8 autumn-winter plans

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It's no secret that I love winter. I am no friend of heat and humidity, but I love the sting of cold on my cheeks, and the sight of my breath in the air in the morning.

I also love crocheted nanna-rugs, hot chocolates, bed-socks, mac-n-cheese, and flannel shirts. I like hiking up mountains or along city streets without breaking a sweat, the smell of wood fires after dark, candles at dinner-time, and lazy bubble-baths on weekends.

After what felt like the longest summer in the history of all the summers, we are finally seeing the start of autumn. So, just in case this is also the shortest winter in the history of all the winters, I have made some plans to make the most of the cooler months.

1. Learn how to bake bread really well. I've enrolled in a bread-making class at Abbotsford Bakery next month that I'm really looking forward to

2. Take the children to see snow

3. Go bushwalking. Now that the hot weather has gone and the snakes are asleep, I want to get back out among the trees

4. Forage for wild mushrooms in the pine forest. There are guided tours that take you on these foraging missions, to be sure the mushrooms are actually mushrooms, not toadstools. I've been wanting to do this for ages, but nobody wants to come with me. Will you?

5. Take better care of my skin. One of the down-sides to winter is the damage all that dry air and internal heating does to your skin. When I lived in New York, I was great at using scrubs and moisturisers to protect my skin. I'm older now so it's even more important that I make the effort

6. Dig, prune and nurture. I keep a seasonal diary to remind me what needs to happen in my garden. In the coming months, that will mean formwork pruning of some plants, heavy cutbacks to others, sowing some seeds, fertilising, aerating the soil, and applying a thick mulch to protect it

7. Make friends with the slow-cooker. I tell myself I'll do this every year. This is the year!

8. Rug up and have a winter picnic. I'll pack thermoses of hot chocolate or tea, knee-rugs as well as picnic rugs, beanies, and candles or possibly a little campfire. We will find somewhere pretty, and our picnic will look like this

How about you? What are your plans for winter? What should I add to my list?

Image credits: Daniel Bowman // Siebe Warmoeskerken // Annie Spratt // Samuel Scrimshaw

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