Hello everyone and thanks for popping in for a read of the blog. Well, autumn is well and truly here with it’s splendiferous array of colours and rosy cheek inducing crispness. Many people I know claim autumn as their favourite season. I’ve always been slightly indifferent to it, favouring Winter, specifically the festive season. Mmm, I really do love Christmas and the run up to it. Having said that, I think this autumn is the first I’ve deeply appreciated.
I’ve been off work for four weeks after shoulder surgery. This has given me a lot of time to notice the changing season. In truth, being off so long left me very unsettled and I couldn’t wait to be back. QVC is like my home and I feel a sort of separation anxiety when I’m away for more than a week or two. Last week I went for a wonderful walk with my son. Walking in nature always recharges my batteries and makes me feel re-energised.
We live close to some stunning National Trust woodland with lots of pretty little paths and far reaching views. We walked for several hours. On our travels we saw plenty of happy dogs, relaxed owners and cyclists enjoying the autumn sunshine. One little dog had us in hysterics. It was running circles, literally, around its owner and barking as she walked along. She saw us smiling and said “He’s cross with me because I forgot the ball”. I don’t know why but this just tickled me so much!! It’s like he was a cheeky teenager.”Oh mum! How could you do that? It’s so unfair!”
We also saw some gorgeous cows. They regularly graze in this area. There are no fences keeping them in, I always wonder what the story is with them. I’ve walked the area for years and always see them. Of course, they could be different ones but they look the same. Usually four of them, not far from each other. They are enormous, too! Lovely creatures. If I thought they’d allow it I’d love to stroke them but they are rather huge and I’m not bold enough to try. It’s a treat just to stand and look at them, though.
As the nights draw in and get chillier I think it only feels right to have the odd bit of comfort food. That’s just what we’ve been doing. My son, Tom, is a fantastic chef. Obviously, many of you will know that I have been a vegan since January so this is my first vegan autumn. I’m a massive pie fan but it has been a bit hit and miss with shop bought vegan pies so Tom decided to create one for us.
Recipe is top secret at the minute (as we are compiling some recipes together which will be revealed later) but I can tell you he used a chicken substitute and a cream alternative. Tom is almost vegan but eats fish. So no dairy, no meats and the occasional batch of eggs if we can source some which we know to be ethically produced. A close friend of mine keeps rescue chickens and they lay eggs. He gifted us a box and Tom had them. I just don’t fancy it anymore, myself, but it would seem a waste if they just got thrown out.
So the pie was fantastic! It was, essentially, a vegan take on a creamy chicken and mushroom. Wow! Such great comfort nosh. We had a little pastry left over so made the vegan symbol for the top of the pie, too. I’m a member of The Vegan Society. They are really helpful if you are either considering veganism, have recently decided to try it or if you have to cater for vegans when you’re cooking.
My mum bought me a great vegan cookbook for cooking Christmas dishes. It’s by the Avant Garde Vegan. I’m really looking forward to using it over the festive period in addition to experimenting with our own ideas. Cooking is such great therapy. I find it quite meditative in the way it makes you focus and takes you away from everything for a while. I quite like having some music on to sing along to whilst I’m indulging in some cooking time.
I try to be grateful every day for all that I have in my life. Family, friends, the cheeky cats, my work, beautiful walks, good food, health… I could go on. I’m so grateful to everyone who not only stops by here to read and comment but also to everyone who follows me on my Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. If you don’t then please do, details are below. This blog is a weekly occurrence but I’m on the social media almost every day, sometimes many times a day!
A couple of weeks ago someone on Twitter was upset with me. They felt I had replied to lots of people but that I had only ‘liked’ their post to me. I totally understand that it can feel as though you’re being ignored or, perhaps, slightly overlooked. I really don’t want anyone to feel that way at all. I did try to connect with her to apologise for the way she felt but I haven’t seen her again since. It did cause me to think a little deeper on the issue, though.
I don’t have someone answering comments left for me here or on social media. It’s all done by me (apart from the private messages on Facebook which is an automatic reply asking that people post on the main page so I’ll see it). There’s just one of me and thousands of kind folks to reply to. For example, if I get 30 comments on Instagram, I might take at least a minute for each reply. That’s half an hour. Then I may have another 20 or 30 to respond to on Twitter and the same on Facebook. Before you know it that’s around an hour and a half to two hours. If I make several lists in a day then I think you can see how it would be virtually impossible to do more than a quick like for each one. That’s before even thinking about the blog replies.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel so blessed to have people who care enough to write and interact with me. You’ve all made me laugh, cry and smile with your senses of humour, your personal stories and your kindness. I would be so sad if the comments stopped. I really do read them all. Because there are so many sometimes a few have slipped through without me seeing them until I get a little nudge to ask if I’ve seen them. I will always do my very best to answer any questions but if I don’t comment please don’t take that to mean I don’t care or am in any way blasé about the fact you took time out of your day to get in touch. I think you are truly wonderful for doing so. So don’t stop because I won’t stop reading what you have to say.
I just had to get that out because I don’t want anyone feeling a sense of being ignored or isolated. Hopefully the lady who originally felt sad, and who inspired me to write this, is reading, too. We all matter and deserve to feel heard.
I wish you a very happy week and look forward to writing again next Wednesday.
Lots of love,