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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Autumn fun coming up

As much as I enjoy spring/summer, I am very much an autumnal girl. Everything from the colours, cold and clothes suits me down to the ground. I look forward to not being so uncomfortably hot that I can't have a hot meal or a cup of tea, and I love the innate sense of cosiness the season brings.

Mostly, I look forward to all the great events ahead of me. I have many a tradition for autumn, including Apple Day, the CAMRA Ale Festival season, Halloween, and, of course, Bonfire Night. My Alton Towers trip (see my previous post about this little yearly visit of mine) usually comes around a little later in the year, coinciding quite nicely with Halloween and their Scarefest extravaganza. Alas, it wasn't to be this year, so I'll have to save my scares up for next year (although I'm still recovering from attack by giant pumpkin...) https://www.altontowers.com/things-to-do/scarefest/.

If you're looking for something social to do as the days are getting shorter and colder, why not try some of these events, or similar ones taking place in your area.

Apple Day at Bromham Mill
Apple Day has been a favourite day out of mine for a few years now. It is a national day, but Bromham Mill is my go-to spot to join in. A celebration of all things apple and orchard, it has a real country fair appeal, with food, music, dancing, stalls selling local crafts and produce, competitions (including terrier racing - adorable and hilarious) and the obligatory cider bar, again selling locally made cider of varying strengths, from mild apple juice to 'I can't remember my own name'. If the weather is on point, there's nowhere better to spend an autumn Sunday afternoon. If it's raining, well, you get wet but still enjoy the atmosphere and fun going on around you. Apple Day this year is taking place on Sunday 18th October at Bromham Mill. Entry is £5 for adults and £3 for concessions. If you are in the Bedfordshire area I urge you to pop along and take a look. If not, google events in your area. It's a quintessentially British affair and thoroughly enjoyable.

CAMRA Ale Festivals
This is my 2nd year as a fully fledged, card-carrying CAMRA member and about my 9th year of visiting their beer festival in my area. I love beer and cider, admiring the effort and craftsmanship required to make a good product, and the creativity it takes to make some of the weird and wonderful products out there. CAMRA fight for the smaller breweries, the artisans and the right of the customer to get what they pay for. On top of all that they promote some bloody good drinks, so I'm on board!
The festivals are a rowdy but enjoyable experience, with food, drink and music all around, as well as traditional games and even the occasional Morris Dancer. The festival season has started today, beginning in York, and will be taking place all over the UK. See here for more details of what's taking place in your area - http://www.camra.org.uk/events. Events are free entry for CAMRA members.


Halloween
It is pretty much a given that you will know of, or be able to discover, certain spooky delights taking place in your area for Halloween, particularly those of you reading from Ireland or the USA. As you have probably guessed by my picture at the top of this post, I mildly enjoy Halloween, (I'm completely lying, I LOVE IT!). One of my favourite things to do is see whether my local cinema is showing any vintage horrors for our viewing pleasure. Failing that, I'm quite happy to stage my own living room cinema, get some friends over, whack the lights off and see who hides behind a cushion first. All with popcorn and appropriate Halloween-style munchies thrown in. This year, a Chilli Festival will be taking place in my home town, at the Harpur Suite in Bedford's town centre, so that may be on the agenda for daytime high jinx, before doing something spooky in the evening. Nearer the time, I'll be following this post up with Halloween recipes, films to watch and places to go, but whatever you decide to do, have fun, be safe and be scared!

Bonfire Night
Ah Bonfire Night. That special time of year when we celebrate someone failing to blow up Parliament. Although these days I have a feeling Guy Fawkes would have been considered more of a hero. Anyway, whatever your reason for celebrating, or whether you throw a scarecrow in the guise of Guy on your bonfire, there will be much going on around the 5th November. It's been a few years since we indulged in having our own private fireworks display at home so I will more than likely head down to the Bedford Blues Rugby Club and get my fix there. However, if you don't fancy the hustle and bustle of getting in there, try some of the surrounding villages and towns. For a full list of events visit http://bonfirenighttraditions.co.uk/england/bedfordshire/. Anybody else wishing to take a peek try http://bonfirenighttraditions.co.uk/england/.

In amongst all the bigger events, this is the time of year that local bars and restaurants go all out trying to get us to visit, battling the wet weather with a multitude of sociable goings-on. Look out for gigs, jam nights, quiz nights, film festivals and craft events in your area.

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