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Springtime / Autumn

Clockwise from top right:

1. Flowers from Found While Walking
2. Samantha Hahn Watercolour
3. Creature Comforts Photograph
4. Handmade Charlotte Coat
5. Sketchbook Attache
6. Pendleton Blanket
7. Pressed Leaf from Found While Walking

In New Zealand, the seasons are upside down. That is to say: right now (in October), it’s spring.

For a Canadian living here, like me – even after 10 years of adjustment – this can be hard. Sometimes it can feel like you’re two people at once.

October arrives: your mind turns orange. You can’t help it. You think about praline and pumpkins, straw bales on tractors, apple cider, quilts.

But around you, stores are lining their windows with yellows and peaches and pinks. People start talking about barbecues. You are glad it’s getting warmer, but sad that nobody in this country celebrates Hallowe’en.

(Not that the weather is letting on what time of the year it’s meant to be; the wind howling and thrashing outside sounds like November on the North Atlantic. My friend Jan reckons that after all there are no seasons in New Zealand, only different kinds of days).

My coping strategy really is to indulge my seasonic schizophrenia as the conditions outside dictate. On a night like tonight, with 57km / hr gales – and instructions from the weather service to wear at least three layers of clothing – who’s to say I shouldn’t call it Autumnal if I please?

We just spent a glorious long weekend up at my boyfriend’s family’s house in the country. In their rambling garden, buds are pushing out everywhere. But – wrapped up cozy inside – I woke up a couple of times in the middle of the night, and read about Madeleine L’Engle’s Austin family weathering a power outage in the midst of a Connecticut ice storm, and could easily pretend myself into the setting of the story.

In the coming months, depending on what the weather does, I’ll be trying to get into the spirit of things by making some of these.

Cold Outside

1. Roasted Chicken with Polenta and Balsamic-Poached Figs (swoon)
2. Mushroom Pizza with Rosemary and Shallots
3. Balsamic Braised Brussels with Pancetta
4. Tea and Cookies
5. Rustic Rhubarb Tarts

Warm Outside

1. Fish Tacos with Cabbage and Lime
2. Sardine Sandwiches
3. Shaved Celery Root Salad
4. Bean and Beef Burgers
5. Avocado and Mustard Seed Dip

The BEST holidays

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