Goodbye Autumn

September arrived and summer was fading fast. The air had started to cool and, as the nights drew closer and the days shorter, my heart did sink a little. Suddenly, our long sunny evening walks in open toe sandals, the goodness of the sun on our faces, the golden hour sat in the garden watching the birds, the heady scent of lavender on our fingertips seemed to be quickly slipping away.

The roses were losing their beautiful petals and I was losing heart. Neiva loves being outside so much, I worried being cooped up inside would make us all miserable and irritable.

Then Autumn arrived in all its glorious splendour. Those reds, oranges and yellows! Mother Nature really does dazzles us with her spectacular array of riotous colours.  There is something truly beautiful slowing down and watching a season change before your very eyes.

Autumnal wonder aside, October is always a month very special for us.

Every year, as soon as the October school term ends, we pack up and head just a short drive from home, with family and friends, to a very beautiful big house set in the heart of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. With the open fires, limited wifi, beautiful cold and colourful walks, it is a wonderful restful tonic. It really is our Autumn highlight.

I cannot imagine visiting here during any other season. Away from the harsh artificial lights of the towns and cities, here, on a cold clear night, you can really see the stars. Its truly magical and something every child should experience.

So as we move gently from Autumn into Winter, with its dark cold nights and ethereal crisp days, we have happily crossed off most of our Autumn to-do bucket list. The Winter season brings another range of family traditions, marshmallows by the fire, drinking homemade hot chocolate, movie nights followed by duvet days, winter walks and our cottage holiday by the sea.

Winter, we are ready for you.


October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came-
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.

Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,

The party closed at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly “hands around.”

Author: George Cooper

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Autumny Apple Muffins

The autumnal germs have made the rounds at school (I’ll spare the finer details) so for the last couple days Neiva has been home. While she is thriving at school and loves to be there, part of me is doing a little happy dance that she is home for extra snuggles.

Neiva adores Charlie & Lola. When she was younger, she would only communicate with us using echolalia (repeating long phrases and sentences using visual and/or auditory memory) copying Lola’s unusually unique phrases and mimicking her pretty little accent, something she still has now. (We videoed her reaction to Charlie & Lola one month shy of her 2nd birthday. You can see it here. It is just so cute. She has the cutest giggle and still laughs hysterically at this particular part of the episode. I still cant understand why it makes her laugh so much.

In this edition of Charlie & Lola (November) magazine, we spied a recipe for apple muffins. Given our free and easy day we decided to make them. They are super easy and if you are like me, not ready to give up on Autumn just yet, they make the perfect mid morning snack.

You will need:

250g self raising flour
1tsp cinnamon
100g golden caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
125g milk (we used almond milk)
2 eggs
2 apples grated


  • Heat the oven to 180c and line a tray with muffin cases
  • Mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar
  • In a separate bowl mix the eggs and milk
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well
  • Finally add the grated apple
  • Divide equally into the cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.

They turned out so well and the kitchen smells all warm and autumnal. Its so cold outside today it was the perfect day to make them.

Now we are going to get all comfy cosy and watch Paddington.

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