Clear, cool days. Crunchy heaps of leaves. Crisp air (a cliche, but it is so crispy, isn’t it? Not another word for it). Pumpkin-spiced, cinnamon-y coffee drinks. Scarves and wooly sweaters/jumpers when they are still a novelty to layer and not just a means of keeping the winter from sapping your body heat. Oooo it’s all so good isn’t it?
Living in Scotland, we start fall early. Right at the beginning of September to be exact. The temperatures dropped, I started wearing layers and drinking even more cups of tea (something that doesn’t really slow down in the summer in Britain — a cultural difference I’m still slightly confused about. Hot tea on a hot day cools you down, you say? I tried it and I’m not buying it!). Curling up in a cozy blanket and lighting a chai scented candle. Yes. You feel good, autumn. You really do.
The flip side to autumn wrapping it’s luxurious cozy arms around me is… the impending darkness. Living in Edinburgh we are pretty far north — on par with Sitka, Alaska. I don’t know much about Sitka (was there a Sandra Bullock/Ryan Renolds movie set there?), but it sounds cold and northern. Edinburgh isn’t the same kind of cold, but it is the same kind of dark. By the middle of December the sun will have set by 3:39 pm. That doesn’t sound too crazy until you factor in the angle of the sun before it sets — it’s just 15 degrees or so off the horizon. All. Day. “Long.” Making the days dusky rather than, well, sunny. And the sun is just barely above the horizon after 2:30 pm, so it is pitch black by 3:30. Oooo I’m getting shivers down my sweater-swathed back just thinking of it!
I remember even living in southern Atlanta I would feel a twinge of sadness knowing the days were shortening, but before living in Edinburgh I had never experienced dusk all day — a sun rise so low it doesn’t clear the five story buildings that populate Edinburgh.
So as much as I love the change of summer into glorious fall, I also inwardly panic. So what do you do with the panic? You bring out the big guns: the sun lamp, the vitamin D pills,
the whisky, the making-the-most-of-it by planning a holiday someplace with a fireplace and stacks of books. You learn how to hibernate.
But before Matt and I go into deep hibernation mode (I think we are about four more weeks before we can’t tear ourselves from our sun lamp-lit flat), we are trying to soak up Edinburgh’s goodness. We have to because during the winter there’s a lot of mumbling, at least from me: (grumble, grumble, rubs hands together) “Why is it so dark, why is it so cold and windy! We’re inside and it’s still windy! Why is the freezing rain horizontal? How is that possible?.” Repeat. And repeat until… oh.. end of April. Wah wah. Whine whine. I’m a deeelight to live with in the winter, I can tell you!
But there is a lot about Edinburgh that is spectacular in the mean time. This stony city was made for the riot of colours autumn wears and the coziness you feel safely tucked away in a pub or café. Matt and I just discovered a new neighborhood haunt called FYUL (that stands for Food You Utterly Love, though I like to pretend it’s an Icelandic word I don’t understand). As you can see in the photos, the decor is gran’s living room meets salvaged loft space, and the food is delicious. Oh and do you see — the chairs are wearing tweed! I love a good tweed-covered anything (including vintage cars). We’ve already been three times in the past week. It’s so good it might actually keep us from hibernating the entire winter season.
Don’t forget to enter Cath’s Fantas Eyes giveaway below, lovely readers. I’m pea green with envy — such lovely sunnies.
I know you’ve Instagrammed FYUL but I had to do a proper post and tempt you even more! Today when we went back I got the veggie plate and the muesli again. Deeelicious! Matt got the soup with the crusty bread. That’s one of the hardest things being on a gluten-free diet — no eating the crusty bread with the toasty soup or the grilled pita slices with the humus. Le (grand) sigh.
Has hints of fall hit in Atlanta just yet? I can’t remember exactly what it felt like this time of year. The leaves haven’t actually started to change here, but the air certainly has. I forgot how beautiful Edinburgh can be on a blue-blue sky day when you can see for miles and miles.
I wish we could cozy up together under a faux-fur blanket and watch You’ve Got Mail while drinking spiced hot drinks (I can’t bring myself to say Pumpkin Spiced Lattes when I know I can’t drink the coffee or the milk — I’m going to learn how to make vegan chai that’s delicious – I’m gonna!).
Sending you lots of love from autumny Edinburgh!