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I’m wondering when winter will start this year. It’s mid November and I want to be eating warm comforting food and curling up by the fire with some mulled wine. Instead, this year I’m turning the heating off and putting stewed apple in the freezer rather than serving it with lashings of custard.

I’m longing for a cold snap, to be able to go for a walk and return all tingly cheeked and cold of thigh to defrost with my hands wrapped round a mug of tea, enjoying a crumpet piled with strawberry jam, getting sticky fingerprints on the newspaper. It seems odd to see the start of Christmas in the shops knowing that I was sitting out in the garden with a coffee at the weekend.

And my poor apple tree… it’s so confused. And so is the rosemary, the parsley and my chives have started to look jolly again.  I wonder what the implications will be for the garden next year.  Next door’s bulbs are out and I’ve seen narry a sign of a winter pansy yet, they’re all just ‘normal’ pansies which are lasting and lasting.

I feel out of sync. This time last year I was on holiday, and I came home to major snowfalls, and seven days snowed in.  It seems strange to be contemplating which way to cook the turkey this year when I have yet to indulge in sprouts crisped up from the frost.  Bring on the cold!