There is an autumn touch to the air. The boys ate their first blackberries this morning and the weather has been so inclement that the stove and candles have been lit in the evening on more than one occasion. But there are still blue skied days and breakfasts in the sunshine and walks in meadows. There is also the prospect of August holidays by the sea and the pile of summer reading for those lazy moments when jobs are done. I'm halfway through The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor but I have to admit to being distracted - there's The Handmaid's Tale, Anna and the Swallow Man and Ginny Moon waiting for me too... thank goodness the days are still long.