For the past year I’ve been taking a photo from the same place once a month, and posting those photos in my ‘Why I Love Months’ posts. I realise now that I didn’t chose the best place, it was tricky to get to in winter, it wasn’t the most exciting view, it only worked if the light was at the right angle, and I should have at least had some reliable way of making sure the photo was actually the same each month, because I ended up with a lot of variation in terms of direction, zoom, and how far up the hill I could be bothered to climb. Nevertheless, I thought it was worth having all 12 photos put together, to (vaguely) show how it changed throughout the year, October-September.
I love September. I love the way the sun seems to glow slightly more at this time, when it’s lower in the sky; just the right angle to catch your eyes and hair. I love the colours of the leaves as they gradually change to red and yellow, but still have the vivid freshness before they fall. I love the acorns and conkers which start to litter the pavements. And I love the thrill of arriving home as it’s just turning dark, and that first icy taste in the air, with all the promise of autumn and winter to come, but knowing we still have a few sunny days/weeks left.
Although January is the first month of the year, for me September is much more about new starts. No one likes the holidays to end, but I’ve always had an underlying feeling of excitement when it comes to going back to school, the new stationary, fresh uniform, all the new classes, and not knowing what the new year is going to be like; anything could happen.
This September has brought the biggest new start of my life so far. I wasn’t so excited about this one, and, although it has been a lot better so far than I imagined, it has been quite hard. However, if there’s any month to be arriving at a new place in, September is probably the best one.
I have now spent a year paying attention to all the months that pass by, focusing on all the things I love about them all. And I do love them all, and I love the seasons and the fact that there are such changes and patterns in the year. There is always reason to be happy about what’s going on in nature and in human life. But now I am back at the beginning, and this September has confirmed for me what I suspected last October, Autumn is my favourite.
My song for September is one of my favourite songs, I think it is beautiful and emotional and sums up September, the link between summer and autumn, endings and beginnings. It is Fireflies by Ron Pope
It seems strange to me to start with a picture from home when writing about August, because for me, August has always meant one thing. Scotland. When my Mum’s parents were recently married, they first found a beach on the North-West coast of Scotland for their Summer Holiday, and they kept going back. My Mum and her brothers went every year as children. And I have been there with at least some members of my family every year for my whole life. We usually spend 2-4 weeks there, and often stay a few nights somewhere else in Scotland on the way up. You don’t have to know me for long to know how much I love my Summer Holidays in Scotland, and, as well as it just being a family tradition, there are various reasons why. First off it is such a stunningly beautiful part of the world: soft, golden sand; fascinatingly shaped mountains; sparkling seas and lochs; cute white houses…even in bad weather (which is a lot of the time, but not as much as you may expect) there is always something to see. Then there are the people. As well as my cousins – on the years that they are there the same time as us – we have lots of friends who go up every year, children of the people my mum made friends with there as a child. These are people I’ve known most my life, who I rarely see anywhere else, and a lot of them I wouldn’t get on with in school, but there it doesn’t matter how different we all are. And everyone there is friendly, so most years I meet some new people, who often come back again. And thirdly there is actually quite a lot to do there. Swimming or boating, walking, mountain climbing, lots of cafes, ceilidhs, playing cards, reading, watching films, bonfires, a fair bit of drinking and chatting to friends in the evening. There are places you can drive to and things to do, but I like it best when I am just on my own relaxing. When my family go out for the day and I have the caravan to myself and can listen to my music, read, do sudokus, play patience, just chill. I love laying in bed and hearing the waves lull me to sleep. And I love the times, especially early in the morning, when I can walk on the beaches, no one else is around, I collect shells, feel the sand between my toes, paddle in the sea, and I just think. I feel like being there always just cleanses and resets me, leaving me completely at peace.
But, unfortunately, I don’t get to spend the whole of August in Scotland. In fact this year felt very strange; we didn’t go camping on the way up, just had a night in my sister’s flat in Edinburgh, and I left after only a week and a half to come home for results, so I suddenly found I had over half of August left at home. But that’s something else which I try to love about August. Results day. Except for year 9 when I’d just sat one GCSE and got an A* in it, every year there is bound to be some disappointment when it comes to getting results. But there’s also such a feeling of relief and achievement, and happiness when you see other people have done well. And it’s just a great excuse to celebrate.
The weather in August isn’t always quite what we’d want, but I love going for walks near my house when it is sunny in August, and butterflies flutter by, and dandelion seeds are floating along on the gentle breeze, and all the colours seem so bright and vivid.
My song for August is Going Home by Runrig, because it just sums up how I feel when we’re traveling up to Scotland for the Summer Holiday.
July is a strange month, I find. Some bits of my Julys have been spent in school or college, some it’s the Summer Holiday, we can have beautiful weather in July – I love it when the sun comes out, my freckles multiply by a thousandfold, even if I get annoyed my my hair lightening from ginger to blonde – but it can just rain the whole time.
So it’s a confusing month, I feel like there’s nothing consistent or annual about it. But I love it non the less.
If I had to say one thing which July puts me in mind of it would be spending time with friends. The last days of school where we just had fun, picnics and playing rounders, seeing friends on holiday.
I think in July you just take whatever you get. Whether you’re at school, working, going on holiday, whatever happens that year just enjoy it, make it fun.
This July I recovered from exams, saw friends, and went on tour with my orchestra, which was all great fun.
My song for July is Living in the Moment by Jason Mraz, because it’s such a happy, Summery song, and I listened to the album it’s on constantly one July.
When I was young, free, and innocent, June was a time at school where you could relax off a bit. But for the past four (actually five, I did my first GCSE in year nine) years, June has simply meant two things. Doing exams, and finishing exams. I won’t dwell too much on the ‘doing’ of them, but finishing exams for a year is a truly amazing feeling. Especially this year, I know I’ve said it before, but nothing could have prepared me for how free and relieved I have felt from the moment I put down my pen at the end of my second General Studies exam.
For the rest of the population (in the Northern Hemisphere) June brings with it the start of Summer. Supposedly. In Britain we just have to cross our fingers then wait and see. I don’t mind ‘bad’ weather too much, but in the second half of June we have had a few truly glorious days, and I love stepping outside in shorts and sunglasses and feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, even if I have got slightly sunburned. Oops again.
In the village where I have lived my entire life, there is a weekend of celebration at the end of June, culminating in a procession on the Monday afternoon with brass band, followed by street events music all evening and ending with fireworks. As a child I just loved the day off school, walking with my friends, and getting to stay up later than usual. The older I get, the less there is for me to do often; the past few years I’ve missed the walk and haven’t taken part in much, but it means more and more to me. There’s an air of excitement all through the village, and a heightened sense of community, just like when we gather outside the pub on Christmas eve for carols. I see people who I knew when I was younger, or only see a couple of times a year, and just sitting on the wall outside my house singing hymns brings back beautiful, bittersweet memories of times spent with my best friend.
My song for June is Good Day by Ron Pope. I’ve mentioned it before, but it is one of my all time favourite, most uplifting songs. Last June I listened to it almost every morning before college and it’s just the thing to get you in the mood for facing the day and being happy.
May brings with it many opportunities for gardening. I love planting flowers, watching them grow and seeing the garden change everyday. Our garden is one of my Mum’s greatest prides, and I have always enjoyed helping her out, although in recent years I’ve not been able to do that as much, as I’ve had to focus on exams.
That brings me on to another big thing about May, exams. Now even I can’t say I love exams, they are tough. But it is good to get on Study Leave and have a bit of space. Also, by the beginning of May I kind of just want to get the exams started, rather than the frustrating revising-but-not-wanting-to-run-out-of-work-too-soon.
Around this time of year I always have an urge to go out doing exercise and get fit. Needless to say, I always manage to overcome this urge when TV and cake are on offer, but it is nice to go outside a bit without several layers of coat.
May also contains what is probably the second most expensive day of the year for me; the Birthdays of my Mum and two best friends, all on the same day. This year especially was a big one, with my friends turning 18, but it’s always worth the money when I see them enjoying the presents I’ve spent so long planning (and wishing I could keep for myself).
I apparently have many songs for May, and have struggled to narrow it down, but in the end it had to be Maymorning by Runrig. It’s a great song and reminds me of May for obvious reasons, and this video was especially fitting as the photos are from where my Mum, with her May Birthday and gardening times, grew up.
The stereo-type of April is April Showers, all drizzly and damp. But it seems to me that April often has quite nice weather really. Not consistently, but we usually get the first properly warm week or so of the year. And even when it does rain, it’s warmer and I don’t mind it too much (although I did more when i had to walk top and from school every day).
For me, April is a big month, with it being my Birthday. For a couple of years it was even more so when mine and my then-boyfriend’s Birthdays and our anniversary were all in April, this year my focus was back on mine (but I did still enjoy his party). I always enjoy my Birthday (who doesn’t?), due to weekends and Easter holidays I’ve only ever had a few of my Birthdays on a school day, so I generally open presents in the morning, see family or friends, get to choose what I want for tea, I usually have a party some time around my Birthday, all very nice. But this year was a very big one, my 18th, and my parents went all out. My Nana came to stay, one of my sisters came home, on the day before my Birthday we all (my boyfriend too) went on a surprise (for me) trip to Manchester where my other sister, who’d told me she couldn’t come home, met us (that was one surprise which I did guess slightly before), we had a meal in a fancy restaurant, then went to see Jesus Christ Superstar. On my Birthday itself two of my cousins and various family friends came round. And then the following weekend it was my party, I had a ceilidh with loads of my friends which was great fun, although I drank slightly too much. The only slight downside is, as my sister pointed out, this was probably the biggest Birthday I’ll ever have in terms of parties and the very generous presents I got, so all my future Aprils may not be quite so full of celebration.
Of course Easter usually happens in April, which I always enjoy, and the holidays are a welcome, chocolate-filled break.
My song for April is my favourite Easter song from when I was at Primary School, Now The Green Blade Rises.