October is a month in which I thrive. I go full pumpkin spice, Doc Marten, knitted jumper icon. Forget hot girl summer, it’s all about chubby girl autumn.
However, just as I brought the cold weather coat down from the attic, my October plans changed: I got COVID. Ah. As someone with health related anxiety, I am a serial masker, hand-san carrier, vaccine warrior and yet I still managed to pick it up. It just goes to show what a fast-spreading disease it really is. Thankfully, I had COVID pretty mildly. My isolation period started off with a cough and a sore throat, moved on to a fever and now I’m just left with lethargy. Thank heavens for the vaccine, eh?!
So, whilst my dreams of frolicking in crispy leaves were crushed, I still found moments of joy in the month of October. Let’s get into them!
Books & Literature – Reading in Isolation
Stop the presses, she’s only gone and finished reading a book! I don’t know what it is but over the last few months, I’ve simply not had the mental capacity to pick up a book. It’s rather shameful actually as this blog started out as a book blog, whoops. But lock me away from the world for ten days, and I’ll come out of it with the book bug again. The first book I finished was The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I originally bought this book a few months ago when the hype around the novel was swirling like a storm, despite it being a very different genre than what I usually read. However, I devoured it in two days. Simply put, the premise of this novel is four friends in an old folks home who try and solve crimes in their cold case club. It’s witty, gripping, lively, and feels wholeheartedly British – that’s normally not a phrase I would use in a positive manner, but here it is!
The second book that quenched my isolation-fueled literary hunger was Welsh Folk Tales by Peter Stevenson. This was actually a ‘get well soon, bitch’ gift from one of my best friends. I would thoroughly recommend a) having friends who buy you books as gifts, and b) Welsh Folk Tales. As a Welsh woman living in England, I miss Wales a lot. Over the last two years, it’s been so hard to get home amid restrictions and illness. But this book hugged that section of my heart that is homesick, and pulled out many stories and memories that I hadn’t thought about since my childhood. The tales are told in short bursts, and the illustrations of the fairies, ghosts, and locals are just charming.
Entertainment – Honeymoon Planning…
I am doing a lot of honeymoon planning at the moment – well, planning and stressing I’d say. This weekend, me and my fiancé will be putting down the deposit for our Floridian honeymoon of dreams. I’ve been immersed in choosing the best hotel, flights, ticket prices, and it’s been thrilling (literally, I thrive on this stuff). However, when it comes to money and finances, I stress out like nobody has ever seen. I have no reason to either! I like to say I’m being sensible, Rory just says I’m an overthinker. Anyway, my anxious thoughts are not the topic of conversation here! What I’ve found entertaining this month is. This month, I have been hundreds of Google tabs deep in YouTube videos from TheTimTracker and Adam Hattan. Tim is a Florida based life and parks vlogger, and Adam is a British Disney vlogger extraordinaire. These two channels/people have been my main source of research for the honeymoon, but also for my enjoyment in isolation. They are both so easy-going and relatable to watch, but also share elements of planning and experiences that I find really useful. Relaxing and informative? Sounds like the perfect pairing to me.
Experience – Pumpkin Picking
Before Monsieur COVID staked his claim in October, I did something I have wanted to do for years. I went pumpkin picking! Now I know that’s a rather common-place experience, nothing too fancy, but it was special. I went on a breezy October day, with people I love, and ended the day with a pumpkin spice latte and a ride in a wheelbarrow (get your mind out the gutter, you). After months of stress with changing jobs, buying a house, and continuing my Masters, it was just wonderful to get outside and have childlike fun for a few hours. No leaking roofs, closing deadlines, or deposits. Just muddy boots, windswept hair, and plenty of “PHWOAR, look at the size of that pumpkin!”
Style – Joanie
I very nearly skipped this section this month, because I have mainly been living in the land of hole-y pyjama bottoms and no-bra-boobs-hang-free-ville. Whilst I wouldn’t call that style in, well, ever, I did receive a very exciting delivery which changed my style outcome. Earlier in the month, I won a competition on Instagram by Joanie, one of my favourite clothing brands. Think vintage cuts with a modern flair, book themed items, and timeless classics. Not only did I win two tickets to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella on the West End, I won two pieces from Joanie’s Carrie Hope Fletcher collection too! I’ll be honest, I originally had my eye on the velvet green jumpsuit but alas, they were all sold out. However, I am so happy with the two pieces I have. They can be worn to work, dressed up for a night out, layered up or down for different seasons, and the pinnacle of fashion: they have pockets. Get me out of the isolation and amongst the people, they need to see this.
Home – Decor
The final category for today – home. And let me tell you, I’ve seen enough of my home this past week and a half (because I’ve been in isolation – just in case I haven’t mentioned it enough). I’ve mainly been locked away in my bedroom as my fiancé doesn’t have COVID. So he’s been sleeping on the sofa and doing all the housework, whilst I stay in our bedroom like a poorly Rapunzel. Just seeing the four walls of my bedroom has really made me appreciate a lot of the interior choices I made when we moved in. Little pops of colour, items that spur a memory, areas that make me feel cosy. In particular, I have found myself being drawn to our fireplace. Sure, the chimney drips and annoys the hell out of me, the fireplace could use a clean, and the mantle needs another coat of gloss. But the dried flowers make me think of walking in Winchester in the summer; the pumpkins fill my autumnal heart with joy; and the candles make the room fill with hygge. The plant makes me get up and move my body so it can get optimum sunshine and water. The fairy lights bring everything together. And the mirror? Well, it’s just really pretty, isn’t it?
So, those have been my October favourites – my little moments of joy and positivity. I’m happy to say that I am on my last day of isolation, and am only really feeling tired now. I suppose that’s partly COVID, partly lack of movement and fresh air. Fingers crossed there still will be plenty of crispy leaves to jump about in in November!
Tell me, what has been your favourite moment this October? However big or small, I’d love to know in the comments below!