We’ve been back to school for a week and my ‘to do’ list is beginning to expand rapidly with chores like: make bread, blitz office, clean bedrooms, make candles, pick apples for juice and cider, dig up more potatoes. My eldest went back to uni this morning so his room is on the list for a ‘blitz’, number two goes tomorrow, so his will be next! However, one of my ‘resolutions’ for myself this academic year is to make more time for the things I like, so this morning I got my bike out and cycled into town. It’s a good way to kill two birds with one stone; some head-space and some exercise time with a 6 mile round trip. The motivation was the new ‘Nothing But Footprints’ pop up shop that I wanted to visit. These guys have been holding a market stall every three weeks for the last 6 months or so, but now they’ve taken on a lease from our local shopping centre, so hopefully they’re now here for the long term. Of course, this meant taking my jars on the bike too, but they are going to be there weekly for the near future, so I didn’t need to get too much as I can go back again next week if I need to.

The tomatoes are the first ripened ones from our crops this year and I roasted them to make into soup. I popped a couple of cloves of garlic on the tray and a really small whole chilli from the greenhouse and then whizzed it all up with a tablespoon of cream and some seasoning. It made an incredible, rich and spicy soup, perfect for when I got in from the bike ride. One of the many things I love about the start of autumn is that need for warming foods, the opportunities to have blazing fires in the evenings and the incredible colours both in the foods available and the surrounding countryside. This year the summer hasn’t been so hot and dry, so we still have lots of green out there but from where I’m typing I can see one tall tree in the distance with a russet colouring.

I guess I had better get on with that to-do list as it’s not going to go away.

Have a lovely weekend

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