mess. So yes, Autumn makes me happy.