"Like a woman who has found her authenticity, November's beauty radiates from within"
(Sarah Ban Breatnach)
At the start of a new month I like to write a list in my journal of the things on which I would like to either focus or achieve in the coming month. I think about any particular events coming up that month and about the season in which the month is found. November is a transitional month when Autumn leads us in to Winter. Soon, Autumn will be done with her colourful display, the trees will be bare and the ground will be frozen. For this November, the month of my birth, I have some things in mind on which I would like to focus.
- Sort through our winter coats, boots, hats, scarves and gloves. Assessing who needs something new and what can be donated to charity. Also, finally getting around to storing away sun hats, sun creams, shorts, etc.
- Make plans for Christmas, buying stocking fillers and planning some ideas for food with the help of Nigella Lawson and Mary Berry.
- Finish up in the garden for the season, veg patch cleared, leaves raked and bagged for leaf mould, terracotta pots stored away from the expected frost.
- With more time spent inside with my girls I think a trip to town for some more art supplies is due, stickers, googly eyes, glitter, coloured card, etc.
- Make our own advent calendar this year, I always mean to and this is the month in which to do it.
- Food, I'm thinking comfort food, homemade rice pudding, hot chocolate, cauliflower cheese, jacket potatoes, soups and scones. Invite friends over to enjoy all this with.
- To cheer up those dark evenings I'd like to look in to some new movies and box sets to rent. A good series (we've loved 'The Tudors', 'Rome' and 'Pillars of the Earth' in the past) to get stuck in to will help see us through.
- This month I'm organising a book club with friends, again something fun to look forward to as well as lots of books to get through. I'm interested to see if I'm introduced to a good book I wouldn't have normally chosen.
- Make plans for our winter table, I will gather our winter children's books, maybe make a few new pieces such as little snowmen or winter fairies. Also get the girls to draw some winter pictures and make some salt dough animals for the table, deer, robins, etc.
- Finally, embrace all that is November, bonfire night, toffee apples and fireworks, enjoy the last of the splendour of the trees, savour the fact that Winter is nearly here with its own gifts and charm. Connect with the changing of the month and the season, no matter what is going on in our own complicated and busy lives, November will always come bringing Winter with her. The leaves will always change and fall. The earth will turn towards the darkness for us in the northern hemisphere. November is the month to retreat in to our homes and to enjoy each others company.