Looking out from the mainland, that’s Ardgour on the horizon of this week’s cover.
It’s one of those corners of the country that feels a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of life. Willie Shand is off there for a drive, taking in the fresh air and the ferry across.
It called for another one of his famously early morning starts. I felt tired just doing the maths – he arrived at 7.30, it took him two and a half hours of driving, so that meant getting up at…well, very early.
Liz has put together a bumper crop of summer reads for this month’s book page – if you’re needing a recommendation, have a look. Plus there’s me talking about a book I read on the importance of sleep – as if I needed an excuse for an early night!
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Polly Pullar is celebrating the humble blackbird with some lovely photos. It’s one of our favourites in the garden. The RSPB once told me they’re often the earliest risers in the summer, as their big eyes mean they can start hunting for food earlier. Probably why they’re song is so familiar to all of us – they are the opening notes of the dawn chorus.
Steve Finan shares some fabulous kitchen hints from the 50s, and we’ve got a really interesting piece from farmer Lorna Sixsmith about the impact this dry summer has had on her livelihood. When I commissioned this, I did wonder whether the summer would last until it was published, but amazingly it’s been pretty consistent all the way through. Truly has been on a par with 1976.
Speaking of warm weather, there’s a charming short-sleeved top in the knitting and al fresco dining recipes in the cookery.