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


We’ve got the white stuff

I’m sitting on top of the fire in what really has begun to feel like winter, thank goodness my ’emergency weekend milking’ for a local farm estate was conducted in slightly higher temperatures!

At the moment I’m busy preparing the cookery demonstration schedule for various events we’ll be at this year with www.wotscooking.co.uk we’re very lucky that we’ve found some super chefs and demonstrators to work with, and some of them are as mad as we are!

As I’m typing this, Libby the Retriever is having a ‘moment’ with her stuffed duck, Tess the Collie has retreated upstairs due to ‘popping’ logs and thought I’d let you see this of Gracie, taken last week at 6 months old.

Age? I’m going the other direction

Thank you for your kind birthday messages yesterday, much appreciated and as I’m going in the other direction now, I shall look forward to my 21st in the next few years! Spent the day trying to walk against the wind up Clee Hill with the dogs and then last night went to see the very funny Milton Jones at Telford. Not that I’m an old fart or anything, but both he and his support act James Acaster got through the whole night without one expletive which was so refreshing and lovely that the families with youngsters in the audience didn’t feel uncomfortable. I keep looking at our 4 chicks which are heading towards 5 weeks old now and still wondering what we’ve got. It keeps changing and today I’m thinking maybe 1 Roo and 3 hens, here’s hoping as then I can keep them all! Managed to write my columns over the weekend and can you believe they’re for July. Hopefully it’s the last visit for Tess at the vets tomorrow as finally the hole under her chin caused by her freak stick injury is healing, so shouldn’t think she’ll need another operation which is good news, both for Tess and my purse. I love her dearly but in more ways than one!

Asparagus to Vets and back again

Here we are then at the end of another week, and having just returned from the Vets where the very young nurse mentioned how quickly the year was going, if it seems that way for someone in their 20’s then there’s no hope for the rest of us! Sadly Tess may need another operation as her wound isn’t healing properly, she goes back on Wednesday so here’s hoping it’s good news. At the moment the view from the kitchen window is obscured by Glyn bringing his work home with him. Got home on Tuesday to find a ruddy big green container in the drive which he’s fitting with a radio studio for a client. I knew it was coming, but he did say it wouldn’t be any bigger than a medium-sized caravan, lets just say men and measurements are never a good combination. He has promised it will be gone for Easter which is when he’ll be able to come in the house again! Wednesday saw the 15th anniversary of losing our Mum ‘Shirl’ who I miss everyday but at the same time keep seeing her when I look in the mirror. On the radio tomorrow on Sunshine which I’m looking forward to and just heard confirmation that I’ll be part of the Asparagus Festival Day at The Fleece at Bretforton working alongside the lovely Felice Tocchini who once appeared on This Morning with Katie Price, maybe she could give me a couple of ….. tips!

I’ve put my cardigan back on

We’ve had an old friend over for the past few days which was lovely, mind you with all the wining, dining & chatting that was going on I’m bushed. Sitting in the lounge looking out at a very grey day wondering what has happened to the sunshine, and just when I’d begun to develop a bit of a rosy glow. Can’t believe the rate at which the chicks are growing, to watch them is quite addictive, copying everything their Mum does including scratching the ground which makes me smile everytime. Other one is when their Cochin Mum shakes like a wet dog and each of the 4 is then blown in every direction leaving them a good foot away having to run as fast as they can back to her. Tess’s mouth is recovering well from the stick incident and of all the times to have friends over, what with her and her leaky front and Libby the Retriever in season with a leaky other end, oh the joys of keeping animals. Looks like I’ll be heading to Countrytastic again this year to help out a pal with the lambs with a promise to Glyn that I won’t be bringing any home with me – what he didn’t know was I had my fingers crossed behind my back.

Sticks and Balls

I don’t let our dogs play with sticks as they can be dangerous and cause all sorts of problems, so not sure how we’ve ended up with our 10 year old Collie having surgery this morning for an impaled stick under her tongue from chasing a ball! I know she’ll be okay but you do worry, but all that was put aside when sitting in the waiting room and having to hear the conversation the vet was having to the couple ahead of us when he told them their young spaniel only had 2 months to live. I felt dreadful for them, not only because they’re going to lose their pal who looked so well, but also the fact we could hear everything that was being said, so when it was our turn I felt I had to tell him in the hope that maybe they’ll do something about it as it’s not fair on people, especially when it’s sad news. On a lighter note, I got recognised today by a lady who saw my piccie advertising the Spring Show at Malvern on their website, she’s never been, I didn’t know her so quite surprised really, and made me feel a little better especially as I was a good stone lighter when it was taken!