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Jam and Other Things

Homemade strawberry jam.  I've decided that this week I will buy several punnets of strawberries, a pack of sugar and make a stash of strawberry jam.  Too long have the "Kilner" jars sat empty in the larder.  A couple of years in fact, now that I think about it.  I used to be quite a dab hand at preserves, filling the house with the sweet aroma of gently bubbling fruit.  But of course that was in the few years I had at home after giving up work to be a full time mum to the children, and before I entered the world of self-employment.

I was inspired today when I took a precious half hour to myself and went for a walk along the river.  It's beautiful, with huge weeping willows bowing over the water, and the steep sides of the gorge rising above you.  There was a big patch of brambles along the path, and a good number of them were ripe and juicy and ready for picking.  I thought, no it can't be that time of year already.  Surely it's September before this, the best of the foraged fruits are ready?  But nature doesn't lie and Autumn will be upon us before we know it.  And so it is, that I am determined to bottle summer in the shape of strawberry jam, so that I might have it on my toast or maybe a scone in the deep, dark afternoons of winter, and be reminded of the warm, sunny days of summer when I could sit outside early in the morning, drinking my coffee with the new sun's rays on my face before the busy day ahead.

With our incredibly busy lives, it's so important to take a step back, look around and just enjoy what nature has to offer, season by season.  The change is gentle and subtle and you'll miss it if you keep your head down.  So sometime this week, give yourself half an hour just to be.

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