Every year, when the temperature drops, I do the jumper swap. Away go the 286 breton-stripped tops that I own (I’ve been buying them since 1988; never got the memo about horizontal stripes and big boobs). Out come the chunky knits and in them I stay until at least March. Except, when I sorted through the chunky knit drawer, there wasn’t a colour pop to be found. Black, navy and grey marl are my friends (I did get that memo) but really, it all just looked a bit dull. Obviously, work prevented me for looking at some of my favourite clothes blogs including The Frugality and Online Stylist for ooh, about an hour. Divine inspiration indeed. 
In other news, half term flew. We had a few days away in Cornwall and before that, the children came with me to film last week’s Alan Titchmarsh Show. They got to dress up in Halloween gear, have their faces painted and try spooky drinks. Unsurprisingly, they screwed their faces up at pumpkin smoothies. As did Alan on his first taste of tequila, ever. For years, I wasn’t mad about it but then a friend introduced me to the proper stuff and I saw what the fuss was about. The fact that I was in a bar called The Pink Chihuahua only added to the experience, I feel. Anyway, we featured this one on the show, from 31dover.com. With its painted skull-shaped bottle, think instant colour pop.

Current white in the fridge: Caruso e Minini Grecanico 2012, £6.99, M&S
Made by the same crew behind the brilliant M&S Perricone, a perky red that if you haven’t yet tried, you must. Call it homework. Anyway, this is an equally perky white made from the Grecanico grape, in Sicily. Definitely fresh, a bit floral and a bit more orange blossom. Makes a great change to Sauvignon Blanc – not quite as herby – and lighter than a Chardonnay from this neck of the woods. Purdy label, too. 

Current red in the rack: Domaine de Gourget Cotes du Rhone Villages 2013, £5.99, Lidl
Ridiculously cheap red from the Cotes du Rhone, in France. The ‘Villages’ bit tells us that in theory it’s better quality than the more generic Cotes du Rhone-labelled wines. In this case, absolutely. Made from a blend of Grenache and Syrah, it’s bright, juicy, fresh and full of redcurrant and cherry fruits. A small glass with a plate of chicken risotto (homemade stock, check me out) made for a frugal, feel good meal. 
Peace out, winos x
Ps. The Boys stepped in to pick a name out of the hat for Hugh F-W’s new book (my mother was away on holiday). See them here (no idea how I managed to turn the sound off) reveal the winner – congratulations Jennifer Palmer! Email me at knackered mother @ gmail dot com and a copy will be with you asap. Thank you to everyone who took part and thanks to Ellen at Bloomsbury. 
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  1. (Argh, blogspot, why do you thwart me so) I was shouting about missing chunky knits. However, I have just discovered the wonderousness that is a bowl of plain yoghurt topped with crushed digestive biscuit and honey, so my sadness at the absence of seasons in my life isn't too overwhelming.

  2. Great post! First I heard about you from Fiona, and thank goodness for that!
    I love this year's fashion for big sweaters; my 15yo hand made by my BBF mum green-red "clod defender" is in style again again!

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