Monday 26th October

The cold weather is starting to set in and I have increased the hours of the heating in the house to keep the guests warm. I’d normally throw on an extra jumper and a lovely pair of wooly socks that a guest hand knitted for me last year, I wear them when I am sitting at the computer writing to keep my tootsies warm!

The new cushions and throws are in situ, now the rooms look inviting and cosy especially since the clocks went back at 2 am Sunday morning and it’s now dark just after 5.30pm!

The window cleaner came at the weekend to clean all of the windows outside as well as inside as it was no extra cost to me. Plus it makes a nice change not to do them myself, which I do on a weekly basis usually.

Of course within an hour of having sparkling windows, the heavens opened and it poured with rain – bloody typical! Before he left I booked him in for the week before Christmas to do the windows and carpets! It’s something I have done for many years and the routine has just stuck.

I have noticed in the supermarkets that the price of fruit especially blueberries has risen, it’s one of the fruits I always buy weekly for the fresh fruit salad as it adds colour. So instead I have stocked up on some frozen berries to make compotes to go with the yogurt. I spied some lovely apples which I’ll poach in different ways with cloves, cinnamon, sultanas and a hint of stroh rhum! This way I stay seasonal but don’t break the bank on a fresh fruit salad each week.

Friends came for supper on Saturday night, two of whom were vegetarian, so I cooked three vegetarian curries and I wanted a salad to go with them and  found this online – a Mango/Cress and Coconut recipe by Jamie Oliver. I put my own twist on it – adding ½ a cucumber which I peeled and chopped taking out the centre and added one less red pepper. I served all of this alongside fish that I had coated in turmeric, ginger and chilli. This is the second time this month that I’ve cooked fish in these spices, it is delicious and so easy to cook in the pan with butter. Coley works better than cod for my taste buds and much less expensive.

I also made the trek over to East Dulwich to my favourite Fishmonger Sopers a family business that has been trading for over 120 years! I popped in to the local bakery a few doors down – Ayres, they have been there since 1955.  Their bread is amazing and they do divine Cronuts at £1.60 each!

On the way back I went to the Dulwich Trader and bought a stock of the spotted tablecloths I use – Look out for the photos in the next blog.

We have a client arriving tomorrow who is attending a sugar paste class, so I am looking forward to meeting her and seeing the work she brings back with her when the course is finished. We also have a repeat client arriving who is on a business course and has an early start, so we’ll be doing breakfast an hour earlier than normal! It won’t seem such a shock as the clocks only went back today! Overall a busy week ahead and I will be back to tell you all about it on Friday!