15 October 2014

Autumn in Cheltenham

Cheltenham is the place to experience seasons. Each one paints the town in a different shade, and every feeling evoked is different. For autumn, it is a content, chill-in-the-air, wrapped up feeling that always comes back.

For the past four years, a tradition has formed. It's been organic, unspoken and beautiful, and I'm so pleased to share it with you all. My mum and I meet up for a weekend of shopping, eating and attending events at the literature festival, and it is wonderful.

Of course, this year was different, as was last year – because now that university is over, the years roll into each other and I forget how long ago it was since I was eighteen, and time is once again a lost concept to me. I must figure out a way to control it, or at least understand it, again.

I met Cloey and we walked through the university grounds on our way to town. I was finally granted the chance to take some photos of the vibrant pink leaves pinned to the side of one of the buildings, after years of passing them by on the way to lectures. How beautiful can autumn get?
I miss this place, but not enough to return. Lu wrote a poignant post about revisiting old homes and she captures it exactly. I sometimes wonder if more good friends are people I have yet to meet.

Some say Francis Close Hall – the campus for humanities and arts – is like Hogwarts, but that would do it an injustice. It is its own, and in these photos you only see a snippet, so if you're ever in Cheltenham, take a walk through the grounds of my old university campus. It's a treat at any time of year.

That was on Saturday. On Sunday I met my mum for breakfast and autumn looked different again. I love that – it can be cold and sunny, and then misty and grey, yet still a sense of cosy happiness permeates the atmosphere no matter what the weather. 

The promenade was voted as one of the top 5 high streets in the UK in 2011 and it's easy to see why. Walking along the promenade at any time of day or year constitutes, in my opinion, walking along some of the most beautiful leafy streets of New York or London, an action figure beneath tall, great architecture, of which I could only dream to be a part. Go upstairs in The White Company and you'll see what I mean. 

Did you know that trees that shed leaves are deciduous? I learnt that word today on dictionary.com. That website is probably my most visited on my computer at work. I feel so fortunate to be able to learn new words every day.

The ground is littered with these done-with amber leaves, ready for winter. It's such a short time, autumn. I'm sure next week it'll be gone. But reflecting on my weekend in Cheltenham at my favourite time of the year has extended that first feeling of autumn, and the pictures are here to stay, with this post, in my archives for whenever I get a little nostalgic for this time of year.

I drove past my second year house, walked past my third, and saw the homes of my best friend and then boyfriend. For a moment it felt like I could knock on each of the doors and they would be there, at each stage of our lives. I sat in these scenes with people I hardly ever see anymore, or even speak to. 
Why does time change things into mere memories, when all the pieces, people and things that make up these scenes, when you break them down, essentially stay the same? 

What does autumn feel or look like to you? Link me to your favourite autumn posts, I love reading them!


  1. I live in Cheltenham! It's gorgeous isn't it? :)

  2. You always manage to go to the most beautiful events, I think you must be very lucky where you live OR I don't take advantage of what I have around me; probably the latter haha! I love how everywhere looks in Autumn it's so beautiful before Winter completely strips everything! xxx

  3. Stop, you're making me home sick. I miss this place.

  4. Glad to see you went to the litfest. I worked there 3 years ago and ever since come back for the festival, too. Cheltenham in general is a lovely place :) x



  5. What beautiful photos :) I hope to be able to come back to my university in future and look back and remember these days.
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

  6. Naomi, this is probably one of my favourite posts of yours - ever! And I like all your posts! You are so good at painting pictures with your words and I related to so much of what you said- how funny we both were thinking and writing down similar things at the same time. I really love what you said about the pieces of our lives remaining the same but the situation changing - I often think about that and how strange it is, you put it into words perfectly. Thank you for writing such a thoughtful and thought-provoking post. Love these pictures too - I am a sucker for bright red leaves and I had no idea Chelt was so gorgeous!

    L xoxo

  7. i adore this post so much. you capture the feeling of autumn, of memories and time so beautifully. Autumn for me is simultaneously a time for fresh minds and attitudes, and also seeking comfort and embracing the familiar - it's a special season. x

    Miho @ Wander to Wonder


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