In the middle of the night, there is nothing Mark likes more than to lie in the dark with the windows open and listen to the rain hammering at the door. But I hate it. It seems to compromise my security, mostly because my hearing isn’t so good (I don’t hear at a certain pitch) and the rain seems to drown out all other noises which makes me feel unsafe (and also suggests I am never truly relaxed, doesn’t it?), in the dark.

But rain in the day is a different matter. The house is divinely gloomy and is this morning a haven for Finley and I. Because it isn’t exactly freezing, just dark and wet, I have opened all the windows and in a move that would probably get me shot by Mark, have put the heating on, on a very low light. But I have an excuse (Don’t I always??). My babba has told me that he has got din-dins in his nose, and when I woke this morning with a stuffy nose, I knew exactly what he meant.

So, it’s Operation Brocante Cold!!

Every lamp in the house is on, so we can move about the house in a rose tinted glow. Eucalyptus oil is scenting every room and after taking a rather splashy pine fragranced bath, Finley is snuggly in his cutest tartan pyjamas and sitting cuddled up on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket in our candlelit living room with a pile of Noddy books, while supping hot chocolate and tangerines and thoroughly enjoying being so spoiled.

There is chicken and (gluten free!) noodle soup bubbling on the hob and this afternoon I will make this delicious spiced bread, and have it with afternoon tea, while Finley and I, snuggle up and watch cartoons together…

Spice Bread.

250g of plain brown flour.

10g baking powder.

2 eggs.

100ml of full milk.

1 pinch ground cinnamon.

1 pinch ground nutmeg.

1 pinch ground ginger.

1 (teeny) pinch all spice.

1 (teeny) pinch of black pepper.

225g of honey.

Mix the flour and the baking powder together and then add the eggs, milk, spices and honey and mix until you have a smooth paste. Put into a well greased loaf tin and cook on a moderate heat for one hour…

Delicious today, but even better tomorrow when it will melt in your mouth if wrapped in clingfilm overnight.

Snuffly bliss.