I think that Autumn is my favourite season, but I'm never quite certain as Spring tends to come a very close second. It's all about the colours and change for me with both seasons making you really take note of what's around. The light, the trees, the birds. In autumn, so much around us is going to sleep, yet the colours, the weather, the sounds seem to counter that.
And what about winter?
The nights seem never-ending. You go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. We have a love hate relationship with the snow. If and when it happens, it's magical but it also means that even a light sprinkling snow falls, the whole city grinds to a halt.
And then there's the cold! Is it a reason to stay indoors and do nothing?
I recently took a Autumn birdwatching course. Given I've never done any kind of bird course before, it does seem a little strange to start towards the end th the year. Yet in fact, because the leaves are falling, it actually means that you are more likely to spot the little beauties. It is also a lovely time to see migrating species which you wouldn't see at other times of the year.
Getting outside at this time of year can be so rewarding.
Personally, there is something really cosy about being bundled up when the weather has turned. I actually find it really satisfying, like I've achieved something, much more than I ever would by being inside. As a walker, the very well worn phrase by Sir Ranulph Fiennes springs to mind:
"There's no such as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."
The other thing which makes it satisfying is taking a hot flask of tea or some hot soup.
That could sound like something people did back in days gone by, but with the glorious return of keep cups and flasks, it's not such an odd thing to do.
So, let's enjoy the iconic holly, frosty mornings, silhouette of trees and fluffed up birds and get outside and learn to be cosy as there really is so much to see and you'll feel so much better for it.
So come on Londoners, there's no excuse not to get outside!
If you decide not to take some soup out with you, why not cook some so that you can warm yourself up upon your return? I love soup as it's so easy to make and you can use whatever veg you have in your kitchen.
Here's a lovely warming and healthy butternut soup for you!
GINGER TURMERIC BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
1 large butternut squash chopped into chuncks
2 tablespoons fresh ginger peeled and chopped
1 onion diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
480ml vegetable stock
400ml can of coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric
Top with roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
In a large pot, saute the ginger nd diced onion in oil over medium heat until softened.
Add the cooked butternut squash and saute
Add the stock and bring to a boil
Stir in the can of coconut milk
Season with salt, pepper, and turmeric
Once everything is cooked, use a blender to mix into a smooth puree
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed
Serve topped with roasted seeds (optional)
Original recipe by Elizabeth Lindemann