That’s the affect that Alan Titchmarsh has on me, having posted a picture in June that was taken at Chelsea Flower Show this year I’ve not been heard from since!
It’s been a busy time for our new business www.wotscooking.co.uk which is wonderful, although have to admit to slight disappointment that will all this physical activity I’m still not a size 12 and in all honesty, never will be now as I’ve been asked to write my monthly food and drink column for Shropshire and Warwickshire Life Magazines as well as Herefordshire and Worcestershire. All very exciting and delighted to do so, first one will be out for December.
It does appear that calories have become my life and let’s be honest, there’s not many I’ve met and didn’t like. Speaking of tasty! was lovely to catch up again with the gorgeous Jean-Christophe Novelli at Malvern Autumn Show, he really is one of the nicest people and a great Chef too, I always seem to learn something from him each time and that doesn’t often happen. I’m looking forward to working with Mary Berry for the first time at the end of the month at this years ‘Allpay Flavours of Herefordshire Food Festival’, we’ve chatted on the radio a few times but never met.
At home we still need a new kitchen door and with all this wet stuff we’ve discovered it can rain indoors – well we always wanted a home with character! Poor old hens had a visit from the fox the other day which has put pay to all egg production now. He didn’t get them thankfully, infact I was there at the time thank goodness, I was sorting the water out in their pen so they’d headed away from me towards our fence line and I heard one of the girls making the most unusual noise, looked up and there he was standing 5 feet away from her. Needless to say a few choice words said loudly accompanied by a lot of arm waving moved him on, but it’s been enough to do them a mischief.
We were working at Tenbury Applefest last weekend which was good fun, except when two teenage girls thought I’d like to buy toffee apples for my, and I quote, grandchildren! Now I appreciate that if I’d started young I would possibly have maybe one, but they referred to a few and if they’re eating toffee apples they’re probably 6 years old! I know it was cold, and I was edging towards tired, but I’m changing my face cream, it’s a load of ‘Boswollox’
It’s a writing day today then later in the week I’m off to Herefordshire to watch the apple pressing for cider making, followed by a very posh doo where we’ll see who has won various food and drink awards in Worcestershire and Warwickshire. It has a dress code of black tie, which just about sums up the contents in my wardrobe.
Still recovering from what was a busy RHS Autumn Show at Malvern, lovely to work with the boys from River Cottage (Mark, Steve, John & Gil) who are just as super off the camera as they are on. I’m afraid a certain Italian Chef by the name of Gino has lost that ability and it’s sad as only 2 years ago I worked with him at Herefordshire and he was great, perhaps he caught something during his time in the jungle!
It was our Wedding Anniversary at the weekend too, and tonight we’re going out for a ‘posh’ meal to celebrate. I’m really proud of Glyn as this week he starts lecturing at Staffordshire University on their Media Course. He’ll be fab at that, he’s got a lovely way with him and has done training for the Beeb for many years, infact that’s how we met as he was asked to, and I quote, ‘train me on the desk!’
Looking forward to this sunshine they’re promising this week as I’m a bit behind in the garden and could do with the last bit of grass growth for the cows as the hay prices for this year are even higher than last.
I’ve got a new gig this week compering for The Caravan Show so looking forward to that and then won’t be long before Herefordshire Food Festival with the smouldering Jean Christophe Novelli – he’s not been in the jungle so we’ll be okay.
Herefordshire said goodbye to Mike Hamilton this week, one of life’s gentleman. I had the privilege of knowing him following an interview I did with him on radio when he first set up the veg box scheme Flights Orchard Organics. From there I worked with him when he did cookery demonstrations for Heart of England Fine Foods (HEFF) and then laughed with him when he became a friend with that big beaming smile of his. The celebration of his life was held last Tuesday and it was standing room only which in itself was a true mark of the man.
Glyn and I have just spent two days at Staffordshire County Show working with the Cookery Theatre which is based in the Food Hall. I do think, and this goes for all county shows, they should give priority to their local producers to be in the main area and then if not full, offer it out to others. Was lovely to meet a couple of new chefs in the form of Rayeesa from Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen at Mordiford who we’ll see again at Shobdon Food Festival, and the rather gorgeous Marcus Bean from New Inn, Baschurch. I predict a sweet-smelling future for this chap, who is not only talented and good-looking, but lovely with it, and that doesn’t often happen.
It’s been weird not having the dogs at home having dropped them off at my Sisters for the week, just wouldn’t be fair for them to be at home with us away so much. Going to be seeing the ladies from the Prostate Cancer Widows Support Group tomorrow of which I’m proud to be Patron and then somewhere in between it’s all change again for the cows as we yet again move them so they have a bit of grass to eat. It’s lovely to have the sunshine but we still need more rain to get it growing, the rate we’re going we’ll have to feed them hay!
Have had confirmation today that I’ll be yet again compering for the fabulous Herefordshire Food Festival in October, and it’ll involve working up close and personal with chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, I do so love my job!
Apologies for lack of posts but since taking on 2 pigs and the kittens growing, my life is not my own! Had a fantastic time at last weekends Herefordshire Food Festival, including compering the awards the night before. The Hairy Bikers were fantastic and Si’s impression of Nigella was a little too close to the real thing which was a bit unnerving. I do love this part of my job, that and writing my columns for the Life Magazines, and with the news this week that Archant has bought out Wye Valley Life, hopefully it will mean connecting once again with some more former listeners. Cows came back last Saturday so fingers crossed and finally moved the hens to the flat so hopefully I’ll get to stay upright in the wet now! Thinking that I’m going to have to give up after dinner speaking as by the time you get to chat, it’s bedtime! Think I’ll concentrate on lunchtimes and afternoons, I have been asked to return to the WI circuit which I’m thrilled about, only thing is they want me to call the talk something, maybe it should be ‘not sure how I got here’!
I’ve mentioned my idea of becoming a kept woman to Glyn, but all I get in return is that certain look! I’m sure the feeling will wear off, and I suspect what’s done it is the amount of time it’s taking me to feed and water everything living at Hedgebottom Home, especially when you’ve got 5 week old kittens and piglets to play with, and that’s before I even think about working for a living! Been a busy couple of weeks, we were due to go away but that will have to wait till next year now. Glyn has used his O level in woodwork to build a brand new area for the hens which looks fab, I’ve been doing a lot of digging which is why I’m struggling to walk at the moment, and a pal and I have begun a night class at college in Hereford, I even found myself looking at pencil cases again after 30 years! Herefordshire Food Festival this weekend and I’m compering the Awards evening the night before again, so no doubt will look a bit baggy on the Saturday. Looking forward to working with the lovely Hairy Bikers again too, all that leather!