..

Sunday, 31 May 2020

As quiet as a ....

mouse, peace has fallen over this little piece of Ludlow and the river Teme.

This is the reason...


if you haven’t read it I suggest you do.
A masterclass in how the brave face their problems, dust themselves off and tackle the new world they find themselves in.

Fortune favours the bold.

How true that is.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

I openly admit...

 I am prejudiced!
My bete noire is pigeons.
They are okay if they just leave me alone.  Go pester the people in Trafalgar Square.  Oh yes, I forgot there aren’t any folk in Trafalgar Square or come to that any other places of interest to pigeons.  
I know, they think, let’s go to that huge tree in Ludlow, have sex and raise a family.  There is food on tap in an all weather covered venue she oddly calls a Wrenery.  It should be called a Pigeonary, but we really aren’t that bothered!  Free food to be had, although it is a faff waiting until ‘she’ goes out!


The tree is bloody enormous, it sheds lots of twigs that are absolutely ideal for our Grand Designs project.  We could even write and arrange for Kevin to pop by to feature us on his programme... pity we can’t... write, that is!
Building was under way, we got a bit blasé about not bothering that ‘she’ was sitting enjoying the garden right underneath.  Personally I think it was our ruddy wings clattering that gave us away.  With eagle eye she peered up, the glint said it all! 
Strolling casually across, you would never believe what happened next?  She only went and got a huge bamboo stick and rustled it in the tree.  We flew off and regrouped, planning our next move.
Over the next couple of days, we were all on a war footing.  Her attack grew more sophisticated, not content with rustling the tree she even targeted the wife’s derrière with a stick.  Creeping up armoured she caught her unawares while she was intent on a little light weaving of twigs.  Twice that happened.  If she thinks that will deter us ‘she’ has another think coming!

That dear readers is why some of you might think I am not nice to know?  And who am I to blame you?


Friday, 29 May 2020

With collie calm...

we start the day.
All is peace in this tiny patch of Ludlow.  Strangely I feel content, even more strange is Ellie has jumped up on my lap and not been her usual wriggly self.
We had a love, we have a special bond.  Dogs are mans’ best friend. Ellie is my best friend.
After Lettice died I thought I shall never have another dog, because it wouldn’t be fair as I couldn’t possibly love it as much as I did Lettice.  It took me many  tears and six long years to mend my broken heart.
Slowly not even noticing at first my mind turned, the idea to fill the void left by the fifteen year relationship with a very special chum began to take shape.  At the time I made him solemnly promise me that no matter how much I whinged and moaned (and I did!) he would stand firm against my entreaties.  He only went and did exactly as requested!  Unbeknown to me he was also feeling the same way.  One day out for a walk, like a record stuck in a groove I trotted out the same whinging refrain.  I can be a total pain at times... surprise you?  No, I thought not!
His reply...
‘You could always release me from my vow!?!’
Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather!
I would be the first to admit I am not the most measured of people, flying by the seat of my pants has been a lifelong means of travel through my rackerty life.  However this was something I had waited a long time for and wanted to get it right.
It had to be a rescue; why encourage people to breed dogs to be the latest must-have furry accessory?  There were so many unloved, unwanted dogs out there to more than fit my particular bill.
I said, I will know!
And I did.  The same as Lettice, the moment I saw Ellie I knew.  
It took us weeks of visiting the centre, because she was so afraid.
We hung on in there and boy was it worth it.

Ellie 

Lettice

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Feet on the table...

sat in the garden I’m...
b o r e d!
The morning found me pottering with my pots, well, you would wouldn’t you?  You know the sort of stuff, rearranging, bit like the deckchairs on the Titanic.  I’ve swept, I’ve clipped, I’ve poked a pigeon up it’s a**e, like you do?  Now like the true Elizabeth Bott personage that I am, I am casting around to think of something to do?

I know I’ll tell you a story of me a broken ankle and an emerald ring?

Well to cut a short story long.
I broke my ankle stepping off a stile onto an unseen pebble.
Crashing to the ground in a very ladylike fashion my first words weren’t what you would expect...
‘Oh f**k!’ 
but...
‘I’ve broken it!’
Himself flew over the stile kindly stepping over my prone form and as we were only a short distance from his home, he sat me upright and went to get the car.
He took me to A & E and yes I had broken my ankle.
We were just a week away from flying off on one of our exotic holidays... what timing?
With every fibre of my body and charm in overdrive I  endeavoured to persuade the specialist to sign me a fit-to-fly certificate.  After dark warnings of the risk of a DVT, my magnetic personality  wove its magic.  The bowed and broken man was on the point of uncapping his Mont Blanc pen when  common sense hit me square between the eyes, I graciously decided that I would follow his expert  advice!
To cut a long story short... it was just as well for once I did as i was told, as without the long haul flight I managed to get a DVT and spent a week in hospital.
You see I can be sensible... surprised, yes I was as well.
Anyway, I haven’t even got to the crux of the story yet...
As I was convalescing a little parcel arrived with this emerald ring inside. 


The card was in my wicked daughter-in law’s writing...

‘Miss Taylor you left this behind on you last visit to us.  We do hope you are recovering well and look forward to seeing you next time.
From all at the Betty Ford Clinic’

Bloody cheek!
I did laugh though.
Apparently when they came down to see me, I was looking in ‘my eyes’ a million dollars, dolled up, full slap on and shades, being pushed around by my ever attentive SOP.  In their eyes however I looked just like this...


You have to laugh!

Two blog posts in one day?

Now what shall I do for badness?

Sadly, slowly I am...

morphing into an old lady who smells of lavender and wee!
I have just sneezed and this early in the day I have a little light leakage.
As for laughing fit to bust, well that is a case for Miss Industrial Tena to ride to the rescue.
Memo to self...
Must practice my pelvic floor exercises!


‘What pelvic floor exercises LL?’

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

I wish I didn’t...

care about injustice, politics, the state of the world, so many things.

I have a cousin who is just eleven months older than me.  We couldn’t be more different.  Her father was my mum’s brother, our families lived next door but one to each other.  I was a tomboy with little care for my appearance whereas Chris and her sister, their mother would send to bed with a head full of metal dinkie clips in order to put a little light movement into their poker straight hair. I was lucky to have naturally curly hair, their mother never forgave me for that!

Me!

As we grew up our lives couldn’t have been more different.  Chris had one job, married and lived in the same house.  Her appearance and the cleanliness of the house was her only pleasure.  Her one hobby was the state of her hair... yes, really!  I blame it on those blooming dinkie metal curlers! 


In a force 10 gale her hair, not dissimilar to Trump’s would stay unmoving.  Elnett shares soared.
Me, well I have racketed around my life and the world like a whirlwind.  I honestly think that is why I care!

Snorkelling in warm seas admiring the colourful house reefs I would often think about Chris and  because of her fear of messing up her hair marvel at just what she had missed?  As I puffed up mountains, sitting on the top admiring the view my thoughts would turn to her and her life on the margins of an exciting time to be alive.

Sadly we have lost touch, how she is getting on in this strange world we all find ourselves in... who knows?  Her clean gene is probably in overdrive.  I just hope she has stockpiled cleaning products... Oh yes... and
hairspray.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

I have started chuntering...

is it a sign of age I wonder, lockdown or just me getting grumpier by the minute?
My instinct is to break out, after all aren’t rules made for breaking?
All my life I have been a rebel, without a cause I ought to say!  However this one is worthy of us all doing the right thing, not only for ourselves and our families but for others as well.
I can’t help thinking that 
St. Boris the patron saint of absent fathers doesn’t get it?
Certainly my instincts tell me he doesn’t as he cracked on about fatherly instincts.
Call me cynical, I don’t care!
I have a horrible feeling come polling day Boris’ worry about him  mimicking Churchill being voted out of office after the war will come to pass.


Has anyone seen the similarities between the Dominic Cummings interview in the rose garden of 
No 10 yesterday and the interview 
Prince Andrew gave in Buckingham Palace?
Car crash TV overlaid with arrogance.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Polar bears, walrus...

whales... Oh and... most important...
Lars, the Viking!?!
A few years ago now, the husband said to me
‘Where do you want to go for your special birthday?’
Without a second thought I said
‘The Arctic, before it melts!’
little thinking that in the intervening years that is exactly what has happened!
In order to fly up to the Arctic Circle we stayed a few days in Oslo before flying on to Svalbard to join the National Geographical research ship Endeavour.
My abiding memory of the trip isn’t the 23 polar bears, the walruses floating by on pack ice as we sat over our breakfast, out on a rib whale watching and getting up close and personal with the most amazing blue icebergs.  Oh dear me no, my fun memory is of the vision that was Lars.  
Now this may give you a mere suspicion of the sort of woman I am?  And in part you would be right... sadly.  Although I ought to say in my defence I do milk it a little!
In this wonderful old hotel smack in the centre of town, each night we would sit having a drink in the bar.  Here I ought to say before the trip the husband said
‘Whatever you do DON’T look at the prices!’
What did I then always do? Looked at the prices.  Crumbs I just wish he hadn’t said that.  For the price of a bottle of wine you could have bought a two up, two down terraced house, alright in a rundown area... but still?
Anyway, I digress.
Each evening we were served by Gunther, Oslo’s answer to Manuel in Fawlty Towers, a tad more efficient, but you get my drift?
One evening sitting across from us was what I can only describe as a frigging vision of Viking blond beauty.  Tall, hair, beard and bod rippling with sex appeal. Around his neck he had a silver chain the girth of which could have tied up the Titanic.  On this chain was the famous Mike Jagger lips the size of a lavatory seat!
All of this I just couldn’t help noticing... like you do!?!
On his lap was a guitar laid flat which he was gently strumming.  
Well, we got into conversation, after of course I had adjusted 
the drooling dribble from my chin.
What a guy, he was full of chat, a lovely, lovely man from all angles... as it were!?!
Later, we met him in the street, he seemed keen to come out for dinner, husband managed to dissuade him... can’t think why?
The next morning, as we returned to our room, he was just seeing a friend off from his Presidential  suite right next to ours.  In his caftan he looked even more the bizz! I floated towards him down the corridor on cloud nine.
‘I had a party last night, I do hope I didn’t wake you!’
‘Oh yes, I wondered what the noise was?’  I lied.
He was full of remorse, so much so I had to own up I was telling a lie.

That evening in conversation in the bar with Gunther we casually enquired about the charismatic Viking... like you do, or more accurately like I do!
‘Oh yes!’ Gunther archly replied
‘He was picked up this morning by the asylum that he had absconded from!  He is a wealthy man with sadly mental health issues!’

Oh dear!
 Back to the icebergs.
Husband did laugh at how in an instance my imaginary holiday romance was scuppered!





Sunday, 24 May 2020

We stepped out...

smartly, harness on... 
training a-go-go.
In these times of social distancing I decided in my infinite wisdom the right way forward would be to get some socialising underway.  Odd you might think at such a time when everyone should keep their distance.  Ellie has obviously been listening to our ‘esteemed‘ leader and taken it very much to heart unlike Dom Cum... no, no, not Dim Sum!

She over this strange time has got more reclusive and scared of just about everything.
In a fit of sensible, which I ought to say doesn’t happen that often, she i.e. me decreed that the bank holiday weekend was the very time to start this intensive training programme.  Now in normal circumstances himself would have been all too keen to troll up to town 26 times in one day... the pub being his goal.  However now pubs are like an endangered species he, surprise, surprise 
wasn’t that keen!
I being the boss-cat decided that I would be the pathfinder-in-chief and lead by example.
Off we smartly step, Ellie in her harness which hasn’t seen the light of day since who knows when? 
Setting off was fine-ish, until we got to the centre of town. Then she went into overdrive as we sat waiting outside for the man to get his paper.  Trembling and generally not happy, we waited, treats and soothing words did settle her a little until we turned for home. Low to the ground she endeavoured to slink home, pulling fit to bust.  A reviving coffee and himself genning up on all things canine it was decided off we would go again.  This time with him in control.

‘Only one should do the training at once’ he said as we strode off  up the hill... 

‘Once again for those who weren’t watching the first time!’ type of thing.  
I followed along behind like the dust cart after the Lord Mayor’s parade.  Only one difference...
envy in every step
as he patiently  and gently showed her he was in command. 
She responded well, not at all put off by the glowering looks being shot up both their backsides.
As we got home victorious, or I should say as they got home victorious... my only thought...

‘Well he does have a way with bitches!’ 

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Laugh, I never thought...

my drawers would dry!
Two nights in a row I have laughed  fit to bust.  Last night it was a close run thing to get to the loo before I was in sore need of Miss Tena to ride to the rescue!?!
Yes, really!
I know, I know too much information.

‘The soup tonight is white vegetable!’

They looked at the waitress, she looked at them, the silence hung in the air, as I sat up smart-ish exploding into gales of laughter in anticipation of just what was coming next.
The silence grew...

‘What exactly is in white vegetable soup?’ scratching their heads they not unreasonably enquired.

Husband looked across at me as I said...
‘White vegetable soup?’
between gales of laughter.

The waitress in the restaurant had not a clue.
‘Err, potatoes!’ (a good start)

‘Cauliflower!’ 
I shouted at the television as she stuttered on thinking winging it was good idea!?!
As she weakly said 
‘Parsnips!’
My sides were aching.
‘Maybe I should go and find out!’ she said.
‘White vegetable soup!’
I cried out again, in such a state the husband had to stop the recording.
‘Who in their right mind makes white vegetable soup?’
Even if it turns out white call it something more exciting than white vegetable soup.
Anaemia Veloute maybe?  Or maybe not?
Add some turmeric and call it golden vegetable soup, if a colour  is definitely required?

What a tonic it is to laugh uncontrollably, maybe that was why last night I suggested we record 
Gogglebox, neither of us ever having seen it before.

Well once again I was in gales of laughter and not so much by the things people were saying as the food, the drinks.  As I watched  in horrified fascination I had a ghastly thought of us the previous evening and what a snip that would have been of two old codgers.  Her rolling round not knowing what to hold, her sides or her... well we won’t go into that as she cried 
‘Stop it!’ as she rushed to the loo.



This lockdown is having a strange effect.  I must try and get out more... Oh yes, I’ve just remembered... I can’t!

Friday, 22 May 2020

He’s won me...

over.  I wouldn’t mind, but I taught him all I know and now the pupil has blown the teacher out of the water.  He must surely realise exactly who he is dealing with?  A formidable adversary...
Starters at dawn.

Of late I am all of a do-dah.
Knowing not whether I’m on this earth or Fuller’s Earth.

I did buy three superbly majestic limey green white foxgloves that stand sentinel over my path, garden and steps.  They look magnificent even though they cost a fortune.  My foxgloves I am growing from seed will be ready next year.  Being a ‘now’...
I want it now sort of Elizabeth Bott personage could I wait?  
Oh dear me NO!  
I did convince myself not unreasonably that the money we are saving by not going anywhere would more than pay for some mortgage inducing foxgloves?  Himself even helped by saying 
‘Will they self-seed?’ I absolutely love plants that pop up in random spots in the garden. That comment saw my plastic shimmer through the air by the speed of light.  Walking away peering through a huge hedge of herbaceous happening I felt for all the world like David Bellamy on speed.  Added to which I was happy to be shopping local in Ludlow,  No three day queues at garden centres for me.


Ellie in her favourite look-out spot.


This morning’s sourdough proved overnight in the fridge.
This is ‘his’ suggestion and I have tried before to prove overnight in the fridge without success.
My son and I are becoming sourdough tarts, all we can talk about is our latest arrival.  We email photographs, fine tune the balance of ingredients tweaking as we go.  I wouldn’t mind but...
it keeps disappearing...?

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Is it something...

 I’d said?  
It makes me laugh whatever it is?
Two followers have chosen to unfollow me recently.  
Is it political?
Is it my sometimes fruity language?
Is it my skewered take on life?
In these days of so much going on in the world for us all...
You know something I really don’t care! In the grand scheme of things does any of this really matter?  What matters is we be kind to each other.
This blog is for me.  My thoughts, dreams and schemes.  My odd take 
on things, so if my views don’t chime with you best you go...


The story so far...

last night I had an hour long chat with Audrey after days of radio silence.  My fears of her imminent death are grossly wide of the mark.  And to think I assumed she was just a shroud thickness away from the great blue yonder?
Oh dear me no, she is back on form  contradicting me at every turn, arguing the toss just about every cotton picking thing I said.

‘These people make me so cross clapping for carers, they are the ones who voted for Brexit  and Boris and that’s what has got us into this situation!’

I opened and closed my mouth a few times, I did manage to say that she was coming across as a dictator. I must polish up my ability to interrupt quicker it has been out of practice of late!
At ninety six to be that engaged with life and the world this close to her departure date, just blows my mind.  Good for her!

She shared a confidence that she really shouldn’t have done, I did say best not!  With hindsight I should have said...
‘Oh do tell!’
That would have shut her up like a clam.
The card hasn’t arrived yet so I suppose I must brace myself for another chat tonight... hold on... being talked at is more accurate!

Audrey isn’t ready yet for anything as common as dying.
If they could patent her, the search for a vaccine for Coronavirus would be over.


Up the workers!

Sunday, 17 May 2020

‘Card nearly...

finished should be with you on Tuesday!


I was concerned I didn’t hear from you yesterday and was worried it might not get there in time!?!

Let me know how you are, just a quick line.

LOVE YOU Mum

LX’

We have that sort of relationship.
I woke up yesterday morning and thought I am pratting about making birthday cards for Leo’s.
Why not a card for Audrey, so yesterday afternoon I got a wiggle on and made one for my lovely mum.
Alright it is a hastily made effort, but with love in every stitch.

She is dying.


Saturday, 16 May 2020

Alright, alright...

I know you are not supposed to entertain visitors in these days of lock down.  I think an exception can be made for this our   nocturnal guest.  


Food, water and a cosy billet are supplied.  Airbnb eat your heart out!
This not very good picture was taken last night when I turned on the Wrenery lights to put Ellie out before bed.  Hopefully you can see the hedgehog at the bottom of the tree trunk?  By the time Ellie came back in it couldn’t be seen as it was sampling the delights of the cold buffet in  the bijou hedgehog lodge.

We also have a thrush that is working its magic with the garden snail population.  I am delighted and feeling more Durrell everyday!
A result in an otherwise dreary 
Covid landscape.

Friday, 15 May 2020

SlutsRUs...

Our tiny chest freezer is in our shed, well to call it a shed is a sweeping understatement.  A broom cupboard would be more appropriate.  Yesterday morning I went down the garden to get some meat for Ellie’s casserole, nothing amazing about that?  As you can’t move in there I had to balance everything on the edge of the open freezer.  The shelves beside it were full of crud.  Crud a strange word, but what other word would you use for empty disused compost sacks, welly boots and the detritus of nothingness?
You might have a guess at where this is going? Balancing the bags of half opened mixed veg on the side suddenly the Tower of Peaser (sorry about that!) fell between the freezer and the wall.
Suddenly I was transported into a land of fury, pressure cooker about to blow type of thing!
Husband who had heard the crash came to the rescue, in part I suspect because this is his space!?!
Strangely I only had a minor strop   (this lockdown is having a weird effect?) as I do so love a jackbooting gallump around... huffing!
As I reversed out, yes, it is that tight in there!  I decided the time had come to spring clean and totally rearrange the layout.
I measured the shelf unit only to find that it would go along the back wall and not down the side where it made getting to the freezer so blooming tricky... Why hadn’t we thought of this before?
Everything was pulled out, the freezer being held by me balanced on the door jab as himself shuffled the shelves around and surprise, surprise they fitted perfectly along the back wall.
The freezer is now much more getatable!  I have kept a shelf free for me to put things on as I bottom-up doing a duck impersonation, not a pretty sight!


The rubbish found in his man ‘shed’ you just wouldn’t believe?  A trip to the newly reopened tip was now very much on the agenda.  I was tempted to send him off with a pack of sandwiches and a flask of tea in case he was gone for most of the day!


We worked well together and at the end a very respectable space emerged like the ugly duckling turning into a beautiful swan.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

The Wrenery...

I am thinking of renaming.
Yesterday as the birds were in and out scoffing all the nuts, seeds fat balls of the cold collation I put out daily.  I thought it should be called...
The Aviary, now I am not so sure as last night calling Ellie she didn’t come straight in as she normally does but did a doggy detour looking like David Attenborough dressed as a dog at a fancy dress party.  
‘Hmmm?’  I thought, I’m quick like that!  I stepped out to investigate and there was a ....
Roll of drums here please...
a hedgehog.
Boy did I go to bed happy.
This morning I have made it a house.  Husband said, typical bloke-like...
‘I am sure it already has a house of its own!’
I didn’t bother to reply: my eyebrows did the talking and there were lots of swear words... well that is if eyebrows could talk obv!?!


This is the house I have made, it is a sort of hedgehog second home, not a permanent residence you understand?  I have put in an old tea towel, which might be a strange choice and there is a reason for this...
as you will see.


Every night in Goudhurst we would watch the hedgehog appear, have some food provided by us in a cunning maze of a box to prevent cats from scoffing the hedgehog’s supper.  Then wander down to the pond have a drink and then go into the greenhouse for a power nap.  Although why he/she would want one after having just snoozed the day away was beyond me?  Any way very often the tea towel would be half down the path having I suppose got stuck on it’s prickly back.
So with this insider knowledge I have provided the exact same tea towel and now await further developments.
I will report back...


Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Stir crazy...

emphasis on the stir.
All was going well, I had been busy in the garden repotting the tomato plants and generally rearranging the greenhouse.  In my world I am either horizontal or powering down the fast lane.  At times I could so easily be called slothful, others a total pain in the arse.  With me there is no middle ground.
The plan was a bracing walk up Clee Hill and boy was it bbb-bracing.  The wind cut through you with needles of ice.  For some reason I found the steep climb a real puff.  Over time and without noticing it my fitness has crept up.  I now walk up the steep hill into town without fantasising about breaking the glass on the defibrillator case at the top.  I even feel on good days I could take on Everest, although the nose to tail of queuing couldn’t be classed as social distancing.  Added to which the litter of spent loo paper and added excitements would offend my very prim and proper demeanour.  
Anyway back to the tale of yesterday’s expedition.
On the way home past my newest best supermarket... Aldi we decided husband would drop me off then take Ellie home, come back and pick me up.  A simple plan.  I walked in looking like a windswept tramp crossed with a scruff of a dominatrix wearing black leather gloves and hobnail boots.  All good... so far until from out of the blue I could feel my gait list to starboard. I ignored it, like you do?  It then ever so smoothly moved up a gear. With every fibre of self control pulsing to keep me straight I carried on.  Until I thought if I do I will definitely 
collopse in a heap.  I tottered to the door, the trolley was a godsend acting as a old dears walker.  Risking one hand off the trolley I hailed the husband like you would a cab, who luckily was parked right outside, gave him the list and like a drunk tottered to the car.  With the world going round I sat in the car and thought if I had sunk to the floor what would have happened in these days of people so afraid?
This time the BPPV wasn’t nearly as bad.  Made much better by getting home to a parcel, the contents of which quite took my mind of the weird world I had temporarily found myself in...



Thank you MG...



Sunday, 10 May 2020

I have a tooth...

a tombstone of a tooth.
A front tooth no less with a tadge of filling missing, luckily on the backside!  I blame it squarely at the door of this bloody sourdough. Which I do seem to be making a lot of lately... sadly eating as well, as my waistline will testify.
Anyway I phoned the dentist to inform him of my dilemma, graciously suggesting as I had wussed out of my last appointment due to the appending virus swooping in, he could at the same time do the filling that was due to be done when I cancelled my visit!  Oh how naive I am!
His nurse phoned to say sorry no can do!  And until the government restrictions were lifted I was on my own.  She had worked out I wasn’t in pain, the only pain was the fear of chomping the butch crust of my bread.  The thought of losing even more of the filling means I have to cut my bread as you do for a toddler.  Some might say apt, me, I couldn’t possibly comment as I peel myself off the floor from having a strop about something!?!  The reason completely having gone from my child’s mind.

Anyway to cut a short story long, I have this morning, been playing dentists and patients with myself.
The nurse’s advice was to get a temporary filling kit and have a go... sounds like a plan... 
Yesterday, the filling I had to immerse in boiling water, roll between thumb and forefinger to soften wouldn’t strut its stuff and stick!  So last night I was back to watching the television with my tongue constantly checking out my tooth.
Today I have had more success with just using the cement so now I am sat here with a tongue that is constantly checking out this ruddy great lump of stuff stuck on the back of my front tooth.




Saturday, 9 May 2020

Our VE day...

we walked the iron age fortifications on the top of Clee Hill.  With each step we remembered the millions who had died in the 2720 years since the start of the iron age.
Walking the fallen stones of the keep seemed more poignant on a day celebrating our recent history.


A clear beautiful late afternoon in the embrace of our scary new world.  Strange days we are all living through.


Ellie, hopefully you can see in the foreground.
She walks past the sheep with their lambs without a glance.
We couldn’t have found a better companion: she brings us joy.


Friday, 8 May 2020

I got to...

thinking about VE day and the recipes used during the war.
That then led me on to my appearance on Masterchef back in 1992, a tenuous link but there you are!
My second round menu featured potato pastry, no one on the judging team Anton Edelmann, Loyd Grossman and Sue Lawley had ever heard of it!
Now I ought to say here I am not old enough to remember the war, however I am interested in wartime recipes!  My pheasant pie with potato pastry they loved enough for me to win the semi final.
Not so my carrot tart in the final sadly!
The judges in the final were Richard Shepherd and Clement Freud.
My final menu wasn’t at all well received.  Although Richard Shepherd did say my shortcrust pastry was good  on the carrot 
tart.

I didn’t win!  No surprise there! I did however as a consequence go on to do so many exciting things.

Daytime television, radio... yes, cooking on the radio!?!  My son, well remembers hearing me setting the fire alarm off in the radio station.  The alarm reverberating through the airwaves.  Talks, demonstrations and finally three years as a royal chef.
All from being on Masterchef.
I often say now, I wouldn’t have done so well on today’s Masterchef.  My flying by the seat of your pants type cookery would have soon been routed out and I feel sure I would have been turfed  out at the first hurdle!


Happy days!

I am now off to make coffee cake with wartime Camp coffee... any excuse for cake!

Ellie, if you can see her is admiring the bunting?


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Life on the

allotment.  A flavour…   Ludlow town wall stands guard    No Dig is the way forward Charles Dowding