Well what a fabulous October we've had – the last time I remember an October as mild as this was when we were building the marina. It was so dry that the engineers were complaining that they were having to wet the clay. Sadly it didn't last, and we ended up with one of the wettest Novembers and one of the coldest Decembers – so let's hope it's not a sign of things to come! As I write this I'm sat looking out of my office window at a boat carefully manoeuvring onto the fuel bay. The sun is shining but the sky is a very ominous dark bluey grey and I can see the clouds moving very quickly. On the grass in front of the office is a little moorhen running back and to. They are the most delightful little creatures to watch – always with a purpose but generally giving the impression they're completely bonkers! A week or two ago one of our moorers also spotted a great crested grebe and took the most fabulous photo. At home the kids have settled back into school life which seems to involve an awful lot of driving around to pick up from hockey matches and shooting clubs, and daughter No 2 amused us greatly when she came home the other week announcing that she wouldn't be back for a couple of nights as she was going to stay at a friend's house – her response to questions like, what's her surname (shrug of shoulders), where do they live (raise of the eyebrows and shrug of the shoulders), what's their telephone number (slight amused look and further shrug of shoulders) and do the parents know you've been invited (even more of an amused look) gave us some concern, but at the eleventh hour she pulled it out of the bag , with a surname, postcode AND telephone number! The last thing I've been doing this month is thinking about our Christmas opening hours – I won't burden you with them yet – we have banned all mention of the "C" word until the 1st December.