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October Payday Wishlist

Now October has rolled around, all I can think about is cosy jumpers, long coats and ankle boots.  I've always struggled with wanting to be the pretty girl in the dress, but deep down I do love my Nike trainers and varsity jackets, especially when the temperature gets chillier.  Now it's definitely time to pack away my vests and embrace the knitwear, here's a few things I've got my eye on that might well be hopping into my basket this payday...

The Acne jumper is definitely a bit aspirational (much as I'd love to splash out on that bundle of cosiness) so I'm now on the hunt for a grey cowl neck that's a little more in my price range.  I need to stock up on my gym gear (well, I don't, but I want to!), and that Salt Gypsy striped pair are a bit of a bargain for £34 (and come in a load of different colours).  I'm a huge fan of pretty much everything Pull and Bear sell but I particularly have my eye on that varsity jacket - I'd wear it with ripped black jeans and ankle boots for a bit of a change from my trusty leather jacket.

What will you be picking up this payday?

On loneliness

On Thursday I drove to the gym before work and left just as the sun was coming up. When I got into my car the sky was dark navy, like a school pullover. The street was still asleep – no orange glows from windows, no barking dogs nor the hum of car engines starting. I don’t say this to boast about my motivation to go for early morning workouts by the way; just that there was this moment of total stillness before I started my journey.

When this happens I often find myself taking a moment to stand in the street and take it all in. There’s something about being still in the middle of a road that feels almost rebellious to me (we always hurry across a road don’t we? So stopping feels somehow dangerous). There is a chill in the air that signifies the onset of Autumn, and a sheen of condensation lines my windscreen. I throw my gym bag onto the front seat and zip my hoody closer to my neck. This morning I’m not leaving a sleeping husband in bed – Tom is away with work for the week, which adds somehow to the stillness of it all. I know that Bodhi dog will have climbed back into his bed and the house will fall once again silent, with only my leftover green tea cup and the strewn bedcovers to signify my presence this morning.

In the car it feels like the day should start with music in keeping with the quietness of the morning; and so I choose a Calexico/Iron and Wine joint album I’ve been listening to a lot lately. By the time I’m driving through Lyndhurst (a pretty town in the forest with bunting strung across the street) it reaches my favourite track, '16, Maybe Less'.  This song always reaches deep down into something buried deep inside of me.  It’s about being an adult and remembering a teenage relationship (“Time has bridled us both but I remember you too”). There’s something so poignant about it; about longing for the wildness and intensity of youth, and it’s a song I have to be in a certain mood to listen to. As I rounded the corner to a section of the journey where fields and moorland open up to the right I could see that the sun was rising, and the sky was the most amazing deep, vast orange. The warmth of the rising sun against the coolness of the low-lying land had created a mist, and horses lazily navigated the haze, silhouetted against the skyline. There was something indescribably ‘too much’ about it all. It was truly overwhelming. The song, the sunshine, the stillness, that feeling of being completely on your own in the world. At times like this there’s always this odd, primitive yearning that I feel stirring in my gut – a desire to abandon my car and just walk deep into the forest and ensconce myself with nature. I imagine myself calmly parking at the side of the road and just walking; into that dappled sunshine, the near-frost on the undergrowth softening beneath my feet. To walk, and walk and walk until all is trees and horses and dirt and you.

And that’s how it all started, this feeling of loneliness that started at the back of my throat and forced me to breathe deeply and bite my lip.  Because I realised I hadn’t really spoken to anyone in almost 12 hours – which isn’t really a big deal, in the grand scheme of things.  But last night had been a different evening, something I had been building up to for some time.  I’d been to a football training event to discuss playing for a ladies football team – the sort of thing that people do all the time, but that I never do because my overactive brain tells me that I won’t be able to do it, that I’m too old, not good enough, that no one will talk to me, that it’s easier not to go.  For this reason, I’ve been knocking around the idea of going to a training session for months, until it was the point that I had to either go, or abandon the idea forever.  I chose to go, which is a big enough deal for me – to drive to practice, butterflies in my stomach, a bag of nerves and anxiousness.  And it was FINE – of course, and when I arrived back to my car afterwards I felt this whole mix of emotions I couldn’t translate into words. But there were no messages on my phone, no missed calls.  I drove home to an empty house, made dinner for myself and wandered through rooms feeling somewhat lost.  I endured a brief crackly phonecall from Tom, who was out for dinner with colleagues, and went to bed feeling empty. My phone remained silent as I drove to the gym that morning.  And somehow this expanse of sky, this sight that rendered me speechless and opened me up – it galvanised this sense of loneliness. It was just another thing, at that moment, that wasn’t to be shared.  Something that would be internalised and buried deep inside of me; another secret, another stone dug into the dirt.  I longed for the closeness of a teenage friendship, a person who would know the absolute minutiae of your life and be constantly rooting for you.  To have that person, or those people, who hold you in their thoughts and who think of you in times of difficulty, or challenge – in times when you are on your own.

This isn’t a complaint, or a whinge – I think that as you get older, the nature of relationships change so much. And I am guilty myself of living in a bubble and not thinking of others as often as I should. I also pride myself on being a very independent person and so I don't always share when things are tough for me, or when my internal monologue is building something up to be a 'big deal' to the extent that it's all I can think about.  So it's certainly not a criticism of my friends, so many of whom are incredibly thoughtful.  It's just that, I noticed that in that moment I felt incredibly alone in a way that I haven't for some time.  I watched the marmalade tinged sky grow smaller in my rear view mirror and turned up the heaters in my car.  Sometimes you don't even know how you feel until nature shows it to you.  Against the hugeness of that sky and the world turning even when everything else is still, I felt very small.

My Autumn Resolutions

I always find that a change in the seasons prompts me to reflect on the last few months and think about any changes, new routines or habits that I want to kick-start.  This happens particularly when Autumn rolls around, as it makes me think about making the home cosy and maximising all of the time spent indoors whilst it's raining!

R e a d i n g

I really want to spend more time reading, and ticking off some of the books in my to-read pile over the next few months.  I've been spending far too much time lying in bed on my phone when I could be reading a couple of chapters of a book (something that would enrich my life far more than scrolling through Twitter or Facebook).  I downloaded lots of books onto my Kindle before my holiday but for some reason I'm really itching to find the perfect paperback to lie awake at night thumbing through and throw in my bag to read on my lunch break.  I definitely go through phases where I prefer my Kindle and where I find myself reaching for the comfort of a real book! I'm really into crime novels at the moment - I'm just about to start Like This, For Ever, which my Dad read on holiday and said was a total page-turner.

S k i n c a r e

When I went away to France, because we were in the van and usually spent the evenings just relaxing and watching films on the laptop I found myself getting into the groove of a really good skincare routine.  There's something about not having to worry about my morning alarm that makes me take much more time to pamper myself! I found myself spending lots of time on using my favourite exfoliators, cleansers, toners and masks and I really saw a huge difference in my skin.  My skin gets so much drier and more sensitive in the chillier months so I want to take more time to give myself a bit of a pre-bedtime pamper and try and keep my skin feeling soothed even as the temperature starts to drop.  I've been reading on the Nuriss blog about their tips for tired skin and I've been wondering about adding one of their Fibroblast Facials to my to-do list in Autumn or Winter to help pep up my skin! I love to go for treatments or spa days to treat myself when I feel like I need a bit of self-care, and that sounds like it could be the perfect option.

W a r d r o b e

I really love packing away my shorts and vests at the end of summer and bringing out all of my cosy jumpers and coats.  I'm always on the lookout for some new autumnal items however - I feel that this A/W is going to consist of lots of chunky cardigans, ankle boots, midi skirts and thick jumpers.  Here's a few things I have my eye on...

F i t n e s s

Strangely, Autumn and Winter are actually the times when I tend to step up my fitness efforts rather than feeling like I want to hibernate (well, I do that too).  I love going running in the mornings when it's still dark outside and the air feels really crisp and chilly.  I have barely been running at all this year so I really want to pick that back up again, as well as playing more football, as I do really enjoy that (and I'm trying to push myself to try different sports to keep fitness fun!).  I'm still getting a lot out of going to the gym and seeing my personal trainer and I really want to keep that up to keep seeing results.

H o m e

It goes without saying that Autumn is a time when most people want to fill their homes with candles, fairy lights and comfy cushions to make the house feel ultra cosy for those lazy Autumnal Sundays.  I'm still head over heels for our new home and even though it's much smaller than our old house (the lounge is so small it was called a 'snug' in the details from the estate agent) I know it's going to be so perfect during Autumn and Winter - as soon as it starts to get chillier we'll be lighting the wood burning stove and spending evenings under a blanket watching movies! We have a lot of decluttering to do though before I can treat myself to any new homewares, so I really want to have a good clearout and welcome some pretty new bits and bobs in.  I'm loving anything mid-century or retro looking at the moment, my Pinterest boards are bursting at the seams! (PS La Redoute's Homewares section has so many lovely things, and they currently have a 40% off code - most of the below finds are from their site!)

What are you planning on focussing on or changing up for Autumn?

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