Crikey that was a windy night the other night, despite being kept awake a bit during the night I forgot the wind and wandered out into the sunshine without a coat and found it rather nippy. Note to self, time to dust down the warmer clothing and wrap up! As I said last week now is the time that I get ready for winter and haul down the winter duvet from the loft and start getting cosy. Of course it’s all very well to be warm and comfortable inside the home but the house and garden also needs some TLC so all those jobs I thought I would look at during the summer months. I’ve put a call into The Window Doctor at TradeMark Windows to chat about the sticky handles and tricky locks, the fence post that was looking floppy is now decidedly wobbly so it’s off to Fencing Products in Winnersh to get a new post, the chimney needs sweeping, the leaves that are already off the trees are swept up and put in the brown wheelie bin, plants that have gone over are being cut back and the garden furniture is heading back to the shed and the cushions etc are being washed and stored away ready for next year. I’ve also been going through the kitchen cupboards and stocking up for the soups and stews that will form part of the weekly meal plan. With a growing family who all have different routines and activities I find that food literally disappears the moment it arrives so I will be making up batches of soups (storing them flat in food bags in the freezer, so that they are then stood up like books in a library when frozen - you’ll thank me for that hint and tip!). Next on the agenda is making the Mincemeat for which I use my great great grandmother’s recipe, so easy and simple to make it tastes fabulous (even if I say so myself) and despite making it for years I still have to look at the recipe book written out by hand by Nellie Chesshire (yes, double S it’s not a typo!). The “To Be Read pile” is getting larger, despite my promises and assurances that I will make time to read more and spend less time using screens. I’m finishing off my summer reads with Katie Fforde’s “A Summer at Sea” before starting Shelan Rodger's’ “Yellow Room” in readiness for a blog tour and then I am rereading Martina Cole prior to interviewing her at The Chapel in Abergavenny on her 25th Anniversary Book Tour as well as rewatching Hinterland before my slot at Crickhowell Literary Festival with the creator, producer and photographer. We are so lucky that there are libraries, book clubs, author visits and literary festivals, well worth checking out your favourite authors and seeing when they will be visiting. Earlier this week I was up in London for a couple of days at a Trade Fair. I went up by train which wasn’t at all stressful, unlike driving in London. However I got the giggles when the man next to me started snoring, my first reaction was to shout at him to stop but I didn’t, instead I stifled my laughter and probably woke him up as I was making strangled laughter noises. My fellow passengers all got the giggles and when he woke up he headed straight for the door and got off at the next station. Whether he meant to or not I will never know!