On fresh starts

September has always heralded the start of things: the new season, the school year, harvest. Despite the mixed feelings, this month feels more like the beginning of a new year, more so than January.

On the Camino de Santiago, September 2016

So it finally happened and I missed my newsletter deadline. These last couple of weeks have been surprisingly busy and my days have been full to the brim - don’t get me wrong, it’s been great having work (and money!) again but I keep thinking to myself “how the hell did I do this five days a week plus commute three hours a day for how many years?!”

In my slight defense, I did leave myself time yesterday evening to work on this issue… but I completely and utterly forgot and spent my whole evening on Call of Duty instead. My bad guys.

Despicable Me Reaction GIF

I also can’t share what I originally intended to write since it’s not quite ready yet but excited to share it with you next time.

This week then is just a quick word on the time of year since that’s the biggest thing that’s happening in my calendar. The autumn equinox, where the day and night are the exact same length, was on Tuesday. The sun begins now to hide away quicker and earlier, and it’s already turned colder as we head towards winter.

As an adult, I always look forward to this time of year and September especially, mostly because it’s my birthday month and because autumn is my favourite season. When I was younger, it was the opposite though, and I’d mostly be wanting the summer to never end because this month also meant the beginning of yet another school year (and often the first day of school was on my birthday, which just sucked!).

September has always heralded the start of things: the new season, the school year, harvest… Despite the mixed feelings, this month feels more like the beginning of a new year, more so than January ever did.

It was something I read recently that let me clock this; the writer spoke about how for her, following the school year rather than the calendar year made more sense, that September was the fresh start of her year, the month for looking back and setting goals anew, personally and in work.

Obviously, this year is different, but it was a bit of a revelation and I think I’ll be sticking to this. Without having ever done it purposefully, I naturally think back over the last year, how things have gone, the positives, the negatives, and how I’d like the rest of the year to go. I’m sure it’s directly linked to the new school year, and the feelings and old practices, traditions have bled into my adult life. But it feels much nicer and I feel much more prepared and ready to think about these sorts of things than I do in January, in the midst of winter and the most depressing Monday of the year.

So perhaps let’s forget January and do like the bears do. It makes more sense to me that January is for hibernating, being cosy, slow,and enjoying the extra warmth from Christmas meals (as well as recovering from them!), and thinking about it like this makes me feel much better about the coming winter, which is sure to be a tough one. Hopefully, this might be useful for you guys too.

At the end of this, though, I’m reminded of something fellow photographer and friend Nancy Forde said to me about winter:

“It’s my favourite season for so many reasons. Winter solstice is my favourite holiday in the year. All that hope of the promise of light in the darkest night of the year.”

Until next time,

A x

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Today’s soundtrack


Reads

The Guardian’s Tree of the Week

What the Meadow Teaches Us

“When you immerse yourself in the natural world, you wander a little through the landscape of your soul.”

Instagram at 10: how sharing photos has entertained us, upset us – and changed our sense of self

“But a decade later, Instagram has rewired society. It has changed how we look, what we eat, our relationships, how we vote, where we go on holiday and what we spend our money on.”

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Opportunities

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A little about me

I’m normally a portrait and documentary photographer based in south London, and enjoy telling stories about adventure, the outdoors, and our relationship with the natural world. Over the last couple of months, due to the pandemic, I’ve been making a move to something new - TBA!

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