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A dark and stormy morning...

I know it's traditional to have a dark and stormy night but it’s early on Friday morning as I type this. It's blowing a gale outside and the rain is coming down in straight rods and bouncing off the old paving stones outside the back door. LucyFurr and Catling are both very grateful for my daughter for leaving her heavy fleecy sweatshirt on her chair in the kitchen because it has mysteriously fallen on the floor and they are now guarding it to make sure it doesn’t try to escape. That seems to involve snoozing on it, all curled up together like the world’s most devious jigsaw because they’re both black cats. Meanwhile, Cating’s son, Willow, is asleep on a chair in the living room and I’m enjoying the peace and being able to do jobs as well as work. I love getting up at five o’clock because it gives me this beautiful quiet period. In summer, I work outside and enjoy the dawn, but today I’m firmly inside and only ventured down to the bins.

There’s a sausage casserole in the slow cooker for lunch with a red wine stock pot added to the tomatoes after I had a carton of bought bolognese sauce as part of a meal deal and loved the richness it added. They’re lovely Spanish sausages from a local butcher who also supplies the poshest restaurants in town.

I’ve finished the first draft of the next but one Amy ahead of schedule because it wanted to be written and done the screen edit of ‘Love by the Sea’ which is the Windy Bay book that’ll be out in December and it’s printed out and filed away. I’ve done the ironing too, and later on, I’ll play with my new tumble drier in my lovely tidy utility room because it won’t be a day to put washing out and I want to know which programme is best for what and I never find it’s the one in the manual, do you?

There’s no way I’ll get out for a walk, but I’ll baste the red and green embroidered quilt that’s my leading up to Christmas project and this afternoon I’ll finish putting the binding on the yellow and blue hexagon quilt and then photograph both of them all ready to add to this post because it’s not the right sort of weather for a seaside picture.

Autumn is definitely here, and I can feel the Victorian House snuggling in around us to shelter us. After a summer’s sorting out (and where does it all come from?) it’s starting to be the place of my dreams. Nothing fancy, but shabby chic with lovely old china I’ve collected on eBay and in charity shops and felt so sad that it was ‘kept for best’ and never used. Now it graces my breakfast table and I have proper tea cups and saucers and tea brewing in a pot with a pretty cosy. I’ll put the muffins in the oven for breakfast in a few minutes. They’re English ones from a recipe from my new Women’s Institute cookbook and taste amazing, especially with blueberry honey from bees who live on an allotment half a mile away, so the bees may well have been in my garden. I hope so, because it tastes amazing.

And the cookbook is new to me, but it, and fifty or so others, came to me via a friend who was clearing her Aunt’s house after she died and wanted them to go to a home where they’d be used and loved as much as her Aunt did. Which they are, and they’ve got a place on the bookshelves in the hall because I’ve cleared out at least some of the books that belong to the past.

Because children grow up, which is exactly as it should be, isn’t it? And my heart bleeds for all those parents whose children will never get the chance to grow up. So, since we all know that the world’s a scary and dangerous place at the moment, I’ve donated to the Red Cross and am remembering to be grateful for all the simple pleasures that so many of us take for granted.

Have the best week you can, and tell me what your simple pleasures are…


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