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When the winter finally settled in properly, and we had one of those bright crisp days with ice lingering in the shadows, I managed a walk along the Thames Path between Twickenham and Richmond.  It’s one of my favourite walks to do anytime with no special planning, and there’s always a fine hearty lunch waiting somewhere at the end of it!

On this day, the path was almost empty with the occasional dog walker and a robin who followed me a little of the way.  And in the top left picture you can see the old Star and Garter home for ex-service personnel, now being converted to luxury flats  – I would certainly be tempted by that view if I had the odd couple of million to spare!

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Autumn brought a trip to Woburn, and it was a truly spectacular time to see the gardens in Woburn Abbey with the firing up of autumn colour in full glory.

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Ok, so I haven’t posted for many a long month, but, dear blog, you have been in my thoughts!  And dear blog readers (if there are any left), you have been in my thoughts too.

I have even taken the odd photo in the vain hope of uploading and keeping the blog up to date!  So I shall start to pop the occasional item on here and see if I can get back into the swing of things!  What can I say, I hope to see more of you in the near future….

One remarkable thing happened in my absence – the vine at the front of our  humble west London abode produced an abundance of grapes!  It wasn’t even a great summer, so should we ever have a hot few months, I’m preparing to move into wine production…

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For day 2 of the quote challenge, here’s food writer and critic Ruth Reichl, with a philosophy on which guests to invite for dinner!

Anyone who thinks they’re too grown up or too sophisticated to eat caramel corn, is not invited to my house for dinner

Ruth’s latest book is her first novel, and it came out in paperback in May. Delicious!

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So, on the hottest day ever, or something like that, here’s a truly simple salad to help you through the heat!  I always like to keep a melon in the fridge in hot weather, as a slice is like an ice pop and perfect for a cooling afternoon snack!  Chilled melon is perfect for this salad, which is delicious as a side salad, a starter or just with fresh crunchy bread if you want something light.

watercressmelonsaladWatercress and Melon Salad with Caraway Seeds

1 handful of watercress, washed
1 handful of lambs lettuce, washed
1 quarter galia melon, chilled
1 tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp caraway seeds

Peel the melon and cut into small chunks.  Add the watercress, lambs lettuce and melon to a bowl.  Add the lemon juice and toss the salad.  Sprinkle the caraway seeds over the salad and serve cool.

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