auvergne landscapes: first autumn walk

I have been out walking since the beginning of September, but today was the first time that it felt properly autumnal. A little too autumnal, actually. I could have done with a slightly less of the mist, and more of the mellow fruitfulness and maturing sun. The wonderful colours made up for the weather though. The … Continue reading auvergne landscapes: first autumn walk


Most of the blackberries seem to be over now, but there are still plenty of ripe sloes hanging in the hedgerows. We must get around to picking some soon, so that the sloe brandy we make from them will be ready for tasting at Christmas. As well as tasting great when combined with alcohol and … Continue reading sloes

sloe brandy

Today was the day for making this year's batch of sloe brandy. We found a big patch of blackthorn on the route of one of our regular walks this spring, and we've been watching closely as the fruit ripened. Here are the assembled ingredients - it's basically just brandy, sugar and the sloes. Even I … Continue reading sloe brandy