It's been a busy baking year! Travelling the length and breadth of the country, I've stirred my stuff from the southern coast of Milford on Sea to the northern hills of Ingleton. My general sense of direction may be no better but I'm on the verge of intimacy with a Midlands-ish swathe that's been kind enough to invite me back time and again - from Ludlow to Kettering - and a popular patch around Cheshire.
Foodie events are full of lovely people (ignoring a startlingly aggressive woman who thought I'd pushed in to the pizza queue) and it's no surprise I left my heart in places like Southam. Sadly, I also left two baking trays in Rugby and four whisk beaters in Liverpool - I do wish I could be more organised.
By now, the 'season' was due to have finished, but it feels like we're all in need of a little festivity. So Northampton's first Winter Food Festival saw the debut of this little robin, perched wistfully on a chocolate, chestnut and cherry Swiss roll. Friends have commented that it looks a little too round to fly - frankly it's hard enough even walking with a cocktail stick up its bum. As for me, I'm back on the road for yet more baking before winging my way south for Christmas. Then a little hibernation would be very welcome.