Annie West’s post a couple of days ago about Spring creeping up on the Southern hemisphere really struck a chord with me, although I’m on the opposite side of the world. Here, we’re watching the leaves start to change colour as Autumn arrives. Summer was a cold wet washout, but the sun has been peeping out for the last few days so I’ve been planting crocuses, aconites and anemones and topping them off with violas to flower through mild spells in the winter. We’ll be gathering leaves from the lawn before we know it. I tell the children that if they can catch a falling leaf before it hits the ground they can make a wish. That keeps them busy! It’s been a brilliant year for blackberries, and as a special treat I tried a new pastry recipe to top off apple and bramble pie. Instead of my usual margarine and flour combination bound with water, I tried a friend’s method, using butter and flour with beaten eggs for the liquid. This made excellent pastry, but a total hash of my diet! The lashings of creamy custard that went with it didn’t help, either. With the evenings drawing in, the temptation is to curl up in front of the fire with a good book instead of burning off calories, so I don’t think I’ll be trying out that recipe too often!
My ‘To Be Read’ pile is growing by the day, and I can’t wait to attack it, but after taking all those calories on board I’m going to have to do a bit of work first. Cleaning the windows ought to be enough of a penance – then the autumn sun can stream in over my shoulder as I settle down with my latest collection of Harlequin Presents. What luxury do you save up as a treat for finishing a horrible task?