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Amazing autumn

20 September 2016
By Sarah

I’m always glad when we move into autumn. Each year we have such high expectations of summer, but it inevitably rains a lot and our heatwaves last a day - and in that fleeting 24 hours, we complain it was too hot and sticky anyway. I’m not sure why we think the British summer will be any other way.

With autumn, we know where we are. Colour wise, it’s our most spectacular of seasons with the leaves turning every shade or brown, orange and red. In my garden is the most gorgeous dark-red Japanese maple which turns vibrant pinky-orange in autumn before shedding its leaves.

Back to school!

7 September 2016
By Sarah

I haven’t had much time to write my blog as I’m panic-buying shoes and attempting to get the iron-on name tags to iron on to my daughter’s new upper-school uniform before term kicks off. You might say I’ve had six weeks to get organised, but no sooner have they broken up, they’re back again.

This time round, I don’t know the new school’s rules and what I do and don’t really have to buy, so like a good parent I’ve bought the lot - until my daughter realises none of the other kids have it/wear it/use it/will give it the time of day - so it gets discarded on day 2 at major expense to me.

Get set… BAKE!

31 August 2016
By Sarah

Soggy bottoms, squirrel’s nuts and star bakers. It can only mean one thing… the return of the Great British Bake Off! I’m with respondents of a recent Yale survey who said it was their top TV show for a perfect night in. I’ve been on a countdown for its return.

I can’t get enough of presenters Mel and Sue’s innuendos; “You’ve got two hours to pop Mary’s cherry” being my favourite. I love Mary and Paul’s iconic partnership with Paul’s directness and Mary’s more understated, left-hanging remarks!

Flowers for Friendship

10 August 2016
By Sarah

What do you look for in a friend? A sense of humour, family values and moral compass have come top of a new list of the most important friendship factors. Shared hobbies, similar backgrounds and matching music tastes, also rate highly. Trustworthiness is rated as the most important quality we look for in our friends, followed closely by loyalty and supportiveness.

When it comes to friendship, it seems us ladies take it far more seriously than menfolk.

Summer foods

28 July 2016
By Sarah

Quinoa, chia seeds and pomegranates are this summer’s superfoods. Back in my day, the super food was what’s popularly become known in my house as a ‘Nan’s salad’: a lettuce leaf, tomato, cucumber slices, a boiled egg, new potatoes and a dollop of salad cream. And if you were really pushing the boat out, a slice of ham - or tinned salmon if you were positively showing off!

Back in the day, food was all about filling you up, with hot stodgy puddings like Spotted Dick and custard – never mind it was 80 degrees outside – you sweated it out while you tucked in - and woe betide if you left any...