Five things in September

Happy October! So excited to be here…not for the same reason as anyone else, though, it seems! I have a bunch of American friends and I also follow a bunch of American bloggers on social media, and I swear, all I’ve seen for the last ~10 days has been pumpkins, autumn leaves, and Halloween sweets and biscuits. I’m probably going to sound like such a grinch here (a Halloween grinch? An autumn grinch? I’m sure they exist) but I. Just. Don’t. Get. It. Autumn is nice, yes, but summer is so much better, right?! Anyway, that’s why I am glad to see October, because it means summer is just around the corner!

September started warming up and it’s been so sweet. You know when the air suddenly gets soft? Like, it doesn’t feel like it wants to hurt you anymore, the way winter air does? That’s what September felt like here. Blissful.

Unintentionally, this five things post is pretty much devoted to spring. No bad thing in my mind! Let’s get into it…

1. Tiny animals

Look at these adorable little cows! I called them ‘tiny cows’ in my Insta-story and received much mocking from my friends who grew up in closer proximity to the country than I did. Look, I do know technically the name for tiny cows such as these is calves, but LOOK AT THEM. They’re so cute and tiny!

This delightful pastoral scene was on the side of our road when I was bringing Amelie home one day, and we actually pulled over and got out of the car to coo over them. Also witnessed this spring: lambs gambolling over hills and nursing from their mother; a pair of ducks that spent a few days down the back of our section, quacking furiously at a circling hawk (maybe protecting an egg or some ducklings?); a duck leading her ducklings across the road and into the domain down in the village; and nesting seagulls chasing me down and swooping on me when I made the mistake of running past ‘their’ field. So sweet! Except the last, that was freaking terrifying and I will never run down that road again. But the rest…!

P.S. Do you follow me on Instagram? You usually essentially get a sneak peek of the five things, because I tend to post them there first, and also, you get to experience amazing moments like my nearest and dearest mocking me mercilessly. How could you say no?!

2. The kindness of strangers

I ran past this basket one day and just had to stop to take a photo. What a lovely sentiment, right?!

3. Spring flowers!

I bought these gorgeous daffodils from the local corner store and combined them with griselinia foliage from my garden. So pretty right?! Also, I wandered around a couple of shops holding the daffodils before going home, and got many compliments from people asking who they were for. Surprise and delight was in order when I explained I had just bought them for myself – and one woman even went so far as to say what a good idea that was – leading me to say that everyone should buy themselves flowers! Whenever they want to! You’re worth it and you deserve it! Let’s make this more common.

4. Bedtime Explorers Podcast

This podcast is so great! We put it on for Amelie when she might have more trouble than usual going to sleep – like when she’s wound up from a big day, for example. We used it when we were away skiing and we shared a hotel room, and it works like a dream. It’s like a guided meditation for children, themed around things they’ll love (dinosaurs, rainbows, space, etc.) and it eases Amelie into sleep so quickly. Plus it seems to be working really well to help her with self-regulation and calming herself down when she’s upset or worked up. Cannot recommend highly enough.

5. My new professional photo

This is it! I hadn’t quite realised how squinty-eyed I was in it but hey, the photos on LinkedIn are much smaller than here. I went from an office-based photo that was at least five years old where my hair was in a sleek bob, I was wearing subtle lipstick and professional makeup, and my smile was this restrained, hesitant, non-threatening nothingness. You will note in the photo below that my eyes are squinting because my smile is real! (And also because I’m ageing, haha). I’m wearing nice yet not overly dressy clothes – because that’s how I dress for work. I’m outside because I draw my peace, my strength, my resilience, and my energy from nature, even though I work inside most of the time. I’m happy and this photo reflects the fact that I’m a whole person, messy ponytail and all. I’d like to respectfully suggest that after this year, if we can’t let go of the idea that we are all so much more than office drones, we need to do better, and this photo is another way of me showing that sure, I’m a great employee but actually I am just so much more besides.

Plus, I’m wearing my new denim jacket which I just love! I’ll talk more about it when I do my spring wardrobe update – the follow-on from this wardrobe planning post, where I’ll share what I actually bought and how I’ve been dressing this spring – but spoiler alert, this jacket is easily the MVP of my spring wardrobe. Two thumbs up.

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