It’s Sunday, and my usual weekly Skype time with my parents. I could hear the happiness in my mother’s voice as she told me about her day in her small part of Hampshire that still holds my heart.

There is a chill in the air, she said, a definite sign that autumn is here.

She and my father had just returned from the Farmers’ Market where they bought hand-raised pies and home-made cheeses as well as an assortment of produce sourced and made in local farms and small holdings.

But the happiness in my mother’s voice came from the fact that my niece, who had just started a horticultural course at a local college, was working at the nursery set up by our city council, selling plants, shrubs and trees in the Common.

“We saw her,” my mum said, and I could feel a thousand suns exploding in her as she is filled with thoughts of her granddaughter. She couldn’t have been prouder that day.

You are special, just as you are, to those who truly love you.

Main photo: my niece and my daughter on a glorious summer day.