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Storms and squirrels

How’s the weather been for you? For me, it’s been wet and windy and then, in case I wanted a change, it’s been windy and wet. I got out for a couple of walks, but my favourite route along the Harbourside isn’t sensible in these conditions, because, as you’ll see from today’s picture, the sea isn’t staying on its side of the wall! It’s days like these that I remember that the land I am standing on was reclaimed from the sea, and the sea hasn’t forgiven or forgotten that we stole it and if it gets a chance it’ll have it back, and it won’t say ‘thanks very much’. Instead, if it finds an idiot taking pictures it’ll claim them and kill them, so the right place for me these past few days has been inside a nice warm house.

So what have I been doing? Making shortcrust pastry from scratch for the first time in years to make a plate pie. (Guaranteed no soggy bottoms because there’s only pastry on the top, which makes it healthier.) Making a ginger drizzle cake, (like lemon but with ginger and stem ginger in it. Which was, I have to say, gorgeous.) Sorting out some more books that are sitting unread on our shelves because the former children have grown out of them and planning which new books take their place. It probably won’t surprise you to hear that they’re some more cookbooks. What can I say? I like cooking, and the family likes eating and bought second hand from Amazon or eBay they’re better and cheaper than chocolate.

I plan to learn to make really epic loaded fries, and the cookbook pictures are amazing. All gooey and full of flavour and the sort of thing you get in a good pub or bistro. I’m so lucky that that’s the sort of food my family like because I can learn to do it at home.

And, of course, I’ve been writing. On Monday, I woke up with a bright idea so I thought I’d write it down till it ran out of steam. On Thursday morning, 39,000 words later I had a new first draft and an idea for the next book as well. I do like it when the Ideas Fairy decides to come to visit!

Come November, it’s an Amy Hammond heavy month because there’s ‘A Nasty Case of Death’ and she pops up in some of the short stories in ‘A Christmas Sampler’ which is an anthology of short stories. But this week Elf n safety came out, which is one of my favourites because I love spending time in Windy Bay, where life goes more slowly and people are kind and happy endings happen all the time if you’re prepared to work and take a chance. It brings back happy memories of time on the Studland Peninsula and I see that atmosphere in real life in the area around my home and as I walk around the Harbour and stop to talk to dog walkers, bird watchers, fellow photographers and fishermen. I can’t think of a nicer way to get exercise, and, as you can see from today’s picture, I also got a LOT of fresh air.

Stay safe, take care, and try to have fun till we meet again.

And if you're wondering about the squirrels in the title, so am I! I keep trying to photograph them and the best I can get is a blur. I thought cormorants were bad but these little creatures can really move. Sooner or later I shall get a good picture though and then I'll share it with you. Or, alternatively, I'll pose a cuddly toy my daughter brought on Brownsea years back and photograph that in the apple tree instead... Only that would be cheating, wouldn't it?


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