And just like that half term is over and they're all off back to the place of education and enlightenment. This part of the school year always seems to gallop uncontrollably towards December and You-Know-What. I'm bracing myself.
It was a good week off. So good that the littlest boy didn't want to go back to school. He is just like me, I never did either. We went out and wandered around and looked at the sea and the sky and did some climbing and walking.
We rode our bikes out and round the local deer park. It must have been fifteen miles, and I'm always amazed at how well the littlest boy does. His legs have to go at twice the speed of mine but he doesn't give up. The middle boy channels Bradley Wiggins and disappears into the horizon. I really love cycling round the countryside, the only drawback is its tricky to take photos. I daren't stop, they'd leave me behind. I snapped these houses when we had a brief stop for a drink and a cookie.
I've been hanging round the house today, tackling all sorts of tedious things on the to do list. Nice to get them done though. In the garden flocks of starlings have been feasting on the last of the grapes, along with the blackbird family. You may remember I pinched some of the grapes that were hanging over the fence. There are still masses left, and lots of them are a bit raisin-like now. The birds love them.
The blueberry leaves have turned their usual stunning pinkish red. I wonder if the dye could be extracted. It's such an intense colour.
In the kitchen I made the lemon meringue pie, and then ate most of it myself as everyone else found it too lemony. No photos, you know how I always forget.
I did snap a picture of these though.
Harissa cashews. I put a couple of spoonfuls of harissa paste in a container with shoyu (soya sauce, but not one with anything sweet in it, just soya beans, wheat and salt, something like Kikkoman). I blended it all together, threw in two packets of cashews, put the lid on and shook everything up. Then I left it for a couple of hours. I spread them out on baking paper on a baking sheet and put them in a low oven (around 140C) for an hour or so until they were dry. They're delicious, I can't stop eating them in fact.
The main local firework display was on Saturday. One of the best places to watch is from the top of the allotment site, as it happens. We took some hot chocolate and got our chairs out of the shed and we were set. The boys loved it, and saw several of their friends there. It's not half spooky down at the bottom of the site after dark though. I forgot the shed key when I took the chairs back afterwards so I had to make two trips. By the end I was a bit jittery. All of those whispering, tapping plants and shadows moving in the gloom. Things were reaching out and touching my hair. There are goblins down there you know.
I was really hoping to get to the allotment today. There's a lot to be done there, but it was so wet I didn't bother. I have high hopes for tomorrow though. Sunshine is coming. Look out weeds, your days are numbered.
Wishing you all a good 5th of November.