I double dare you to scroll through a social media platform of your choice and tell me that you haven’t seen a mention of how autumn is the most glorious season or of how so-and-so is glad they live in a world where there are Octobers.

No shade, because autumn is by far my favourite season and October is genuinely one of my favourite months.

I wanted to sit and pen a melodic, poetic ode to my favourite season but then I thought: ‘What about sharing my favourite seasons in life thus far? They’re all fairly undocumented.’ I spent some time last month organising our family photo albums and it was so lovely to recall almost every memory, holiday, trip and season simply from the glance of a dusty photograph.

And so here we are, I’m about to delve in to some of my favourite memories, cementing them in the Daisybutter archives for as long as the Internet doesn’t combust. God help us all if it does.

The photos are mostly unrelated because I wanted to keep at least some part of these seasons sacred.

Childhood summers in Hong Kong and Malaysia

Etched in my memory are summer breaks, Easter holidays and any other time we could take off primary school, where Mum and Dad woke us up in the middle of the night for badly timed flights over to Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Aged 7 or 8, with Granny at the Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong for lunch.
My parents are immigrants. Mum came here when an opportunity arose for her to make use of Hong Kong being a British colony and nab a British passport, and Dad essentially ran away from home and steadfastly washed dishes, ran odds and ends, and even drove lorries in London, trying to forge a better future. And off the back of that, I’m now incredibly grateful to be able to call three countries home. My family are based, well, everywhere and it is only now that I realise how lucky I am.

Each childhood summer, I recall stepping out of the airport’s cool air-conditioned throes and into thick, stifling humidity. I loved it. It felt like an embracing hug, both from the country and from my loving aunties, uncles, grandparents and cousins. We’d sit in a car racing back to Ipoh or Tsuen Wan, chattering animatedly about all of the new things we liked (Pokémon, Sailor Moon, Beyblades, that weird school assignment where I had to tape 5 different types of rock to a sheet of paper, Blush Art, Jammie Dodgers) before falling victim to a jet-lagged slumber.

Most fondly, I remember sitting on mucus green plastic chairs on the roadside in Ipoh, eating nasi lemak out of paper or plastic bags, marvelling at how our family all share the same characteristics and traits, despite spending approximately 345 days apart from one another each year. Grandad and his uncanny ability to befriend every human, animal and critter in his path. Granny and her handbag full of snacks for us and a watch she bought in Argos here in the UK for £7.99.

I remember seeing real monkeys on Monkey Hill in Kuala Selangor and thinking, ‘damn, that is 100% not a squirrel or pigeon’, and laughing until my tummy hurt when one stole an ice-cream from my cousin’s hand. (I’ve never taken food there since!)

In Hong Kong, I joyously remember dim sum in private rooms with my auntie and cousins. One of them is a TV actress and once won a Miss Hong Kong title, so we always ate in private rooms which I had no idea about until I turned 12! Steaming bamboo baskets with delicious dumplings and dishes that a) you could choose from trolleys, and b) tasted incredible compared to the chewy version in London. Watching the lights show from the Avenue of Stars — it never gets old, trust me. Heading to the market in my ‘special shoes’ ($10 flip-flops that never get worn indoors) with my Granny and getting to buy tofu fa, a silken tofu dessert topped with brown sugar, on the way home.

This season of my life opened my eyes to our globe and taught me endless lessons about all of the walks of life that could be out there.

Final year / Uni

I didn’t really enjoy Uni. Not really. I felt like an outsider, like a try-hard (because rarely was there a full class and on several occasions, I was the only one of a hundred that showed up to a lecture) and I didn’t even make many friends.

But in my final year, the stars aligned and I got to move in with my best friend from home and it was AWESOME. From having our little kitten running amok in the house to late-night IKEA visits, and from 5-hour long baking sessions to finding what I loved doing, it was a pretty monumental year for me and one that I feel shaped my twenties as I’ve come to know them.

Once, the three of us housemates perched on the kitchen worktops chatting about the most random of topics. Just another weekday morning, procrastinating from dissertation hell, sipping drinks from our three coffee machines. Another time, receiving 10 pizzas (I got a brand deal on the blog) and spending our night dividing them into Tupperware boxes and foil packets for later use. Our pole-dancing lesson, to celebrate Becs’ birthday!

Although I’ll never feel like I had the Uni experience I expected to and that the bloody media portrayed me to, my third year was packed with blog meetings, job offers, new friends and so many great everydays and everynights that I’ll likely savour it forever.

Aged 5 or so, the Old House

While I’ll fondly look back on many of my more recent years, the best time EVER was before we moved to our current home and before my auntie and uncle moved too. In the old house, there were countless rooms to explore. This was my Granny and Grandad’s home, and though I sadly never met Grandad, the house was amazing.

I loved sitting three-in-a-row on the kitchen worktops while Granny rustled up dinner for us. Steamed sea bass in ginger and spring onion soy sauce, sweet and sour pork, flash-fried pak choy with garlic, ginger and oyster sauce. Our favourite.

Granny would perch us on the worktops because it was the only way she could get anything done! We loved getting under her feet as she played mahjong on the Sega Mega Drive, had her afternoon M&S yum yum and Chinese tea, even as she tended to her beloved vegetable patch.

This was the season where a pear tree in the garden bore its fruit and we each were picked up, up and away to select our own pear for dessert. It was where I got my first Barbie Fairy doll. Where I lost a tooth. Where a pigeon flew into the hallway and it was pretty manic for half an hour! It was also the season of cut-up fruit in bitesize chunks, sitting in front of the massage chair while Granny plaited my hair, poking my new baby sister’s cheeks as she napped amongst the noise.

Aged 6, Disneyland Paris, being culturally appropriated by my own parents.

Sunday evenings at Granny’s

More recently, the season of my life that I treasure so dearly is the season of Sundays. There’s good reason to why I have a weekly post entitled Sundaze, and it’s because of this next tale.

Every week for probably 6 years, my siblings, my cousins and I visited Granny at her cosy home on a Sunday evening. First, we were dropped off as our parents went back to work, but eventually we all earned drivers’ licences and went over of our own accord. In this season, we’d pester Granny with questions, catch up with one another, eat all of her secret snacks and help her around the house and garden. I’d tend to the bitter melons, my brother fixed radiators, my sister watered the houseplants. We truly cherished these days and it honestly still feels odd not doing so.

In this season, our clan grew by one! Our baby cousin arrived and thus Sundays took a new direction: the floor became covered in baby mats and we’d painstakingly spend each Sunday night coaxing him to do more tummy time, roll over, crawl and eventually walk! This season of life opened my eyes to just how incredible my family is.

Let me know if you enjoyed this more personal post, as I’d love to write more of these.

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