Out with the old

I hadn’t planned on getting up so early, but I guess with it being the last day of the year might as well make the most of it! 3.45am it was, due to a wet nose from an elderly Border Collie who doesn’t always go through the night and too many years of milking cows followed by early breakfast radio means once I’m awake, I’m awake.

 Not sure where the year has gone, but it has and it certainly will leave its mark especially with losing Glyn’s Mum in November.

Early on we had to say goodbye to our woolly and furry friends as we lost our patch of rented ground. We still have regular updates and all are doing brilliantly I’m pleased to report. Blossom and Ruby both in calf, Lily, Lottie and Shirl in lamb and dear Gracie still growing and best friends with fellow Highlander Button. Never a day goes by without me thinking about them but with all the rain we’ve had I know it would have been tough going here as I’m not the best on a slippery bank and where they’ve gone they stil are on grass and not on hay where as here, we’d have started feeding them end of October so they’re much better where they are. I’ll probably look at having something on our own 3 acre patch next year, but I won’t keep cattle again, not until the lottery of TB is addressed.

Then there were the highs, what a summer for the Country as a whole with The Olympics, Paralympics and Jubilee Celebrations and proud to say we were part of both the Herefordshire and Shropshire events that took place marking Her Majesty’s visit.

This was the year that saw our new business ‘Wots Cooking’ come to light. For years we’ve both worked for Food, Drink and Gardening Festivals either chatting or supplying sound and visuals for other peoples cookery demonstration kitchens, but now we have our own and we’re loving it. Huge thank you to all those who have supported us and if you’ve not seen it, there’s a video thank you on the front page of our website!

I’ve not worn a pair of radio headphones this year due to working most weekends, although have made the occasional appearance usually involving calories and that’s where I seem to be heading now. My existing column for Worcestershire, Herefordshire & Wye Valley Life Magazines is now a foodie one, and the last month has seen it included in Warwickshire Life and Shropshire Life too which I’m thrilled about, especially Shropshire having written for them 3 years ago.

Farming side too I didn’t think I’d ever have to buy a new boiler suit, but I’ve met and helped out a local estate (think Downtown Abbey) with relief milking duties early on in the year and more recently looking after the youngstock and even though my body is way too old for all things physical now, I loved every minute of it.

Friendship is something I care hugely about and I’m lucky to have some wonderful pals so it was lovely in the summer to catch up again with an old school friend who I hadn’t seen or heard from in 30 years (I’d like to say since primary school but sadly not)!

So, wonder what 2013 has in mind for us all, here’s hoping for a drier one, a kind one and maybe if we’re lucky, a warm one. Whatever it throws at us, let’s hope we catch the good stuff.

Happy New Year x

 

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Just got a few things to do first!

Well, if you’re anything like me then we’re not ready for Christmas and what happened to people not sending cards this year?! I love receiving them, especially because our postie Dave is still in shorts – long story but involves him, a colleague and a yearly bet!

Been a bit of tough one this last month as sadly we lost Glyn’s Mum, Brenda. She went into hospital with a broken arm and never came home. His Dad has been amazing, especially when you think they’d only just celebrated 70 years together, we’ll all miss her but will raise a glass or two in memory this Christmas.

So our last working weekend for the year has come and gone with the last few days spent at Plassey Leisure Park near Wrexham for their Festive Food & Gift Fair, always nice to be asked back as we supplied our cookery demonstration kitchen for their summer event too. Was lovely to catch up with Chef Brian Mellor who’s doing great things with his Harthill Cookery School in Cheshire, he’s been a good pal to us with regard to our business which started at a similar time to ours and thank goodness we’re all still standing, although maybe with a slight lean as we’re a bit bushed!

Delighted to say my  food and drink column is now in Shropshire and Warwickshire Life Magazines from this month which is all very exciting, and if you are a food or drink producer in one of those counties or  Herefordshire or Worcestershire, please feel free to let me know what you’re up to, you can always contact me via my website or on Twitter @katiejjohnson

So our special family recipe Christmas pudding is ready, as is the mincemeat so all we need to do now is get the tree, presents, food, oh yes and decorate the house! I do have the cards though and it’s thanks to St Richards Hospice in Worcester for those, fell in love with them when I was kindly given a tour of what is truly an amazing place with some incredible people inside. Here’s hoping we can help with a spot of fundraising next year.

If they ever need a man in shorts in December, at least I know where to look!