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Sunday, 16 September 2012

I Heart Staples

This summer I have had a major clear out and got super organized. I went through everything in the attic and was ruthless. Some boxes had been unopened since we moved house 3 years ago and as far as I'm concerned if I havn't needed it in the last 3 years I most likely won't need it again!

I also had a lot of university files and folders which I needed to keep but wanted to store properly in plastic boxes so the paper didn't deteriorate.

I headed to Staples, a store which I havn't been to for years which is odd considering how much I love organising and stationary!

I bought 4 of these 68 litre large plastic containers on sale at £9.00 each, pretty good value I think! I will be using them to store books, photos and Christmas decorations.

Then I also bought 2 of these 6.7 litre little boxes to keep more fragile Christmas decorations in. These were also on sale, 99p each! They will be kept inside the large Christmas containers.

I could have bought so much more. I loved their Martha Stewart range, especially the stackable desk organsiers in Tiffany blue:

But I managed to restrain myself . . . for now anyway!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

In Search of Fall Colours

Following my last post on the beginning of fall, I have been investigating the best places to see the autumn colours in my area.

I live in the county of East Sussex which is in the south east of the UK but the county of Kent borders East Sussex, hence we visit Kent a lot too.

(The white patch north of Surrey and north west of Kent is London. Also the rest of kent is surrounded by the sea which you can't see on this image. A bit of UK geography!)

After some research it seems there are 2 places which are renowned for beautiful autumn colours:

1. Sheffield Park, East Sussex

This is a National Trust garden of 200 acres which includes rare trees and shrubs set around lakes which give gorgeous reflections. There are plenty of acers, Japanese maples and North American species such as Nyssa, providing some of the best autumn colours.

This pinetum holds the world's finest conifer collection. You may wonder how conifers give autumn colour but interestingly, not all are evergreen.

This is what the curator has to say:

"A walk through the Pinetum reveals a variety of trees chosen for their spectacular autumn colour - including liquidamber, tulip, ginkgo, oak, black birch and recently-planted nyssa. The spindleberry and maples are already turning a vivid pink. The cornus amomum is covered in metallic blue berries and, as its leaves start to fall, the Katsura tree fills the air with the smell of candy floss. Around Marshal's Lake the dawn redwoods and swamp cypresses, despite being coniferous, take on various shades of burnt orange and foxy red before shedding their needles."

 I am drooling!

I also read in the newspaper today that the autumn colours in the Uk are going to be particularly spectacular this year due to the weather conditions. We had wet weather early in the summer which meant the trees produced a large volume of leaves which were also retained for longer. Then recently we had some very warm end-of-summer days increasing sugar levels in the trees which will boost colours even further. Now we are getting cooler nights so the leaves will start to turn.

Gosh I love this season : )

Monday, 10 September 2012

No Back To School For Me

I can smell fall in the air. Walking the dog in the morning, I am noticing the air is a little crisper and the leaves are starting to turn, some have even fallen. I stepped on my first few crunchy ones this week.

I LOVE this time of year and the back to school feeling that goes with it. However, for the first time in a very long time I am not going back to school. And it feels odd.

My school days stretched from pre-kindergarten aged 3 up to 18 in the final year of secondary school. Then I went straight to university in the September and thus the academic yearly cycle continued for another four years.

Then I graduated. And decided to take a year out doing something I had always wanted to do - working in a special needs school. It was awesome. And it meant I still went through all the motions and seasons of a school year. Now, I have finished working at the school and am going back to working as a dietitian.

But I must admit, I feel a bit lost

I just bought a regular year diary fill rather than an academic. I just cannot get my head around the year starting in January and ending in December.

Here's what I will miss about going "back to school."

1. Buying stationary -  This was probably the most exciting thing to do towards the end of the holidays. I was a stationary addict and had to have a new pencil case every September. And usually a new school bag too . . .

2. New uniform - I can still remember moving to a new school aged 9 where the uniform was very old fashioned in the colours brown, beige and bottle green. Yup, it was as ugly as it sounds! But when I put on that new scratchy woolen beige jumper, God it smelt good. I can still smell it today and I am immediately transported back to my bedroom, putting it on for the first time, anxious but excited.

3. New workbooks - when you wrote your name on the front and start off with extra neat handwriting - such a nice feeling!

4. Enthusiasm to learn - I always concentrated so much better in the first term back, wanting to get off to a good start, doing all my homework in time. By Christmas however . . .

5. Feeling older and wiser - with each new year you had that little more responsibility and felt that bit more grown up than the year before.

6. The run up to Christmas - having a Christmas birthday, this was always the most exciting time of the year for me. I loved having that to look forward to as the days got shorter and colder.

Oh well, guess I will just have to make new fall memories instead!