I love Autumn, which started officially yesterday. It’s always been a time of the year when life is slow, mostly because when I was at school as a student the pressure of exams wasn’t there, and the excitement of a new school year carried you through the ‘boring bits’ to Christmas.
When my children were younger, September and October were golden months of settling back into a routine, without the pain of dark mornings and dark nights that fell across our paths too soon. We could meet after school and amble to the ice cream van, or pootle to the local sweet shop on a Friday to get a packet of sweets as a Friday treat. And the daytimes, as long as I wasn’t working, were mine to sort and organise, to wander the aisles of supermarkets and stalls finding what to have for tea, or whether the crackers advertised were for cheese or Christmas.
It’s a time for getting the warm blankets that were washed during the summer out and putting one at the end of each bed. For gathering a throw each into the basket at the side of the settee so that when the night chill draws in everybody can snuggle under and the heating… blessed heating… doesn’t need to be turned on until October’s golden glow fades to November grey. That’s the theory, at least.
And in recent years I have recognised it as the start of Peak Hygge Season as well. A chance to find rituals and routines that create a hyggelig house. For help in this department, I am indebted to Brocante Home who writes in such a sweet, evocative way. She is British hyggely-ness on a plate. I love her record of an ordinary Autumn Eveningtime, how she lists Puttery Treats for Autumn (so hyggeligt to do) and the simple sharing of Teeny Gifts for Autumn. Forget the fact that Alison, God bless her, has an aversion to using an apostrophe in the wrong place. Getting uptight about that is not very hygge-like. I let them slide and concentrate on her meaning and her intention; which is to spread a softness of attitude over the evenings and help her readers to create a Life Less Ordinary. One of these days, we’ll meet and hygge together.
And what am I planning to do this weekend to hygge?
Friday night is a concert at the local non-league football club that my husband supports, by John O’Connell of a local Mersey band, The Groundpigs. With a sell-out crowd, cider and singing it should be a really hyggeligt experience. But I know that I can’t go looking for hygge, that the hygge will find me if I am in the right place and with the right people.
Saturday, my hygge will be closer to home and easier to find. My family are incredibly important to me, and we will be sat watching classic Saturday night TV; Strictly, X Factor and Match of the Day. Again, with cider, candles, crisps and comfortable covers, the hygge will be there if I look the other way. As Soren Kierkegarrd so wisely put it, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” I won’t know that Saturday is properly hygge until I look back at it, or part of it.
And Sunday I am hoping for the same beautiful weather that is shining on me through the office window. I will wrap up, go find some leaves and come back to a roast dinner (chicken or pork), freshly baked cake and Poldark on the TV.
I hope that this first official weekend of Autumn finds you happy and full of hygge with the people you love. To help with that, why not mix up a homemade air spray? I found a combination recommended by Alison of Brocante Home hits the spot in Autumn. It’s available in her Autumn House download, along with recipes and ideas for creating and curating a house full of Autumn charm, but if you don’t have that ebook or the spare cash to splash on it, here’s a basic DIY air freshener recipe that you can adapt to suit, from The Prairie Homestead.
3/4 cup water (tap or distilled)
2 tablespoons vodka
Essential oils mix (approx 18-20 drops total mix of your preferred essential oils)
Combine in an 8oz spray bottle, shake and spray.
I love the scent of orange blossom, fir balsam and frankincense. Play about with the ratio until it suits you, and don’t be afraid to experiment to find the scents you prefer. I spray it around the living room every morning before the house wakes up and in the evenings before we settle down for the night’s conversation and fun.