Our side of the contract was signed today, it really is great news for me, it has taken a few weeks for both sides to be happy but now I think we all are. I went up to London yesterday to the Phaidon office to look over all the photos that Andrew has taken and what still needs to be taken and was able to meet some of the staff, what an interesting team. Victoria from Phaidon has the copy, I hope to get some homework soon. Once a date is set you will all know it.


Turks turban

I think that the gourds are going to be ready to lift in the next week. I hope the boys that planted them can come over and help bring them in. I wrote a few days ago that I think we would have an Indian Summer I should have written that we would have monsoon rains this autumn, the rain has not stopped. I would like a week of sun to dry out the gourds and pumpkins before I bring them in.



The tomatoes have blight, it was only a matter of time till they got it. For the first time I am very interested to see what is going to happen up there. Jonny got me to get this new tomato that has resistance to blight, ‘Crimson crush’, and the test is now on to see how it is going to stand up to blight all around it. So far so good, before I wrote this blog I did log on to the  Sutton Seed website and ordered some seeds for next year, it is an F1 so I will have to get new seeds each year but will be worth it if it does not get blight.



We have a new North America student, Susan ( the name of the Queens favorite Corgi). We took her to see the Marc Chagall windows at the little church near Tonbridge. I love looking at the colour he used. While there I also got myself a new bible, well the first part of it. The bible has illustrations by Chagall in a very dream like way, perfect. We took the back roads home and on the way I took a few photos of an orchard that I have watched over the past 16 years decay, I have always found it a very special place. The best time of the year to see it is in spring when the trees can only push out a few blooms but there is still hope in those old trees.



We are having a bit of an Indian Summer but sitting at my desk I am reminded that we are in a new season. The Boston Ivy on the roof of the oil store has started to change colour. It reminds me of a film I watch many years. As the leaves fell from the  wall across the corridor that the lady could see out her bedroom window she dies with them, as each one fell she died a little more. Her little friend understood this before it was too late and so went out one night and painted some on, he may have died of cold doing this.



With the colder nights things have started to go over in the garden, a little too early really. The pumpkins are going to need to be picked and dried out so that I can store them for the winter. This crop has given me a lot of joy over the summer watching there development and I hope the next lot of enjoyment will be in there eating. I have not gone over to see how Chris next-door pumpkins have done, sure it is a lot bigger but I have plans to improve the soil a lot this winter.


Cut out

Because we do not use chemicals on the vegetables you do need to cut parts out that things like the slugs have enjoyed, I would rather do this than use a lot of chemicals on the food I eat.



I am very lucky here at GD that I can grow and use the vegetables from the garden for these weeks that I cook. A lot of places that host events have to buy in vegetables, they are not the same. We have started to lift the potatoes for baking the variety that we think is best for baking is ‘Picasso’. Miscanthus and I went and lifted a basket fill for today’s lunch, the house is full of the small of them baking, hope there is one for me.



Some say autumn starts on the 1st September in this northern part of the world, others who use the cycle of the moon say this year it starts on the 23rd, I think it is really moving into autumn here, the sun is going down a lot earlier, it is so much cooler at night. I went to take a photo of the kale for the blog tonight at 19:50 and had to use the flash. The great thing about the cooler nights is the sugar levels in the kale are up so for the meal tonight I used the first of the crop. It is great to start to eat this vegetable again. Sorry about the photo but it was not till tonight that I understood autumn was here.