I don’t really know how to say this…

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This has always been something that I struggle to admit. When I say it out loud, people look at me as if I have two heads. Don’t judge me, okay? Maybe it is just because being from Northern Ireland we’re not “supposed” to feel this way. Okay here goes…

I LOVE AUTUMN AND WINTER MORE THAN SUMMER. There, I said it, it feels so good to get that off my chest. I love everything that this time of year has to offer. I totally get why people love the sun, especially in Norn Iron as it is such a rarity that we get it for any substantial length of time so I really do understand why there is an air of disbelief when I don’t share the excitement.

But this time of year is just the best in my opinion. The turning of the leaves, putting the heating on, the dark nights creeping in, being able to wear jumpers and shoes that actually cover your toes. It is the stuff that cuddly, cosy dreams are made of and that is just for starters.

Things have been pretty intense over the past few weeks so I decided to treat myself to a bit of retail therapy. Off I went into Belfast and my first port of call (as always) was Lush in Castle Lane. Sidebar – a few nights before, I was trying to be all zen and mindful amidst the chaos and I had downloaded a random app for relaxation / meditation. During my horrendous attempt at being calm (I am not good at chilling) the voice on my phone asked me to “imagine yourself in the place you feel happiest.” No lie, the first place that popped into my head was Lush. Do with this information what you will. Anyhow, I went into Lush and I bought every single item (some in multiples) of their Halloween line. The staff were as lovely as ever, really though, have you EVER been in a shop where the staff are more pleasant? I highly doubt it. I was in there for about 45 minutes and I emerged absolutely laden from my spree and feeling like a new woman. I was also covered in glitter from one of the bubble bars that I had been pawing. I only noticed that I had it smeared across my face when I got into the car but that’s beside the point. In order to continue this positive streak I took myself round to Starbucks where I got my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year. OMG I was absolutely overcome with joy. On reflection it could have been the sugar rush but whatever it was I felt so much better. It was seasonal overload and it was beautiful.

My most favourite thing about this time of year is Halloween itself. My first real experience of how fun it can be was when I went to University at Magee and stayed up there for their celebrations. If you have never been in ‘Derry at Halloween I am telling you, you must make this happen. There was not one person in ordinary clothes, everyone had a costume. The girls from my halls and I after much debate, decided to go as the female version of the Village People. This was a resounding success, or rather it would have been had one of them not gone rogue and decided to be a firefighter at the last minute. There’s always one…

The ultimate for me was when my friends and I went as a gang of zombies. One of the guys was a master at making costumes, he did drag at the weekends and his levels of creativity never ceased to amaze me so when he offered to make my costume I almost ripped his arm off. Not literally but you know what I mean. I remember thinking I needed a bag and being completely perplexed about what would go with the spirit of the costume. I had just moved back home at the time so when my Mum walked into the garage and saw me sawing through the neck of a Girls World styling head she was concerned to say the least, but when she saw that I was using it as a bag I think she was quietly (very quietly) impressed.

There is a lot to be said for this time of year and as the years go by I am finding more and more to love about it. The memories I have from previous years are definitely at the top of my list and I look forward to creating even more in future. I think it is safe to say I will never be a sun worshipper, but who knows. Maybe one day I’ll be blogging from my sun-bed in Benidorm, I highly doubt it though – unless they have Pumpkin Spice Lattes, then you could maybe twist my arm…

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