Today heralds, I am thrilled to announce, the much anticipated return of Mimi Says, from the librarian bloggess better known as she who writes at Little Sips of Tea. Mimi was my very first guest blogger back in the day and I have always considered her to be a kindred spirit, no more so than when she is writing about the pleasures of Autumn.  Enjoy!

“There is a time of year when even before the first leaf falls, you can feel the seasons click…the air is crisp, summer is gone, and for the first night in a long time you need a blanket for your bed. It brings up other needs as well..”

My thoughts have been turning to autumn lately, and I am starting to get the back-to-school feeling that tugs at my heart every September, so when Carrie said this in an old episode of Sex And The City yesterday, it felt as though she was echoing my thoughts and speaking directly to me.

That wonderful urge for new notebooks and coloured inks; to learn something new; the memory of new school shoes and the anticipation of a new academic year laid ahead, full of possibilities…bliss! The French have a word for it…La Rentree, and I think that no matter how long ago we packed away our school books, we are never too old to stop responding to the siren call of this wonderful time of year.

Now we are grown up ladies thought, it is all the more exciting! We can set our own curriculum, choose our own school rules! Instead of crisp white blouses and ankle socks, our new uniform can be whatever we want it to be. Soft layers for autumn, perhaps a new signature colour in aubergine purple, or pumpkin gold. Nail polish is no longer prohibited; instead nails tipped with the rich glossy brown on hot chocolate are positively encouraged. I am longing for a bottle of the season’s must-have colour by Chanel: Peridot. It is a wonderful muted mossy greeny-gold which reminds me of walks in autumnal woods.

Instead of double maths, we can choose to learn whatever our heart desires. The evening class  brochures abound with opportunities. You can learn a new language, take up bellydancing, start flower arranging, even do a GCSE in maths! You are not confined to the pages of the brochure though, there are so many other ways to learn. Perhaps you will decide to cook your way around India, choosing a different recipe each week from the pages of a cookbook. Or you could take to the kitchen to master the art of choux pastry, turning out chocolate eclairs at the drop of a hat. You could visit the library and read your way through the entire works of a particular author, or perhaps just look around you at the women you admire, wonder ‘how does she do that?’ and then decide to learn!

To me, La Rentree is the birth of a new season, the early whisperings of autumn stirring in your soul. A season of transformation. Look at the trees transform themselves as they shed their flame coloured leaves to the ground, leaving their beautiful bare branches on display. This speaks to me of the stripping away to our truest, essential selves.

This is the time to ask ourselves who we are, and what we need, and to spend the cool crisp months in the school of our own creation, so when spring comes we can burst forth in bud, blossom and leaf, blooming with our new knowledge and skills.

As for me, my uniform will be very Nigella…a long black jersey skirt that is soft against the skin, and pairs beautifully with pretty little jumpers in every shade from mustard to ruby, with perhaps a little duck egg blue in between. Dressy enough to make me feel that I can open the door to any kind of company, but relaxed enough that I feel ‘at home’ in them. I will never abandon my red lipstick, but for now it can take a back seat whilst I paint my nails conker brown and experiment with smokey hazy eyes. I shall be baking my way to the perfect macaroon, and working my way through the works of Dorothy Whipple. I will sign up to a workshop to learn how to put my hair up in vintage victory rolls, and even thinking of taking a weekly burlesque dance class (clothes stay firmly ON, I am happy to say!).

So that is my rentree….what does yours look like?