Now I know I'm very lucky to have an Aunt who lives deep in the French countryside but I felt even luckier last autumn when son and I escaped for a few days in France during the half term.
And really, we couldn't have been more fortunate with the weather if we'd wished for it. Blue skies, autumnal sunshine and all manner of glorious colours and seasonal beauty awaited us.
Not far from Aunt's house is Le Bois du Tay, a wooded hill that always reminds me of something from a fairytale - a deserted hilltop chapel, mineral water springs, a pretty arboretum, twisting paths through the trees and even horses in unexpected clearings. We love wandering round because you really never know what you're going to find when you round the next corner.
Son loves it there too. Aunt's dog and he run and run through trees and up and down hills for hours. You know where they are simply by listening for the combination of excited barking and happy laughing.
At the end of Aunt's garden is a field full of cows. This soft-eyed creatures amble up to their fence when we appear in the garden and moo gently until we pay them some attention. When you walk up to them, they back away until one or two brave cows edge forward and push their noses into your hand, hoping for some kind of treat.
For some reason known only to the powers that be, the airline we fly with stop flying to Aunt's local airport at the end of October so we had to sail home. I admit that I loathe boats but the opportunity for this history-loving girl to call in at Pegasus Bridge before boarding the ferry made the ridiculously long journey home bearable.
With our batteries recharged after a few days of French living, we made it back home with smiles on our faces and a last touch of sun-warmth in our bones.