4 minute read

Fall in Love with Rainy Days

In this article, Abigail Shepherd shares her tips for enjoying rainy autumn days.

I’m writing this having just come in from the garden on a crisp, sunny day. Wrapped in a blanket, I’ve had hot chocolate and spiced carrot cake with a friend and it was, as she commented, the epitome of autumnal hygge.

This is generally the sort of scene that comes to mind when many of us think of autumn. We think of pale sunshine, crunchy leaves in varying degrees of orange or gold and real fires to keep the chill out. But it must be admitted that this is not the only type of autumn day.

The day before this one was wet. And not just a bit wet—it poured all day. This is not the type of weather that’s pleasant to enjoy with the help of a blanket. Instead of crunchy leaves we get slimy ones, usually with the odd slug and snail added to make it rather risky to kick them about. And these types of days are often quite warm too, meaning that the comforting real fire is unnecessary. So how can we enjoy this type of autumn day?

“Coffee with coffee and walnut cake or hot buttered toast and tea are perfect rainy day treats”

1. Warm lighting

It might be too warm for a fire on many wet autumnal days, but we can still evoke a similar atmosphere by lighting some candles and turning on table lamps. Wet days are usually also dark, so instead of trying to dispel that with harsh overhead lighting, this softer approach makes your home feel cosy and inviting on an otherwise driech afternoon.

2. A cosy corner

Carve out some time in the day to make yourself what can only really be described as a den or a nest. This is especially helpful if, like many of us at the moment, you’re working from home. If that’s the case, there’s no need to work at a sterile desk or uncomfortably hunched at the kitchen table. Get yourself a blanket, pile up those cushions, make yourself a whole pot of tea so you can keep topping your cup up, and put on some background music.

3. A good rainy day activity

Of course, sometimes these very wet days happen at weekends and we simply don’t know what to do with ourselves and/or the kids. This often results in spending the whole day in front of a variety of screens, which isn’t actually that restful and certainly doesn’t make pleasant memories. Some ideas for better rainy day activities include baking something together, getting everyone to buy and read a book of their choice, a craft project, board games or, if you must have screens, a family movie marathon.

4. Comfort food

Just as hot chocolate and spiced carrot cake is a perfect snack for a sunny autumn day, there are perfect versions for wet ones too. A mug of soup with crusty bread, coffee with coffee and walnut cake or hot buttered toast and tea. Or even, if it’s a bit later in the day, whisky and chocolate.

5. Embrace the rain

Just because it’s not pleasant to go out doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the rain. Sometimes all it takes is a change of attitude on our part. When we think about it, the sound of falling rain is actually very soothing. We can savour the feeling of being cosy and dry while it cascades down outside. We could watch the raindrops running down the windows and even mentally race them against each other if we want to recapture some childhood memories. Or, for the really brave, just go out and splash in the puddles. It’s only water!

6. Take a long bath

This is mostly for rainy days when we’ve had to go out. Sometimes we can’t just stay curled up at home in a huge jumper when the weather’s bad. We might have had to go to work, run errands, collect the kids or walk the dog. Maybe we’ve even deliberately been out for a splash, as (tentatively) suggested in the previous paragraph. If that’s the case, we are probably feeling a bit damp, chilled and uncomfortable. But the beauty of this is that it’s so nice when you get comfy again! Take a long hot bath or shower, put some fleecy pjs on and go pour yourself a beverage of your choice.

So, there’s my 6 tips for enjoying a damp autumn as well as a crisp one. So far, autumn 2020 has been a mixture of both, and I definitely encourage getting out and about if we can and enjoying those crunchy leaves and beautiful colours as much as possible. But do remember that a wet autumn day doesn’t have to be a wash out.