Country mouse on the autumn bounty

While town mouse was sunning himself in Ramsgate, I donned my metaphorical bowler and ventured into the City, to the very top of the Gherkin, in fact. This vegetable-shaped icon has become a regular perch for the peregrine falcons who nest at Tate Modern.

It may be that they can see all the delicious food through the glass in the Searcy restaurant, but it’s a masterful lookout position from which to launch the next dive bomb on a lumbering London pigeon. Of the 1,500 breeding pairs in Britain, these two seem to have got the City-style bonus.

Back at home, you don’t need to be a raptor to find food. The autumn crop seems to have arrived already: fruit is already straining stems and branches. Blackberries are abundant and a required pit stop on any walk or ride. The state of the apples has spurred me to send off for a spare part for my press the picking, crushing and juice-extracting has become an annual ritual.

The sloes even seem à point and they’re supposed to be at their best after the first frost. I’m not sure they can wait. The figs are enjoying their sunny wall and are now producing fruit daily, delicious cut in half and topped with grated cheese, briefly popped under the grill. Now all I need is some nice, tender pigeon breast.