Fully aware that I’m probably sounding like a broken record, I really, really love Autumn. I like the sunshine and warmth that Summer (sometimes) brings, and I like the way in which the balmy mid-summer evenings seem to put everyone in such a lovely mood (minus TFL tube strikes and offices with no air-con). But to me, Autumn is my happy season. The changing colours of the leaves, knitted jumpers, slow cooked meals and open fires; I truly believe these things can be just as good for the soul as a sunny day.
I read a BBC article a little while ago about hygge; a Danish concept said to make people feel happier in their everyday lives. If you haven’t heard of it before, have a read of the article. It’s such a lovely idea. Although there might not be an exact translation of the term, my favourite description of its effect has to be ‘cosiness of the soul.’
I think this idea ties in perfectly with the arrival of Autumn. So many people say they can associate with the feelings of Seasonal Affective Disorder (Wayne being one of them) and I believe that thinking about hygge could be the perfect antidote. I’m not by any means saying it’s easy to snap out of SAD, but taking the time to do lovely things that only Autumn allows might just make things seem a little better. We all need a little bit of soul cosiness sometimes, don’t we?
With this in mind, Wayne and I set out on an Autumnal adventure, embracing everything that comes only with this season. We took a drive to Shearwater, a beautiful lake tucked away in the middle of Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, and pulled on our wellies to explore.
Having grown up nearby, Wayne was full of stories from childhood days spent at the lake, firmly cementing the fact that the countryside will always be his happy place. I couldn’t agree more.
We wandered along the water’s edge, making sure we waded through every pile of leaves we passed before heading deeper into the forest. Other than the occasional dog walker and some sleepy looking fisherman, we had the place to ourselves. The fresh country air was just what we needed after a morning working in London, and the two worlds couldn’t have felt any further apart.
The first thing I would say to anybody who dislikes Autumn is to simply look up. The array of oranges, russets, yellows and greens is just so calming and a perfect example of nature’s ability to ground you. Whatever challenges and worries are taking up your thoughts, Autumn is a reminder that the seasons will keep on changing; consistency that we sometimes need to be aware of in order to take a breath.
Soon our feet began to ache and our stomachs rumble, so we headed off in search of a good old pub sandwich. The George in Longbridge Deverill delivered; the perfect prawn sandwich on the thickest granary bread, a huge chicken and bacon toasted ciabatta and a bowl of the crispiest, fluffiest chips. You can’t beat a good pub chip. Comfort food at its best.
I think our afternoon was the perfect example of hygge. It wasn’t extravagant, it wasn’t glamorous, but rather exactly what we needed to remind ourselves just how rehabilitating this transitional season can be. To me, hyggee represents the little things that make you happy, the simple things. Our Autumnal adventure certainly left us both with cosy souls. Happy souls.