One thing I particularly enjoyed doing last autumn was collecting blackberries from the local hedge rows and making blackberry jam. It seemed to be a bumper year for fruit, and we made loads both for our store cupboard and for friends and family. Eventually however I got sick of the whole sticky business, and the residue of the fruit we had collected we popped in the freezer. Earlier this year, in an attempt to free up some freezer space, we made another batch which was very well received. It may however lead to a family feud as Robert’s mother is refusing to pass on the pot, we left with her for Robert’s sister as she likes it too much.

Mrs. G-B is always so kind as to bring us a pot of her excellent home-made jam when she attends for her annual eye examination and this year was no exception. I thought she may like to sample some of mine, so I popped a pot in her bag when she collected her new glasses. She was delighted but more so were Kate and Jo when Mrs. G-B produced jars for them too as a thank you for their help in ordering her new specs! I think that little things like this make the world a much happier place to live in.