Autumn 2017 // Spurred on by the sweeping of leaves and the planting of bulbs

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This blog post arrives as a seasonal coincidence. This day, the Solstice, is apparently the true start of Winter. But in truth it’s felt pretty frosty for a while. We’ve been buried. Inside and under blankets, with a hot drink in hand. Outside and under woolly hats, with a hot drink in hand (in reusable cups picked up from Oxfam).

Despite my annual trepidation as summer fades, I’ve become better at finding joy in the nature of each season. I attribute much of this to gardening giving me a greater appreciation of the year’s rhythms. For the first year, we’ve made considered efforts to winterise the garden, rather than just letting it slide into neglect until Spring. We’ve planted winter jasmine and hellebore, and still taken our morning coffee on the bench – fortified for the cold with a blanket and an extra woolly jumper.

I’ve enjoyed reading this Autumn list for seasonal living, the tale of the car from Oh Comely and this story of the Lake District and loss and memory. I’ve continued to think about Lobster and Swan’s candlelit dinner –  a heady mixture of food and conversation, art and justice, pulled together around Giles Duley’s photography project Legacy of War. I lamented a little after reading Robert McFarlane’s article about how children have lost their connection with nature, knowing Pokemon better than what lives in their local park.

We went along to Dave Erasmus’ tour of his 30 minute film ‘Once Around the Sun’ about his year of living half of each week off-grid, on the land. The film is a beautifully shot and soundtracked glimpse into life over 52 weeks (you can download it now). The evening was as much about the time in conversation after watching, as it was about the screening itself. The whole room joined in a gentle pursuit of what an on and off-grid life could look like in 21st Century.

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I visited Know the Origin’s pop up shop in London – a glimpse of what will hopefully one day become a department store with fully transparent supply chains. I picked up a festively-scented Lux Luz candle (in the first pictures in this post), made by a start up social enterprise whose profits support women suffering from domestic violence. Know the Origin’s vision is for transparency to become the rule rather than the exception for mainstream consumption. That’s an idea I can get behind.

We got away to the Mountains and I finally sewed my own advent calendar. There are still more ideas and plans than hours, but we are inching forwards in seeing our sustainable, intentional values embedded into the fabric of our lives.

This morning, my first day off work and into the Christmas holidays, I put on my shabbiest jeans and my gardening gloves. The nasturtiums had filled our emptying flower beds beautifully as autumn crept on, but the recent frosts were too much for them. I cleared them out, swept the leaves and dug in the daffodil and crocus bulbs. On this, the first day of winter, it was a coherent and coincidental picture of the slipping of one season into the next, and the next. As Dave Erasmus said in his film… “Autumn is becoming Winter, Winter is becoming Spring….”

This is part of a regular series on the things that spur me on to keep going with intentional living. What has spurred you on recently?

Today’s soundtrack: Fleet Foxes //  Crack Up

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