1. Laura Gibson
    Stumbled across her music online. Damn Sure has become a new solace song. Something autumnal about it? And also it's about being super sure about things until they change. (https://youtu.be/-mNT9OfHAUg you will ❤️ it too.) Which brings me to my next point...
  2. Changes, fresh starts, making space etc.
    The French make a really big deal about "la rentrée", the new year that starts after everyone is back from summer holidays (which everyone takes). Ours was particularly marked. My husband got a new job, enabling me to change jobs, so as to work less and write more. I'm bowing out of some social commitments (apparently grown ups get to do that) and generally remixing my life. Asking God/the universe to do something with the blank space. Also, breathing room. Three cheers for that.
  3. Having a little more money.
    For the last three years we've been on student and freelancer money. Which meant that, while we could survive, we almost never did anything as exotic as going to the cinema, or out for dinner. We just booked a spontaneous trip to Paris to celebrate our slightly plumper bank balance.
  4. Reading the classics
    Last year, I read a lot of self help and other wholesome nonfiction (memoirs etc). This summer I decided to read Anna Karenina, which I followed up with Persuasion and Mansfield Park, neither of which I had read before. I heard that it can be worth trying classics again in the second half of your twenties, since the brain completes its development at around 25. So far so good.
  5. Having a happier husband.
    He does the dishes more. It seems that loving his job makes him a better person.
  6. Juicing
    My mother-in-law bought us a juicer, because that's the kind of person she is. I didn't believe the hype, but now I do.
  7. Living in a village in the city.
    One of my favourite people, Marleen, just moved into our building, along with my baby sister-in-law and her besto. Life is better with these darlings all around us. (Although the downside of this is that we now have awkward relationships with the young male neighbours who keep hitting on our girls, unsolicited and unreciprocated. Jerks.)
  8. Cancelling Netflix.
    We figured that unlimited access to excellent television was perhaps not entirely conducive to either writing or having a sex life.
  9. Wearing all one colour.
    It is surprisingly chic. I bought a light, slightly woolly navy scarf, and then realised that it was almost exactly the same shade as my coat, favourite dresses and converse. A whole new world of style just opened up. I'm calling it Classic French Hipster Chic, or something equally absurd.
  10. And lastly, Autumn in Strasbourg.
    Just lots of chilly sunny days. Sunglasses and scarves coexisting in perfect harmony.