Dear Wigleaf,

We have sunshine today. This is rare in south west Scotland at this time of year. August is generally a wet month, and it gives me such hopt for my tomatoes. A few more days of sun and they will turn red, surely. This is my third year trying to grow tomatoes, I do so in the hope that I'll be able to make Panzanella just once from real scratch. Seed scratch. The first year they got blight and turned to stinking black mush, last year I made an awful lot of green tomato chutney and wondered about fried green tomatoes — of Whistle Stop Café fame — are they made with a special variety, or will any old unripe fruit do?

I've been invited to a private view of a local art collective show tonight, this is a place of making. Lots of people here paint, mostly watercolours: flowers, chickens, boats. One day I hope to talk to a chicken painter to find out something about their motivation. I'm guessing it's not dissimilar to my tomato thing, but I'd like confirmation. I'd keep chickens if I had the space; imagine custard made with eggs still warm from the coop.

I'll leave you with that thought, and wish you a fragrant weekend.

Pantries of love,

Eryl, X

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