Autumn is finally here! I know, I know, I sound pretty much mad, as autumn has been here for a while. The truth is though – you can barely tell here in Barcelona. I’ve lived through more sunny, warm days this autumn so far than I have through the entire British summer. The British summer was bad this year. I am telling you.
But now autumn has made its way here, and it came all… autumny at once, full of crazy low temperatures of 15C. Just joking; 15C or not, Catalan houses were not built to withstand any temperatures, high or low, and here on the top floor we have been using the heating to full capacity. And that sudden drop from pretty much summer into November madness made me wonder – what is my perfect autumn evening?
Not that I get any right now. Work and Spanish lessons occupy so much of my time I barely remember my own name. But if I could slow down just for a second, what would I like to do to make this dull November a little bit better?
Around this time last year we talked about combating the incoming winter sniffles. I guess this year we will talk about giving in to them.
Every time is a cuddle time
There is one thing my perfect autumn evening cannot do without – and that is cuddles.
I mean, any cuddles.
In an ideal situation I would have a convenient person next to me. Or a cat. Or a bunny. I would love to have a bunny to cuddle to, since, well, bunnies are magic (roll credits!). Cuddling to a living being is not only a very nice pastime, it also provides one with an invaluable commodity autumn so severely lacks – warm.
However, cuddling means so much more.
I am one of those crazy people that cuddle the blanket while they sleep. I mean it. I roll it into a little pancake like shape and cuddle it all night long, if there is nothing else to cuddle. I also cuddle pillows. I am just so cuddly.
And I would even go as far as to say that no one is too old to cuddle a plushie. Don’t feel embarrassed about it, or try to adult up at all cost. It’s ok. We all get very lonely on cold autumnal nights.
The truth is, and this is a piece of pop psychology I am ready to stand behind – we are wired to need cuddles. Sure, human to human or human to pet cuddles probably take preference over others, but the very act of cuddling can cheer us up. Well, at least it does the trick for me.
Did someone say puzzles?
I am such a jigsaw addict, that it is almost laughable.
My perfect autumn evening must incorporate a jigsaw somehow. Or a logic puzzle if nothing else pops us. Even a point and click adventure, full of secret doors and all that jazz. My brain hates resting, I´m telling you, it is insane.
But there is something so relaxing about resolving things. You know? Putting them to their well deserved peace. And jigsaws and puzzles, they are very safe things to put to rest.
An autumn evening is not the time to solve any real life dramas. I will not be ready for any of that… ever, but definitely not before spring. As the world gets cold, I also get colder when it comes to caring about actual problems.
Imaginary ones? Why not.
An empty stomach is your enemy
For a great many people this is the takeaway and snack season. But my perfect autumn evening is all about baking.
I bake a lot, but in the autumn / winter season is where the extra fun starts. Maybe that’s because both the Polish and British Bake Offs are finished by then, and there is no longer a weekly fix of sugary treats on screen for me to admire. Maybe. Or maybe it is because I usually spend so much more time home with not much to do?
Personally, I blame the autumn bakes.
Pies and turnovers, my personal autumn staples, are some of the most fun things to bake. Even though I only ever make sweet pies (savoury pies, especially meat pies, make me sick just by smelling them) – decorating them with lattices and leaves is just so enjoyable. And the never-ending turning of French pastry for turnovers may feel rather excessive at times, but there is something extremely therapeutic about it, I could literally do it all day.
And autumnal ingredients are also some of my favourites. Who doesn’t love apples? Cinnamon, apples, berries, nutmeg – this combination cannot fail you, no matter what pastry you wrap it in. The closer we get to December and Christmas – there are oranges ready for us! Isn’t that just so exciting?
If you do not like baking – don’t fret. You can still enjoy a very much my style of perfect autumn evening by eating other people’s autumnal bakes. Problem solved!
Keep it warm
Radiators. Blankets. Oversized jumpers. All of these are very essential to the perfect autumn evening.
My parents have a huge fireplace and even though they may slowly be killing themselves and their neighbours, there is nothing more relaxing in the world than sitting just in front of it on the floor with a mug of hot tea (with honey and lemon, true Polish style) and a gigantic storm outside. It’s such a good spot one needs to fight the cat for it. Worth every single scratch.
On the other hand we have things like candles – significantly less detrimental to the lungs too. As, although they do not provide much physical heat, they do warm us up psychologically. In our little hearts, as lame as it sounds. Don’t you think?
Just. Do. Not. Waste. Energy.
And the final advice I have for all of you who are tired of fighting their sniffles and just want to enjoy a perfect autumn evening – you need to master the art of achieving things without moving.
Sounds like madness, no? But getting outside of the blanket means getting colder and moving under the blanket is a tough thing to do, not at all relaxing, and we just deserve a break sometimes, you know?
The best thing you can do is prepare. Make sure everything you need is within easy reach of a hand. A well-trained slave… I mean, a very nice person who doesn’t mind not resting to keep that tea going is nice but not necessary as you can always just prepare a big jar upfront anyway or situate yourself in the kitchen.
It is all about logistics. But I believe that if we all put our mind to it, in the spring we will be ready to start a new job in one of these shipping companies. We will be prepared for anything. No traffic jam problems can compare with the difficulty of changing the TV channel when the remote is lost and there are exactly four steps of an icy desert between us and the TV.
Some call it laziness. I call it survival.