October. Autumnal outings and walks, the vibrant changing colours of the seasons, Halloween fun with the children and also the tastiest harvest of the year. Yes, we’ve been enjoying the fruits of the season: apples. Be it apples covered in chocolate and sprinkles, or even gooey, sticky toffee, or the fruit from our apple tree in the garden being used in some delicious homemade crumbles, we have been gobbling up apples like they’re going out of fashion. But this year, we’ve also be celebrating apples in a new way in our household, after being introduced to a new generation of ciders. I’m talking about cider made like wine, from 100 per cent apples or pears, and it’s really good stuff. The real deal. Try a bottle with the Cider is Wine campaign seal of approval and let me know your verdict. I, for one, think classy cider is making a comeback!
This month, we’ve brought you ideas of our favourite haunts to explore. From Halloween rambles to socially distanced theatre performances, we hope there’s something that appeals.
This year has been the most challenging of times for theatres, but after talking to 10 wonderful local venues, we’ve discovered there’s lots we can all do to help save our county’s arts scene, even if we can’t get out and see a show – from using their cafes to sponsoring a seat.
We’ve been enjoying some lovely pub walks lately, courtesy of the classic Countryside Books’ Berkshire Pub Walks. So far, we’ve loved revisiting the River Thames at Pangbourne and Cookham, and discovered woodlands and surprising wildlife. But it’s not just the picturesque villages and gorgeous landscapes that make Berkshire so brilliant; it’s the people too, and we love to meet leading lights in the community.
After boredom set in during lockdown, Reading-born artist and activist Jessy Blakemore began hand-painting corsets and selling them for charity. We chat to her about creating art as a woman of colour, plus how her political fashion reflects the feelings and frustrations of many at the moment. I was inspired by all that she stands for, drawing attention to the most vulnerable individuals in society. Her courage and confidence is certainly to be admired, as well as her thought-provoking art and lyrics, and I can’t wait to see what she achieves in the future.
ABOVE: Sarah has been enjoying Cinderella’s Slipper Cider, walks along the Thames with her girls in Pangbourne and making homemade blackberry and apple crumbles