BB’s birthday will always come with the arrival of the first conker, leaves beginning to turn red and gold, that sudden change in atmosphere, crisp mornings and smoky air. I wanted her to have the heat and carefree fun of a summer birthday, but I kind of like it this way. Our back garden, otherwise known as Ravenscourt Park has new features.

Sweet chestnuts! The trees full to bursting tease you for a while. Then a feast falls down for the squirrels, me and Dad and some Chinese people with carrier bags. One day we got a particularly good harvest when scores of bright green rowdy parakeets (an every-day West London sight) were squabbling and bashing through the branches.

Score them in a cross with a knife, put them in the microwave for a few minutes, sprinkle a little salt. Yummy! Can’t wait to go sweet chestnut hunting with BB.


An empty adventure playground. The kids have gone back to school and left a brand new wooden adventure playground entirely for me and BB. She likes the big chunky roundabout and the extra wide slide.




spot the ladybirds.