Almanac: Autumn memories and a distraction of flowers

We have already passed midwinter and yet I have so many memories of autumn that I want to preserve. September, October and November brought with them a time of intense creativity as I worked on my illustrations, commissions and the launching of my little art shop. I kept taking my daily photographs, though it is…

Travel Diaries: Autumn in Scotland – Rockpooling at High Tide

In the autumn of 2019 we returned to Scotland, to the little holiday cottage on the windswept north west coast. We wanted to see how the changing seasons affected the landscape that we had fallen deeply in love with back in the springtime and timed our trip for when the autumn colours would reach their…

A Week in Books: Bonfires, bee bread and poetry with petals

On a Sunday evening, I like to clear the shelf next to my desk, in preparation for the week ahead. There will always be a pile of books that have accumulated beside me. I enjoy the moment when I scoop them up and shelve them again, the titles on the spines evoke a diary of…

Seasonal Recipes: Homemade Maple Toffee Apples

These are the maple toffee apples from my story A Week in Books: Stories to treasure, traditional recipes and seasonal flowers Maple toffee apples are wonderful in autumn, for evenings spent outdoors, wrapped up warm by a fire. Consider also making these with surplus apples in August and enjoying them cool from the fridge on…

Almanac: Autumn colours on a crisp November morning

It had rained for days, weeks, it seemed like endless months and then, one Sunday, it suddenly stopped.  The ground would be water-logged and our boots would likely sink in to the mud to a depth of a foot – but it felt so good to finally get out and hike. It was at this…

Almanac: Autumn Hike to the Castle Ruins

A completely blue sky in autumn, after days of low dark clouds and rain.  We could not stay inside today. Pulling on wellingtons, we crossed the village, climbed the hill and picked our way through muddy fields towards Bradgate. Everywhere looks different.  Buildings in the far distance that were obscured by tall crops just a…

Potager Garden: The First Frosts of Autumn

It is now utterly dark when I wake up, here in Middle England.  The happy side effect of this is that I can watch the sunrise as I eat my porridge. A few days ago, the first frosts arrived.  I love the early morning crisp whiteness, and the eery, soft, pre-dawn light. Our Savoy cabbages…