Bonkers for conkers

Like so many things – there’s the Hollywood version of Autumn and the real life version of Autumn. In the Hollywood version there’s a lot of perfect weather where it is just cold enough for a jumper and scarf yet not quite cold enough for a coat, there’s a lot of kicking through perfectly crunchy leaves, pumpkins abound, there’s campfires, there’s hot chocolate with whipped cream on and wonderful Halloween Parties where the whole house is made to look like a scary castle.

I’m not entirely sure that we in England got that Autumn memo. Weather so far has been unseasonably warm and sandals have been lingering on for way longer than we expected. Which does mean that I can crow to my husband that actually I was right and my Saltwaters were an absolute BARGAIN and even though yes, technically, £55 is a lot for a pair of sandals I have worn them every minute of every day from May to September so actually they were virtually free and therefore I will need them in another colour next summer too. (I will have to figure out a way to phrase this argument so as not to dent my annual arguments about why it is NEVER POSSIBLE TO HAVE TOO MANY BOOTS and I will never ever throw a pair away again and no I don’t care that eventually the entire loft will be full of old boots. It is simply not possible to have either enough or too many boots. On this I will not be swayed). I have every confidence that the weather will shortly morph from this unseasonably warm straight into wet and cold. Not the kind of Hollywood rainy shower that is kind of unexpected and fun to run through, holding our coats over our heads and looking all flushed and winsome. No, we are talking the type of rain that is grey. Relentless. Miserable. There’s not much more soul destroying than rainy Manchester in November. No-one on the entire planet enjoys a wet school run.

Yesterday was a nice crispy Autumn day and we went out in the woods and the kids played in the falling leaves. It was pretty perfect. Of course, we spent much of the journey home sniffing suspiciously at a foul smell and then discovered that said leaves had concealed a dog turd Cujo would have been proud of and my husband spent a ‘merry’ half hour cleaning the shite off the tiny trainers in the garden upon our return.

The boys are mad on conkers. Must admit that not much in life makes me more excited than finding a perfect brown shiny conker. It’s up there with finding sea glass but without the added benefit of being at the beach. If you live in Manchester the very very best location for conker hunting is the Southern Cemetery in Chorlton. It is the very mecca of conker hunting, they’re everywhere. It’s also a surprisingly nice place to have a walk. In a gothic kind of a way. It did lead to some interesting theological discussions with Corey ‘mummy in those graves are skeletons aren’t there’ ‘yes’ ‘but not the people’ ‘no their person or soul is somewhere else’ ‘oh yes I already know that mummy, their skins are all floating round in space aren’t they’. Conkers are ace. They’re brown and shiny and lovely to hold. But what to do with them when you get them home? They don’t keep their shine very long and sit in boxes going slightly mouldy. Or in our case they get used as assault weapons between the boys and left where you least expect them just so I fall arse over tit when I get in the shower or try to walk out of the back door. Do kids actually string them on strings and play conkers anymore? Personally my kids seem to be having enough success throwing them at each others heads without encouraging any formal competitive warfare.

I’m not a complete Autumn killjoy. I’m liking the fact I can run outside without wanting to melt, I love me a pair or 500 of boots, I’m also liking the rediscovery of my jumpers and coats.

But it’s still sad to me that summer is gone. Summer is just a lot better than Autumn. People only really go on about Autumn because Winter is crap. No-one really likes winter. Being cold is crap. Christmas is expensive and fraught with family dispute. Dark and cold is crap. Sunny and light is good. Autumn is just somewhere in between. But as I posted last week, hopefully Autumn can be a time of new beginnings too.

From this Autumn, I am trying to actually stick to blogging and writing regularly and hopefully I shall bore entertain you on a Monday with a blog post each week. Banish those Monday blues maybe with a squizz at my waffle? Well, that’s the theory anyway. I also have a theory that I will spend the day on Thursday writing my book. Yes, the book which is currently 2 chapters long. I’m thinking it needs to be longer than that. Of course, this last Thursday I ended up moping around with PMT, working out at the gym and baking a massive chocolate cake. All therapeutic in their own way but none of them actually really getting me nearer my goals.

A few years ago I read the book ‘The Secret’ which basically says if you visualise/say out loud good things happening to you then they will happen. I’m not sure that I completely buy into the concept. For instance if I write ‘tomorrow morning the post man will bring me a cheque for £1,000 in the post’ I don’t actually believe it will happen. But according to the theory that’s why it won’t happen, because I don’t really believe it will and that by voicing my negativity I have already scuppered it.

I do believe that positivity generates good things. Whenever I’m having a meh phase things always get a bit more meh as a result. I suppose I do agree that voicing doubts, even to yourself, can influence the outcome. I was really upset last week at a falling out with a friend – but actually when I stop to think about it I had been talking about the friendship falling apart this year months and months ago, so whilst I was upset at the time I don’t know why as it was hardly unexpected.

So, the theory of writing more regularly isn’t just a theory. It’s GOING TO HAPPEN. I WILL FINISH MY BOOK. I WILL BLOG REGULARLY. I would love it if you’d read and give me feedback. As my book progresses I am going to need lots of input from you guys. Recipes that are tried and tested favourites with your children, anecdotes that will resonate with readers. Come on. I’m going to make this happen.

I’m visualising it now. My book. Finished. Being read and enjoyed by people. I will also have to break the news to my husband that in the visions I am wearing a kick-ass new pair of boots. Actually I have several – some casual ‘I’m an author don’t you know’ pair of desert boots and for the book launch some rather special high black patent ones. Just so he knows.

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9 thoughts on “Bonkers for conkers

  1. I think your book will amazing. Also a two chapter book might work quite well for mums…We might actually get the time to read it! X

  2. Yes, yes yes – thank you for saying autumn is crap! It is. And (having lived in Manchester from 2000-2013) a grey, rainy tuppaware November day in Manchester is totally rubbish. People who say ‘fall is my favourite season’ have clearly never been to the UK.

  3. Glad your back. Will of course be dying to read your Monday blog. Dont be teasing us and not doing it.
    I would love to read your first two chapters, but may need to get some tena lady in first……XXX

  4. Autumn all the way for me. I am no longer a summer person, or at least I haven’t been ever since I left the UK. Summers in the UK are pretty brilliant though. But Autumn will always be my favourite. Give me crisp, misty air and an excuse to wear boots and a jumper and I’m completely there. Not to mention it’s weather that lends itself to hearty casseroles in the slow cooker and old potatoes put roasties back in the menu.

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