2019, Autumn 3
The cold came up on us quickly this year, as the autumnal weather has now swept over the UK. Crazy weather reports are already in abundance — Rachel just sent me 'Coldest Winter in 50 years'. I suppose it has to happen eventually.
Our current flat features two, single glazed, ceiling height windows. They're gorgeous, but also make our living room feel more akin to a tent than a house in the winter months. Equipped with just one electric wall heater, the heat leaves the room seemingly faster than it surrounds it.
Last year I haphazardly installed temporary insulation, by taping (what was essentially) heavy duty cling film to the windows and shrink wrapping them with a hairdryier. This was a tip I found online, I figured I had nothing to lose. It made a remarkable difference — a difference I'm feeling now, sitting here without them.
With our move seemingly imminent, it hardly seems worth the hassle to go to such measures again. It's the coldest November I can recall, although actual weather reports suggest a return to normal temperatures next week, which I'll certainly welcome.
On the brighter side, along with the colder weather, these months do bring with them festivities and comradery that can't be beat.
We went with my brother and friends to the Bonfire in Totterdown for bonfire night. The fire itself acted as a good excuse to watch over with conversation, not only for us, but for the hundreds of strangers who joined too. It's remarkable how little you need to bring an entire community out, especially given the weather. Add in a beer tent and some hotdogs (funds of which went to the local school, funnily enough), and a large fire is more than enough entertainment for an evening for an entire neighbourhood.
(I should have had a photo. I'll get better at taking photos.)
A belated pumpkin pie was made, as Rachel had spent Halloween week in Ireland, and we agreed we needed to use up the can of pumpkin puree that had been living on our shelves for many seasons in anticipation of autumn.
It's a remarkably easy recipe at its core. We swapped out condensed milk for cream, which resulted in a much more mellow, less sweet pie. It's a shame it's not something we enjoy more often. The spices are certainly autumnal, but it's best enjoyed fully cooled from the fridge – the warmth then is provided by the hot cup of coffee that's required alongside it.
Seems as though every corner of Bristol is having it's own 'Christmas Lights Switch-On', perhaps each in effort to be earlier than the other, like a kind of political caucus.
I'll be waiting until advent to begin my festivities — admittedly complaining that Christmas is starting too early is a cliche at this point. November (at least in a the UK) is great because it has space. It's a breather month — the final lap before Christmas to be productive, uninterrupted by new years, summer holidays, easters or scary-themed plastic junk.
Let November be November. It's only the long-wait until Christmas if that's what you make it.
The darker evenings are alive with the city lights, and everyone walking to where they need to go. It's time to wrap up warm, and continue our living.