IMG_8615[1] (427x640) (2)This week I am scouring the hedgerows for the last of the blackberries and have started to think of all things autumnal as I transform windfall apples into chutney and lay down my mulberry liqueur in preparation for chilly evenings.

My two little helpers have been busy this weekend as we scoured the hedgerows before preserving everything from crab apples to rhubarb.  Hattie and Libby love to go hedgerow picking although I rarely get to preserve much of what they pick as they operate on the finders keepers rule and tend to eat all the blackberries and hazelnuts they pick.  I love the smell of my kitchen when making jams or chutney. Preserving always cheers me up and fills me with a great sense of achievement; I must admit could happily make chutney every day.

This week saw my five year old daughter go for her first sleepover whilst I experienced her being away from home for the first time ever. She had a wonderful time at her little friends, whilst I spent the night feeling something was missing. I missed tucking her in and reading her a small pile of storybooks, I missed her mischief and even her whines for just one last story and glass of milk. I was very glad to see her the next morning and judging from the verbosity of her exclamations of affection towards her sister and I, it seems the feeling was mutual.   I am sure there will be many more sleepovers to come in the future and all I can conclude is that I am glad I have a fair few years to go until my babies fly the nest.

This week has seen me enjoying the lovely scenery of my corner of Wales. I’ve been on plenty of country walks and love observing the changing landscape as the leaves on the trees turns golden and the mushrooms start to appear in the woodlands.  Last week I swapped the idyllic country scenes of West Wales for the beautiful landscape of the Scottish Borders as I visited Cringletie House in Peebles. This beautiful boutique hotel was charmingly romantic and it was an extra special visit as I was privileged enough to be involved in the first dog wedding to take place at this baronial castle. Yes, my Molly dog was the blushing bride for the day as she wed the hotel manager’s dog, Monty in a bespoke ceremony that included woofy wedding vows, wedding cake and even dog friendly ice-cream.   This was a rather mad few days, but it was incredibly good fun and I can say that my first visit to Scotland was anything but dull.  Whilst it was a separate baskets after the wedding for Molly and Monty my photograph album now boasts many captivating images of my Molly in her bridal tiara and bright pink veil and I will never forget writing dog wedding vows or indeed saying them.

Well I’m off to reflect on my adventures this past week and plan some less eccentric adventures for the remainder of this week. Until next week I bid you a fond farewell from West Wales.