This week has been a little rough around the edges. There's been some bumps and bruises, and a general feeling of under-the-weather-ness plaguing every member of our family, littlest to largest. Nothing serious, knock wood, but just enough to send us cuddling with the comforters.

I'd had the best-laid of plans. I was in possession of a punnet of nectarines, small and perfect, stained with slashes of red and orange. I had envisioned something smashing for their destiny. Instead, they've been simply eaten out of hand and my supply is sadly diminished. Still, these are only minor dramas. Despite the nectarines, it's all only vaguely blue.

But here's a step in the right direction, I've made some tea, black and heavy with warm spices - cardamom, clove, cinnamon and ginger. Pepper is in there too. It has been steeped until strong, swirled with an ample spoonful of sweetened condensed milk, and served in a tumbler so that one might curl their hands around its sides and fully embrace its warmth. The effect is as soothing as soothing can get.

Before I return to those previously-noted covers I wanted to say hello, and to wish you a fine Friday. I am almost certain, knock that wood again, everyone is on the upswing here. Come the weekend we'll be back to our usual busy selves.

We'll talk soon. Until then, I'll keep the kettle on.