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  • Writer's pictureLilac Mills

Time away from my desk

We all know that taking time out is important, but I'm awful at it! I can't seem to switch off from writing unless I'm reading, but as both of these activities are mental rather than physical, and usually involve me staring at a screen or paper, my hubby begins to nag that I should take a day off and do something else.

With that in mind, we went to the seaside and had a brilliant day. A long walk along the beach with Poppy, who enjoyed herself enormously, despite eyeing the waves with suspicion, a paddle, sand between my toes, and fish and chips eaten out of the paper to finish it off.

I hate to admit it, but Hubby was right (although I hate to admit it). I did need a whole day away from my desk - and I've vowed to have more days off on a regular basis. Not too many, though...

I've grown some tomatoes!

For the first time ever, I've managed to grow tomatoes. I accidentally bought 6 yellow tomato plants (a bushy variety) instead of my usual tall red ones that need support. When I realised - and that was only when they developed fruit which was bright yellow - I was rather disappointed. To say I neglected these poor plants is an understatement. I didn’t feed them and only watered them when I absolutely had to. But to my surprise, they've produced a glut of the sweetest, most flavoursome tomatoes I have ever tasted. I've been picking them for weeks, and there are still more to come.

In an attempt not to waste any, I made roasted tomato and red paper soup, and it was the tastiest soup I've had in a long time, and so simple to make.

If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know I always put a disclaimer - I’m not a particularly good cook, so follow this recipe with a degree of caution and a lot of common sense. Good luck! If your dish turns out great, then I’ll take all the credit. If not… well, you were warned!

Saying that though, you can't really go wrong with this recipe! This made 4 good-sized portions of soup.


6 medium-sized tomatoes (more if they are tiny, like mine were)

red pepper

an onion

olive oil

1 clove of garlic (or garlic granules, because I'm lazy)

salt and pepper

1 litre of stock


  1. quarter the tomatoes, slice the red pepper into chunks and slice the onion, crush the garlic if you are using a whole clove

  2. place on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with garlic granules if you're not using a clove, and season with salt and pepper

  3. place in a preheated oven and roast until slightly charred

  4. In the meantime, bring the stock to the boil and when the roasted veg is done, pop them into the stock. Simmer for 10 minutes.

  5. Blitz in a blender.

The soup is suitable for freezing.

What I've been reading


Ignore the romance - it was the guinea pigs that were the stars of this particular show! Actually, the romance was pretty good too, but after I finished reading the book I still had those little piggy squeaks in my head. Awww...

Jenny is an incredibly sweet and lovely main character, with a backbone of grit and determination: and I'm not referring to her disability, which doesn't define her. It's simply another aspect of who she is.

The romance is slow burning and gentle, although at times I did wonder if Henry deserved her.

Thoroughly enjoyable and pure escapism, this book will delight and entertain.

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