Autumn sort of sauntered in during the last week of September; now we're in to October it's decided that, yes, it's really here to stay so it had better get on with knocking all the leaves of the trees, and raining to complement the chill air. Hats were worn for dog walking last night.
At the weekend we took the dogs out for a long walk and the beaters were abroad sending pheasants into the line of sight of men with guns. The collies weren't bothered by the gun fire, which was good, and Bear only barked when he heard the spaniels barking on the other side of the hedge so that was good. We did nearly get hit by low flying (fleeing) pheasant (or they could have been partridges - not sure about that) but they managed to clear our heads and make a break for the woods.

As it is autumn, and we had inspiration from the huntin' and shootin' set, we had pheasant for dinner last night and it was fantastic. Chum #1 made it. Saute leeks in a bit of butter and line an oven dish with them; rest your breast of pheasant on top; sprinkle on pine nuts (it's supposed to be chestnuts but we couldn't get any fresh and the tinned were £2 which was a bit much); add a knob of butter and wack it in the oven. For the gravy, you drain off the juices from the bird and add some chicken stock and port, thicken with cornflour and you have the most gorgeous tasting sauce ever. Of course, we'll need to test the recipe again--just to make sure it works a second time, you understand!

Autumn. The season of soups (roasted pumpkin & butternut squash), stews (cawl), and pies (beef and stilton crumble). Nom nom nom.

Tonight we will be having the glory that is the baked potato, covered with some of the Italian bean stew we made in bulk the other week  and froze. Tastiness will be mine!

In other news: I've figured out how Tilly makes a vampire's shielding spell permanent and have written the sequence out longhand so that will need to be added to the draft. That should be done today and then I can do the changeover of notes so that I carry the outline for Part 2 around with me. 52k and rising.


It will soon be time to hunt for pumpkin and butternut squash to make my roasted autumn soup with, adding in my Tuscan herb mix for a last hint of summer. It will also soon be time to dust off the slow cooker so that I can set stews/ curries/ soups cooking while I'm at work. There are few things better than coming home to a house that's full of the smell of glorious food; especially as the house will probably be cool. We managed to avoid lighting the first fire until November last year - whether or not we'll manage it this year I don't know as we've already started using the hot water bottles (last night was pretty chilly.)

Took the dogs for a walk before bed, as per usual, but this time the cat decided she wanted to come to! So, at a much slower pace than normal we tramped onto the reserve, into and through the wood (this was scary - her tail was fluffed like a bottle brush the whole time), then down the trail and into a small copse before heading back out onto the main trail and back up to the house. Everyone was extremely pleased with themselves and all of the four-leggers went straight to bed because being a border collie/ cat is pretty exhausting really. :-)

I am lergified. Unlike last year I managed to fight off the germs in the first week of students being back, but I succumbed this week to the aching head and lethargy (my bed, she calls to me) but, the show must go on and all that. My writing productivity has declined day by day this week in an almost embarrasing fashion, but I am on chapter 13/ 48K and I will--at the very least--finish section one this weekend.

Anyway, how's your week been? Good, bad, indifferent?
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