Lots going on at the moment which tends to keep me out of mischief and also from thinking too much!
Had a fantastic day off at Chelsea Flower Show on Press Day which once again saw me playing my own version of ‘celebrity bingo!’ I found myself standing quite close to Joan Collins and Sir Cliff Richard and yes I have huge admiration for both of them, but I wish they’d let go and give in to nature! The highlight for me was meeting the boys in red, the Chelsea Pensioners and we had pictures taken with Norman, Stan & David who I have to say, all still had a certain twinkle in their eye.
Royal Welsh Spring Festival saw our cookery demonstration kitchen up and running featuring bread making, butchery, chocolate & chef master class demos. It’s the Smallholding and Gardening Event so I headed to the Highland cattle lines to catch up with some pals but realised it was a little too soon as it did me a mischief, especially chatting with the couple who bought our 3, so won’t do that again for a bit!
A sad occasion was saying goodbye to a real gentleman this week, Tim Elliott. The church in Ombersley was full to bursting with over 500 people paying their respects which is a true testament to the man he was. Our thoughts and prayers are with ‘T’ his other half who he adored. They came to our wedding and I was looking at a picture of them both and their bond was so strong for everyone to see that I’m sure T will feel his presence every day.
We’re now getting ready for the Jubilee Weekend, with 2 events, Malvern Food Festival on Sat with our kitchen on our trailer and then Monday sees Glyn with his speakers and me ‘gob on a stick’ at Broadfield Court in Bodenham, Herefordshire with acting and directing royalty Sir Derek Jacobi and Richard Clifford. What a thrill to be able to not only meet the fellas but chat with them too, and the day before they will have been part of the River Thames Pageant so lots to talk about.
Something else that’s happened is we’ve got ourselves a bigger vehicle – I know it’s the Olympics and all that, but I didn’t think I’d have to join in with my Fosbury Flop just to get in the drivers seat.
Fingers crossed we may have found somewhere to store our ever-growing equipment, it might just mean I get the spare bedroom back and also half the lounge which has become the latest overspill area! This is after Glyn has filled the garage and his office, I was beginning to think he was turning into one of those ‘hoarders’ you see on the television!
It’s been a sad time Herefordshire and Worcestershire with so many news stories involving the counties and my thoughts and prayers are with the Boughton family from Combe and Rippingtons at Alvechurch.
I finally got my columns written after getting up in the middle of the night, but somehow I do find I write better that way. Log fire burning, cup of tea, lamp on and no one else around, good job I don’t write full-time as I’d never see anybody!
Won’t be long before Glyn and I start with the Food, Drink & Gardening Events and it’s lovely hearing from organisers all over the country, either our reputation is getting out there or perhaps we’re too cheap!
I fancy sampling the atmosphere at Ludlow Racecourse this week having driven over it that many times recently, I’ll have a word with Mr Johnson, that’s if I can find him!
I’m supposed to be writing a piece for The Smallholders Magazine but keep getting distracted, most recently with an urge for ‘jam on toast!’
Good old February, never lets us down in the winter stakes and once again I’m having to carry water up to the livestock which involves me in a blue jeep with 2 dogs and 2 cats running alongside. Not sure Gracie our 7 month old Highland Calf is enjoying this cold spell, bit of a shock to the system I reckon after it being so mild for so long.
Glyn is once more travelling to BBC Bristol in the morning to present The Breakfast Show and I’ll be doing my last weekend relief milking at a local estate as we approach the beginning of our busy season with the shows. Bookings are coming in for our mobile cookery demonstration unit which is exciting and it all starts in a couple of weeks time.
Meanwhile I’ve got an article to write, oh by the way, I drove through Kidderminster the other day and my mobile beeped to tell me it had found a new time zone!
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.
Not sure where the time goes, but goes it do and can you believe Christmas is now less than 4 weeks away!
Been up early the last couple of mornings writing my new look columns for Worcestershire, Herefordshire & Wye Valley Life Magazines, think I was on my third cup of tea by seven o’clock! We’ve been out and about a bit of late too, Ellenden Farm Shop near Evesham hired our mobile cookery demonstration unit so popped over there to see it in action. I also caught up with some former listeners from Pershore who I’d not seen for a few years, the lovely Butcher, Ken Tallis and Darren from Revills Farm Shop who used to pop in every year with a bunch of Asparagus for me along with some homemade Hollandaise Sauce, happy memories.
One thing I have learnt recently is that no longer can I be a dirty stop out and get away with it. Friends of ours run a Restaurant and having run into them at a meeting, we were invited back to theirs where they ‘rustled’ something up to eat. Now, my rustling would end up as toast perhaps, or just a biscuit, believe me it would look nothing like what arrived on our plates which was out of this world. Anyway, long story short and all that, we got home at two in the morning and didn’t it show the following day!!!
All’s quiet on the animal front, hens are coming to the end of laying for the winter, we’ve borrowed ‘Rocky’ the Ram for the sheep and I’ve had to increase Ruby’s food intake as Gracie is still very much suckling off her and it’s beginning to show. Lots of pictures of both Mum and little one on Facebook if you’d like to have a look.
Ruby our Highland Cow had her heifer calf last Friday and did it all by herself so you can imagine the past few days have been taken up with lots of gate leaning and watching. Had a bit of a scare on her first day though with ‘fly strike’ which I’ve never seen in a new-born calf but fortunately saw the eggs in time and with the work of a flea comb and a dose of ‘Spot On’ managed to kill both the eggs and can you believe the maggots which had already hatched – horrid. When we’ve been able to tear ourselves away it’s been all systems go for a new venture Glyn and I have started, which has seen not only the design and building of a brand new mobile cookery demonstration unit but also the purchase of a trailer which wasn’t supposed to happen just yet, but it’s ideal for what we want so it’s now living in the drive until we can figure out where to put it! Basically it means we can offer Food & Drink Festivals a unit which can either go into a marquee or building or if they prefer, stay outdoors in the trailer. Hoping for a run out at Tenbury Show but if not quite ready, it’ll be our pal Miranda with her camping stove!