I suddenly realised I haven’t written an Autumn Bucket List update for ages – in fact I’m not actually sure I’ve written one at all this season! I must admit I haven’t looked at or even thought about our Autumn Bucket List for weeks. Things have been a bit crazy in our house over the last month with Dad doing lots of work on getting the extension finished, Dave breaking his elbow, Thomas being so poorly and then getting ready for Amy’s birthday. I rather feel like life is just passing by in a blur of “getting through the day”.
So here goes, a full Autumn Bucket List catch up (with only a few weeks left of the season, whoops!)
1. Collect conkers – something which we pretty much fail to do every year but we’ll have another go!
Yeah. We failed. In fact I don’t think we even really tried. The conker tree in our local park is rubbish and for some reason the conkers never fully form or ripen. We didn’t really have chance to go exploring anywhere else to collect them and of course it’s far too late now!
2. Get wrapped up and go to a bonfire – we haven’t done this for a few years but I think everyone is big enough now to enjoy it!
On Saturday night we really did get properly wrapped up – lots of layers for everyone including tights under trousers for the girls and gorgeous new Little Bird hats and scarves. I have such fond memories of bundling up in lots of clothes for bonfire night (including leg warmers . . . yes child of the 80s right there). We enjoyed some sparklers at Mum & Dad’s before heading off to a fantastically well organised (and fairly expensive) event at York Maze. Last time we’d done Bonfire Night at York Maze, Ben was a tiny baby and fell asleep in my sling so it was a bit of a different experience this time! We were really lucky that the showers which had been forecast held off and we were able to really enjoy the display. The kids all loved the fireworks though Amy said she wasn’t keen on the bangs (guess whose Mummy forgot to bring ear defenders!)
3. Kick leaves
Although Ben and Chloe haven’t really had much chance to do this, I have done lots of leaf kicking with Amy in the park on the way home from school. We did go out into Granny and Grandad’s garden at the weekend to play with the leaves but it was a bit wet and to be honest Ben wasn’t really feeling it! There’s still time though if we can find a dry day!
4. MAD Blog Awards – this is my third year of attending and my second as an actual flipping finalist!
This year’s MAD Blog Awards was one I shall remember mainly for public transport fails – from a landslip causing huge issues with trains into London Euston to me missing the last train out to my friend’s house! I didn’t win my category this year but I was thrilled to be asked to present an award. I had a thoroughly lovely brunch with Cesca at The Ivy in Wimbledon too – a post post MADS breakfast is becoming something of a tradition now!
5. Blog on – the first Winter Blog On and this time I’m actually going to be speaking!
Although this was only in September it feels like it was ages ago now! Both Katie & I were pretty nervous about our talk but we received lots of really lovely comments afterwards so I think we did ok! (You might have seen that I’ve written a series of posts about Instagram based on the talk we gave.)
6. A family ski lesson
Although Amy and Daddy weren’t able to come with us in the end, we had a really exciting adventure down to Hemel Hempstead for a private family ski lesson. You can read all about our experience at The Snow Centre or even watch the video we made!
7. Blackpool Illuminations
I never went to the illuminations as a kid. In fact the first time I went I must have been in my twenties and had convinced Dave to take me under duress. Last year we took the kids for the first time and had such a lovely evening with the Butlers that we said we would do it together each year. Foolishly we had expected that a Monday night would be quite quiet, except we hadn’t banked on it being half term and therefore ridiculously busy! The trams were absolutely heaving and even seemed to stop running completely at one point so we didn’t get home till about 11pm. . . whoops!
8. A grown up weekend away
This is all planned and sorted for the end of the month and I can’t wait!
9. South Lakes Wild Animal Park (this is left over from our summer list)
We took our trip to South Lakes Wild Animal Park at the start of September and had a really lovely day. We had been hoping that Uncle Dave and Laura would be coming with us but they weren’t able to make it in the end. South Lakes remains one of my favourite zoos despite some bad press recently. Being able to feed the giraffes is always a highlight.
10. Splash in puddles
It has been a surprisingly dry Autumn so far with only a couple of super soggy school runs to contend with! This of course means there hasn’t been much chance for splashing in puddles though Amy is keen to make sure she finds even the smallest of puddles if she’s got her wellies on!
11. Make an apple crumble
I’d completely forgotten I’d even written this on my list! I think I’d better get some ingredients bought.
12. Blow “dragon breath” in the cold air – this is always a sure sign of autumn for me and something the kids find really exciting!
I think autumn has been fairly mild up until this last week or so but I’m suddenly aware that it’s flipping freezing! I’ve only had to scrape the car once so far this season but it certainly looked pretty frosty out today and I’m sure I’ve seen there is a threat of sleet forecast this week! I don’t think we’ve done much blowing of “dragon breath” yet but I’m sure it’s going to come!
13. See Ben settle into his new Juniors routine
Ben found the first few weeks of being in the Juniors pretty hard going – his school is on a split site so the move to the Juniors is almost like starting a new school. The move between being in his mixed Year 1 / 2 class and a pure Year 3 class was quite a shock to the system for him but I think he’s settled into things a bit more now. His teacher seems lovely and he had a really positive Parents’ Evening.
14. Get some more jobs done on the house – perhaps even move into a new room or two!
Two and a half years after we started our “ten week” extension project, the big jobs are finally finished. Dad spent the best part of three weeks at our house getting stuff done. He fitted out the utility, finished the downstairs toilet, put flooring down, finished off the new shower room and relaid the drive . . . along with a whole array of other little faffy jobs! The difference it has made to our house is huge (and I will be filming you a proper house tour at some point soon!) We’ve now gained a further three new rooms and the big money spending jobs are done. There’s still plenty of work to do – decorating and such like but most of that is now for Dave & I to crack on with.
15. Lots of birthday celebrations
November is a busy month for birthdays with Mum & Amy’s birthdays being on consecutive days and then Aunty Nic’s birthday being later in the month. We spent last weekend in York to celebrate Mum & Amy’s birthdays together which was really lovely – we went to York Maze for Bonfire Night as I’ve mentioned and then had lunch out on the Sunday. Amy’s now looking forward to her birthday party with her friends on Saturday.
Phew. That turned into a bit of a long catch up didn’t it! Whoops. Safe to say that we’ve been successfully ticking things off the Autumn Buckets list without me even really thinking about it – just one or two things to fit in before the end of the month!
How’s your Autumn been so far?