November, the month of sparkle, magic and mystery. The last of the autumn leaves cling to the trees, like natures fairy lights in the grey misty gloom. When I think of the month November, I see images of dark velvety blues and emerald greens, deep magenta and sparkly gold.
Many years ago I travelled to India in November and experienced first hand the stunning Hindu festival of Diwali. Those images of colour, fireworks and celebration will always remain. Children dressed as a black feathered crow, dancing a whirling jig. Large fires, tandoori bbq’s and fireworks on the beach. It truly was a fantastic time to visit Goa.
To me, November is a month of transition, from autumn to winter. Most signs of Autumn have slowly disappeared, leaves finally leaving the trees, especially after the last storm. November can also be the forgotten month on it’s lead up to Christmas. All those parties being arranged, presents being bought & the madness of the school Christmas schedule.
In the whirlwind of busy, I actively try to make a deliberate effort in making November a month of me, and not to ‘burn out’. Here are a few tips to help you through the madness and enjoy this wonderful time….
Some of things I love to do during November are:
1. Read. Switch off all devices. Reach for a proper book, be it a gripping novel, a biography, a beautiful independent magazine or a recipe book. Immerse yourself for a few hours, turn the pages slowly and soak up the words.
2. Make something. Bake a cake, bread, draw a picture. Paint something from nature, a pretty leaf. Whittle your own spoon. Just start a small creative project – something for yourself. You can always hide it if you don’t like the results!
3. Go outside! On a wintery cold day sometimes the last thing you feel like is being whipped by the wind. But actually going out and getting active will make you feel so much more alive. Blow away those cobwebs.
4. Light a cosy fire. If you are unable to light one, light candles instead. And lots of them. This is the reason why Divali and Guy Fawkes are celebrated this time of year. To be light and sparkle to our darkest days. String up fairy lights, don’t leave them until Christmas, you will need them now.
5. Soak. Pamper yourself. Bathe in scented oils. Relax.
6. Nourish. Eat well, heartily. Leave convenience foods at the door. This month make rich stews and soups. Feed your soul. My favourite cook book at the moment is ‘A modern way to eat’ by Anna Jones. Everything I have cooked and eaten from this book has wowed me.
This post was originally written November 2016.