November can be a little grey and dismal, with overcast skies and darkness falling a little earlier each day but there are plenty of things to enjoy in November whether you’re out with friends or savouring a little solitude.
Here are five ways to enjoy this month.
CELEBRATE BONFIRE NIGHT
the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why
Should ever be forgot!”
Celebrate the fact that Guy Fawkes and his associates didn’t blow up Parliament and James I with a bonfire and fireworks.
Whether you go to a large public event, build a community bonfire or stand around a fire pit in your garden watching everybody else’s fireworks, it’s good fun to wrap up warm and go out with friends and family into the dark night.
Eat potatoes wrapped in foil and baked on the fire, sausages and toasted marshmallows. Make a batch of Slamseys Sloe Gin Winter Warmer to drink as you watch the flames or use the same recipe omitting the gin to make a winter warming non-alcoholic drink.
KNIT A BLANKET
Get out your knitting needles and make a blanket. Be thrifty and use your odds and ends of yarn or choose new yarn in beautiful colour combinations. The blanket will keep your knees warm as you knit and once it’s finished, you can wrap it around you on cold days and drink hot chocolate.
Follow the instructions for making this simple Fringed Blanket at Life in Mud Spattered Boots.
PLANT A TREE
The best time to plant a tree is between October and April, so why not make a start in November. Planting native British trees enhances the landscape, provides wildlife habitats and offsets carbon emissions.
If you don’t have room in your own garden, there are schemes across the country where you can get your hands dirty and plant trees for the benefit of the local community or you can make a donation to have a tree to be planted for you (or someone else) in places like The National Forest.
ORDER THE CHRISTMAS TURKEY
November is the time to order your Christmas turkey if you plan to buy from a local farmer. The turkeys will have been growing since early summer and the farmer will need to make sure they get the turkeys to the right weights for their customers, so the earlier you order, the more likely you are to get the size you want.
Make the most of the calm before the madness of festive preparations next month. Take time to enjoy simple pleasures like visiting the library and spending the evening curled up with a stack of books.
Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, parsnips and Brussels sprouts are in season; chrysanthemums bring a welcome splash of colour; the quince are ready to pick and in the fields the leaves have fallen from the blackthorn hedges making it easier to pick the dusky skinned sloes. Work up an appetite and appreciate the seasonal change with a good walk in the fresh air and return home to a hearty meal of November food that’s been slowly cooking while you’ve been outside.