Jonathan: The last couple of days have been pretty windy, with a cyclonic storm rolling in from the mid-Atlantic. Today’s been quieter day with sunshine and showers and very mild, but tomorrow we’ll be under the far side of the cyclone; and after that they’ll be two or three days of south-westerlies, gale to severe gale force (the rump of Hurricane Katia, which battered Virginia and New York a week ago). With a view to the greenhouses being safe rather than us sorry, this afternoon we pulled out from the store all the 6in x 1in x 8ft boardsand re-fixed them to the wooden ‘exoskeletons’ of the greenhouses (of my own devising, and much commented-on by visitors to the garden). We do this every autumn, usually just before the equinox and the storms that come with it. Thanks to Katia we’re a month early: the tomatoes are still in the greenhouse with fruit still to ripen! Tilly came out to help, of course, though as we seemed to be getting on just fine without her she went woffling round the garden, looking for things to stick her nose into: which is course what dogs were created to do. Back she comes with something in her mouth which she looks very excited about. Not a bone, not a stick, not a ball (she’s chewed up all the balls she had). Not a gooseberry – they’re long since gone, and not a broad bean or a pea pod either. And not a potato because we can see some red. Come on Tilly, just what is it you’ve got there?. Okay so you don’t want to show us, you just want us to know you’ve got something that’s all yours because you found it. Oh you do want to show us! Well, well, well, where did you get that apple? And off she goes to show us – under the sycamore trees and into the tiny clearing in the SW corner of the wall, where about eight years ago we – rather naively! – planted apple trees. On the floor are a few more bruised and mis-shapen apples like the one Tilly had; but lo – the tree is laden and the branches curved down with rosy apples! And nearby another tree also is laden with apples, rather more green than rosie it is true, but that’s how that variety is meant to be. We’ve had a few apples from these trees before, but nothing like this! Back from the potting shed with a basket, D set about bringing in the harvest: but first to check the quality. Mmm! crisp and juicy, sweet and scented! Absolutely delicious! So there we were taking a break from our labours, in the eye of the storm, eating apples from our own trees no more than thirty paces from the Atlantic!