The winter veg went in some time ago and apart from daily slug patrol and the odd escapee chicken things are going in the right direction…up and out! We’ve got broccoli, fennel, cabbage, winter lettuce, kale and Brussels sprouts (especially for my son Jimmy). September was beautiful and for parts of October and November a 5 minute post lunch break has been spent sitting in the sun. This has all helped alongside the inevitable periods of rain.

The vines that weren’t so happy due to the mildew had some small snorting visitors at the beginning of October and were seen off almost entirely. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, the wild boars are not my friends. Drinking wine is also beginning to look like something you do when you have Lay and Wheeler around the corner.

Sadly this time I can’t even blame them on Bruno. His cannon did not last long. The initial phase lead to the wildlife using my back garden as an oasis in the desert and on returning to his they soon realised that it was a cannon-less cannon. He told me over a recent drink (not made by either one of us) that the cannon was up for sale. No small relief to us!

One triumph of the autumn however, has been the bees! Stefano finally made it over to have a look and with the last burst of warmth the bees made some honey! We got around 5 kilos in jars and the rest on the frames as due to my inexperience I failed to notice it crystallising so it can’t be extracted in the normal manner. In fact the truth is I failed to notice on my previous visit that they had made any! I have since learnt that honey made from ivy pollen crystallises super fast so needs to be extracted almost as the bees arrive back at the hive. I’ve made a note for next year. The positive however is that we scoop the honey from the frames on our dining room table onto bread, cheese or whatever else…