Sunday, 17 November 2013

Autumn Sundays



For me, the perfect autumn Sunday basically involves three key elements: The Archers Omnibus, preferably while I'm pottering (undisturbed) in the kitchen, a walk somewhere (ideally the beach, but I'll take the woods as a close second) and a roast dinner. If I get at least one of those things, I'm pretty happy.

There are other optional extras that are by no means necessary but still good. I like a lazy start to the day. No school, no rush. Those weekend mornings are so precious. A nice breakfast, something we wouldn't have time for on a weekday. Some crafting or sewing is always welcome. Some relaxed playing or DVD watching, when everyone is doing something different but all we're moving around in the same space, chattering away to each other all the while. Cooking, lots of cooking. And eating too. Our weekends do seem to revolve around food an awful lot. In fact one of my favourite things to do on a Friday is plan what we'll cook over the weekend. Then a slow Sunday night; some tv, a bit of blog reading, general tidying and sorting and readying ourselves for the week ahead.

Well today I didn't get to listen to the Archers, but I did get the rest. A slow start, a morning walk in the woods. The first mince pie of the season. A little sewing and then roast chicken and a glass of wine. There was also homework, reading books, spellings, endless amounts of washing up, vaccuming and refereeing sibling squabbles but that's ok, that's life. Tell me, what would be your perfect Sunday?

Also - I have another question for you: when do you put up your Christmas decorations? I've noticed this weekend on Instagram that a lot of folks in Canada and the US are putting Christmas trees up already! That seems very early to me. Is it to do with Thanksgiving? We get out the advent calendar and a few bits and bobs on the first of December, but it's all very low key. The tree and the main part of the festive decorating doesn't happen in our house until at least mid-December. I'm curious, how do you do it in your home?


58 comments:

Just pootling said...

Hi Gillian
It all sounds just perfect, the picture of the roast is making me hungry !
V good question about the Christmas decs, I normally go for mid December but I have to admit to wondering whether I should go a bit earlier this year, mostly because I LOVE the build up so much and all the looking forward to excitement - so the jurys out at the moment but I've got a feeling as I'm the only person on the jury I might win !
Kate x

Claire/Just a little less said...

Yes to many of your ideas of a perfect Sunday. I happily listened to the Archers omnibus this morning and we cooked a chicken, like you, with parsnips, red cabbage and homemade gravy - as good as Christmas dinner. Oh, and listened to Jazz FM as well whilst cooking. Sadly, there were lots of boring domestic tasks to do and we didn't fit a walk in this weekend as we had to drive up to Sheffield to deposit our eldest back at uni. But once home there were Strictly results, blog reading and wine to indulge in. Interestingly in the Archers loved-up Tom and Kirsty were buying Christmas decs - too early for me, but I have been contemplating what to put on the tree this year and our son did go back to uni with a chocolate filled advent calendar. I think Christmas will be upon us before we know it xo

Penny said...

Hi Gillian
We only put our tree up about mid December and keep things gentle and low key too. I sewed 24 little pockets last year to put a joke and sweetie or tiny gift in (something as simple as a button or badge) as our advent slender. I will probably start preparing that this week if I have a chance.
Our Sundays involve church and worship in the mornings followed by a mid afternoon cooked lunch and homework/domestic bits and then a walk down the seafront before watching a little telly, followed by reading then bed. I love the Archers and love the iplayer omnibus if I haven't heard them in the week. Looks like you have had a gorgeous family day, enjoy your week xox Penny

CJ said...

Wonderful. My ideal Sunday would be very similar, it sounds utterly blissful. The top photo is adorable. I'm a bit sad that the weekend has flown by already. At least it's a short week this week though, with an INSET day on Friday. Or as the littlest calls it, Insect Day. I don't put Christmas decorations up until December, although I've noticed it's getting earlier. The first weekend of December seems too early. I may weaken by the second weekend, but I'll try and hold out for another week if I can. A couple of years ago I lasted until the winter solstice - not sure how I managed that!

Leanne said...

Hey Gillian.
We had a slow Sunday here too. Marc was working all day and Sam is overloaded with A Level work, so Alfie, Olly and I pottered. The trains were out in the living room and the crafty box was on the table. I read some of my book group read, and generally floated about the house. A quick dash to Tesco and a coffee at my sister in law's followed by tea, homework, bath and bed for little ones. This evening I have ironed, baked and blog hopped with a glass of wine.
As for Xmas decs - I know someone here in St Ives who has been trimmed up for a week!!!! I personally think that it's ridiculous. Apart fromt he Advent Calendars and some fairy lights and candles, I don't buy the tree or trim up until the after the children have broken up from school. When I was little my Mum would have the tree and decs up for when we got home from school on the last day of term, so I sort of carry on that tradition. To be honest, I enjoy taking them down almost as much as putting them up!!

Oh and I did smile at that little boy peeking over the sofa.

Leanne xx

Emma Elliott said...

HiThere,
A lovely post today, sounds like a pretty nice sunday you had. Mine was slow to start and alittle visit to the first christmas fayre of the season. I put up our christmas tree etc normally the 1st December as the kids want it up already so normally the first is as long as they will wait.
I could do with a nice glass of wine now after starting on a essay for uni.
Nightie night
Emma :)

Tigerlilykiss said...

Hi Gillian, Since my daughter was born on 21 December 2000 my approach to Christmas decorating has changed. Initially I would wait until after her birthday and then frantically decorate. As she has got older, she too loves Christmas and we have one reception room decorated for Christmas and the other reception room is a shrine to her birthday.
The start of Advent is marked with calendars and an advent candle which is especially popular. Some stealth decorating takes place from then on with the introduction of my most favourite decorations. The tree is usually bought quite early in December (and stored outside in the garden shed to stop the local cat population marking it!) It seems to become harder each year to buy a decent sized real tree if left later than two weeks into December. I don't have a decorating theme, I just buy decorations I love. Unpacking these treasures is part of the pleasure, remembering who I was with and where we were when they were bought. I no longer buy chocolates for the tree because on twelth night my tree is littered with abandoned wrappers!
As for my perfect Sunday - late rise, lazy cooked breakfast whilst perusing the papers, a bracing walk under big skies, a roast lunch and then a bit of pottering, reading or tv catch up. The reality - I usually only manage the roast lunch......domestic drudgery usually reigns supreme!
I look forward to seeing your Christmas preparations and decorations unveiled over the coming weeks. With best wishes Andrea.

Amy at love made my home said...

Sounds like a perfect Sunday to me! You will have to catch up with the Archers on line in the week! We don't have a set weekend plan, but like you, the weekend does often seem to involve food a lot. Funny how that goes isn't it. We usually put our tree up two weekends before Christmas, but it depends when Christmas falls really. We always start with Advent Calenders though on December 1st - any excuse for chocolate for breakfast!! xx

Cheryl mylittlepieceofengland said...

I have no self control and we put up the tree and start decorating usually the first week of December as I'm buzzing by then. Lovely Sunday, we often have a lovely roast chicken too, I just love the 'familiness' of it all :) xx

sustainablemum said...

Our Sunday is much like any other day in terms of what time we get up and eat etc the only difference is the company of daddy.

Christmas decorations go up as late as I can dare to leave it, usually the week before Christmas, if we are away for Christmas I have been known not to put them up at all!

Good to read there are lots of Archers fans about :)

Marion Ogden said...

Hi Gillian! My perfect Sunday would be going to church in the morning then cake and coffee, a nice lunch at home followed by newspaper reading or crafting in the afternoon and Strictly on the telly in the evening. In reality our Sundays are far busier with lots of cooking, food shopping, washing up&ironing and trying to keep two little girls busy and entertained throughout the whole day-- definitely not as easy and relaxing as
yours.
We buy our tree and put up Christmas decorations around mid December. Before that I think is too early.
Have a great week!

Jennifer said...

It all looks lovely. We've had a quiet Sunday too; I did some canning this morning, we've lazed around, drunk hot chocolate, read, listened to music. I also did some bed-linen changing and other cleaning, but made time for crochet too. We're having homemade smoked salmon for dinner. We put up our Christmas decorations over Thanksgiving weekend, at the end of November.

Tammy Chrzan said...

Your Sunday looks perfect... those little toes... that beautiful scenery... the delicious meal and happy family...
I love seeing your photos and reading your blog, it just makes me happy!
I hope you have a great week,
Tammy

D said...

I'm in the US (Texas) and recently I feel the stores are pushing us from Halloween almost straight into Christmas. We need Thanksgiving. We need to slow down and be thankful. It's also the time when many put up their tree. We used to do it then but it was dry by Christmas so we now wait a week or two. Best Sunday, son needed dad's help so I got to stay home and straighten my sewing room. Then some sewing and crochet. Perfect weekend is not leaving the house at all since I work outside of the home. Love your blog

Megan said...

I'm in the US, we always set all of our Xmas decorations up on the day after Thanksgiving! I love soaking up every possible moment of Christmas :)

Jacqui Galloway said...

What a lovely Sunday. Listening to the Archers froms part of my perfect Sunday too ! As to the Christmas Decorations.... we usually put them up around the second week in December al though last year we put them up in November for the visit of a friend. That was fun too. xx

Amanda Graham said...

Sounds an absolutely perfect day- the photos are lovely. All a bit different from my Sundays here in Borneo, where Dim Sum may be our breakfast, followed by a walk along the beach or maybe time by the pool- Very occasionally we all head to one of the 5 star hotels that serve a Sunday Lunch- not quite the same as at home- but it it is worth it. As for Christmas- Again things are very different over here- as it obviously isn't celebrated as much as it is at home.- but when i did decorate and get ready for Christmas- Advent Calendars would be out on the first and then nothing until our school's Carol service- which was usually about the 10-14 December-The weekend before the schools broke up for the holidays- That would be the weekend that I would then put up my decorations and start thinking about Christmas.

Chrissie said...

Lovely post Gillian, my Sunday was very much like yours, including the roast, the fun...and the laundry! My birthday is 1 December so no one is even allowed to THINK about Christmas until my birthday is over! ;-) Our advent calendars typically start on the 2nd...but then we go all out with decorating, saving the tree for about 10 days or a week before. Chrissie x

just Gai said...

My perfect Sunday would include Quaker meeting for worship, a hearty meal (though not necessarily a roast) and a leisure activity such as a walk through the woods or around the harbourside, or the cinema.

As for Christmas decorations. If it were down to me I'd hold out until Christmas Eve and then keep them up until Epiphany. However my girls like them up earlier so we usually reach a compromise of mid December. I try to keep celebrations within their season to make them more special, which goes against the current trend, driven by the supermarkets, to extend them as far as they can get away with.

Anonymous said...

Sounds marvelous Gillian. We managed the walk and a bit of pottering, but my husband was on nights, so the Sunday Roast will be on Tuesday this week :) We normally put our decorations up 2 weeks before Christmas, but this year we're hosting a Christmas Party for our friends, so they're going up early. I did chuckle at the row of cars, I took at similar photo this weekend, but it was planes in our house. Sarah xo

Linda @ Notes from the arena said...

love your updates Gillian!
My perfect Sunday is breakfast in bed, a bit of reading, a bit of fresh air and a late lunch, over our favourite TV show, and then some relaxed blogging and chilling out. Love Sundays :)

Anonymous said...

According to my sister in law who lives in Georigia, Christmas decs go up in her neighbourhood after Halloween, but they take them all down on Boxing Day, that's it's, Christmas over. Most bizarre!

That's my idea of a perfect Sunday, pootling about, a little walk, nice roast... less so with the Archers ;)

Jacqueline said...

I love a Sunday when I wake up to "no plans!" That way the day seems to last longer and I get to do all the things I want to do. Yesterday, we had a lazy breakfast and I did my knitting while husband played with his boat in the garage. Then as it got dark, we had dinner and sat back and relaxed for the whole evening. Perfect really!
My daughter in law decorates their tree on the 1st of December but I'm a little later, we have a real tree so we probably bring it in and decorate about 7-10 days before christmas eve.

Sopa Azul said...

Lovely!!! xx :D

love those cupcakes said...

Oh, I haven't listened to the Archers (my gran's favourite) in ages. Decorations don't go up here until the week before Christmas at the earliest. (When I was growing up, our tree didn't appear until Christmas Eve and I'd still do that if there weren't mutterings about living in the House of Scrooge!) And I can't eat a mince pie before the Advent calendar appears.

Helene said...

I like to make plans on a Sunday and get out of the house! Saturday is the day that we take the kids here and there, tennis, football, birthday parties etc, and because I am a stay at home mum and tend to stick to the neighbourhood during the week, I really want to go and do something different on a Sunday! My perfect Sunday would be a nice breakfast (my favourite meal), something we don't usually have during the week, then visit friends in the country or a London market or a National Trust property, have lunch out then come home and have a quiet afternoon.. movie and popcorn always good!
Your Sunday just sounds perfect though and your photos are gorgeous.
As for Christmas decorations, the school has a tree sale early December so that's when we'll start getting all the Christmas stuff out. I can't wait!

Attic24 said...

We tend to do Christmas decs gradually, starting at the very end of November when I bring down the Advent Box from the Attic. This has my advent garland in, plus the christmas chocolate tin, plus some little bits n bobs for the table and mantel, just to get us in the spirit. We do festive making/crafting through late november/early december, but the main chunk of the decs ie the tree and the mantels doesn't happen till about one week before xmas. I think two weeks of a tree and cramped furniture is enough.

Loved sharing your Sunday, different to mine in some ways, but many similarites.
x

grace said...

What a perfect Sunday! I am always late with the advent bits and sim to have the tree up for about the last two weeks of school, any more and it would be a sorry state by the actual day! People do seem to be putting them up early though xx

Kate-Em said...

Your Sunday sounds lovely. I like a lie in, a walk with the dog, an afternoon of knitting, reading, film watching and some nice food. Sunday felt wrong yesterday with no Downton Abbey! I don't do Christmas decorations until mid December, I like them, but not for too long!

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

Your Sunday sounds lovely. My perfect one involves staying a pyjamas as long as possible, lounging as much as possible and if I'm lucky, having cups of coffee brought to me at intervals. It happens, sometimes!

As for Christmas, it does indeed seem like those over the Atlantic wait for Thanksgiving and then up the decorations go. (In my, extremely limited, experience!) I'm very much in the 'early up, early down' camp myself. They go up about a week or so into December and I want them down again pretty soon after, personally I like them gone by the New Year. I want to start the New year with a fresh, clean house and I'm fed up with having decorations hanging around by then!

S x

Jo said...

I am a Primary School teacher (or rather was until July!) so decorations don't go up in our house until school holidays start. I really couldn't manage the chaos of Christmas fever both at work and at home. So I think I will stick to that little tradition I have made for myself. If you put them up too soon the children mither me too much!!
Your Perfect Sunday looks like mine, except for the Archers but good food and outdoor stuff are usually on our menu too. Jo x

Debdor said...

I love this time of year, the beautiful leaves, the smell of bonfires in the air, stodgy food and crisp mornings!

Anonymous said...

Hello, Here in Southern California we put them up on Thanksgiving weekend. We have an artificial tree so that goes up too. My family is from Mexico so we celebrate Three Kings day too, so the decorations all stay up until January 7th!! When my brother was married to a Jewish girl we would also celebrate Hannukkah, but they are divorced now so we don't. We also have 4 birthdays and 1 anniversary. We stay very busy this time of year.

pippa moore said...

my decorations will all be up on the first of december but i didnt put them up so early when i had small children as i think that would of whipped them up into a hyped up frenzyx nowadays with them all flown the nest its just myself and hubby and the dogs and the kitten so i like them to go up early to remind me of those days and love all the fairly lights in the dull afternoon daysxx

pippa moore said...

by the way have been following your blogg for a while now and love to read itxx

Susan Smith said...

Now hubby is retired and doesn't have to work Sundays, we may be able to have a lazy day!!!! We'll see. Your Sundays sound wonderful, especially being able to walk in the dales or on the moors. Envious.
As for Xmas, we usually put up the tree about a week to 10 days beforehand. Quite often we've not really had the space to have a tree up for too long. Take care and have a great week.

Julie said...

Our decorations only go up the week before Christmas unless you count the Cadburys advent calendar - has to be Cadbury. I don't think I have a perfect Sunday as it depends on my mood. What it definitely wouldn't have is wrestling with iTunes/ipod problems for my daughter like it did yesterday when what I really wanted to do was sewing! x

Barbara said...

Like Pippa, as I have no little ones now, the tree goes up in early December. I love dressing it as we have a tradition of buying a decoration from every holiday -eg. a velvet jewelled tree from Assisi and nativity carved in a dried fig from Budapest; we have baubles from when I was a child and still have school made decorations, notably the fairy with a wonky halo my son made in Nursery, known as the 'drunken fairy', so the whole process evokes lots of lovely memories. I take everything down on 2nd January, as by then, I just want everything put away!

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Sounds like the perfect weekend to me! I pop our Dickens scene up on Dec 1st, mum made it for me so it's extra special. The earliest I've put the tree up is the 9th Dec, mr Beas birthday, if we are having a get together in the house then I like it to look festive! Mainly it goes up about 2 weeks before Christmas but as we have I real one I don't like it to dry out. I don't go over board, love Christmas but not too early! :) x

Louise said...

Your photos are lovely, as always, and this sounds like a pretty good Sunday to me :)
I'm a bit of a misery christmas decorations wise - I won't tolerate anything before December, I think we are generally mid December starters, and it must all come down on new years eve for me, as Christmas is not in January so I won't start the new year with last year's left over christmas!

forgetmenots blue said...

Perfect weekend! Everything sounds so lovely and your roast dinner looks yummy scrummy! xx

the linen cloud said...

A lovely autumn weekend ... all the elements that I love too ... quiet, slow days that just seem to flow ... our Christmas begins with the arrival of 'Mrs Christmas' our advent calendar on 1st December but the tree and decorations go up about mid December ... I think it would seem all spun out too early otherwise ... Bee xx

Ladybird Diaries said...

This looks and sounds like a pretty perfect Sunday to me! I love doing a roast chicken on a Sunday if we are all around. I love the top photos with all the cars liked up, very cute! I enjoy Christmas and the preparations leading up to it but we never decorate the house or put the tree up until around the 14th or 15th of December, I just don't like to do it too early. We do have the advent calendar from the 1st though and I start using the Christmassy mugs and plates etc pretty early on in December. We always take everything down again on the 31st when I also like to give the house a good clean...I like to start the new year all fresh and tidy!
Another lovely post, and thank you for sharing your homemade scrub recipe below...such a lovely gift idea.
Marianne xx

Sol said...

We will decorate on the 1st December this year. We will have Elf on the DVD at the same time.

beautiful pictures as always. my fave? the one with the foot in it

Linda Gilbert said...

Thank you so much for popping over to Chalky's and leaving such a lovely comment about Charlie the evacuee. Your post sounds perfect to me and I am definitely loving Christmas best when the decorations start at about the 12th and I,am then itching to have a good shake down on about the 2nd of January.

mags said...

Wow, what a lot of posts! You really should start to get some adds on your blog. I put mt tree up 2weeks before, any earlier seems premature I don't know why. The fabric looks lovely, what will it be?

Lisa said...

What a happy face! Love all the photos, day to day family life is the best.
We tend to put our Christmas tree up the first weekend in December, this year I expect it'll be around about 7th or 8th December.
Lisa x

Anonymous said...

lovely post, your Sunday sounds just right. We don't put our tree up till Christmas eve. This is what we always did in our house when I was growing up. It seems more special somehow to have it up for a short time and not to get all dusty. This was certainly also due to the fact that we used to have a real tree in the past that would not last that long. I think it you have small children it is impossible to avoid the nagging and putting it up earlier

S said...

Slow, sensual Sundays! As in nice things to taste (yes to the roast - crumble's good too), see (reading, 'comfort viewing' on TV, country views), touch (blankets, knitting), smell (mulled wine at the moment or damp leaves) and hear (peace and quiet).
As for the Christmas decs... I spotted a window on Sunday crammed full of Santa dolls and reindeer. They were obviously too excited to wait! I usually try and hold off until maybe mid December but don't always succeed. The run-up to Christmas is such a nice time of year x

Julie said...

Our Sundays are busy with church in the morning. My husband gets back from church late afternoon as he is the Bishop and then we usually have our married kids over for dinner. Our Christmas tree went up Nov 10th (so I guess I'm one of those Canadians you mentioned!) I did a blog post about our family tree trimming party. We are definitely a Christmas family and just like to enjoy it while we can!

Andrea said...

I'm thinking of the start of January, so we get the full advent experience. Although, I'm wondering how to manage a 20month olds forays into demolishing the christmas decorations....:?

Jo said...

I love lazy Sundays. I worked every Sunday for fourteen years so now that I don't, we tend to spend family time together. I don't cook a roast on a Sunday, we have our Sunday roast on a Monday. Our Christmas decorations usually go up two or three weeks before the big day.

Deborah Hamilton said...

Your pictures are beautiful. I really like the glass door with the lights. We put up Christmas decorations beginning on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I confess that I am working on some Christmas knitting that I usually don't think about until after Thanksgiving. It's a Nativity that takes a lot of time, otherwise I wouldn't do it.

Mereknits said...

Your day sounds perfect, that is the perfect kind of day for me too, well minus the cooking I leave that up to my husband. No Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving for me.
Hugs,
Meredith

katysclutter said...

Great Sunday,

I'm a two weeks before christmas girl, normally thats because we have a real tree. I was alway taught 12 days before ( to go up) and 12 days after (to come down!) can't wait though!

One O said...

Hi! just discovered your blog! when I saw "tales from a happy house" i knew i had to click!! it's such a lovely name!!
Anyway, we're from Italy and we usually put xmas tree up on 8 December. It' s a national holiday so we have enough time to stay with our family
xo Chiara & Irene

katie said...

We've got a birthday on 3 Dec so we wait to decorate after that. Oh, love a simple Sunday too, I am looking forward to lots of them once the house is finished. I'm hoping 2014 will signify the end of the year of the works. x

Julia said...

Your Sunday looks just perfect in every way! We usually put out our christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving, but since Thanksgiving falls late this year we will probably decorate this weekend. Charlotte is really excited for Christmas this year!!