Monday, 21 January 2013

Jam and Jerusalem

I have been invited to talk at the local WI meeting in a couple of weeks time.   I have to say, I feel very priviledged to be asked but not wholly sure what they expect me to say.   I was under the impression that one had to be an expert in some sort of field before being asked to do such a thing, and now feel like a complete fraud as I try and write something intelligent, insightful and, in places, amusing to talk about.   Not only that, they want me to talk for 45 minutes!   That's quite a long time, in my view! 

I first accepted the offer back in November, when February seemed a long, long while away and nothing to worry about.   I confidently gave the title of the talk as 'The Provenance of Food and the Importance of Buying Local'.   What a load of gob shite!   Not the topic.. I mean, I do really think about the provenance of food and think that it's REALLY important to buy local, but do you think I could have chosen a title that sounds any more pompous and up my own jacksie?!   That's just what a whole load of women want, isn't it?  Me, lecturing them on where to buy their food.   I also don't feel old enough.   I'm not sure what the average age of a WI meeting is but I have a sneaky suspicion it's above 42.   It will be like a child holding a lecture at the National Union of Teachers.. it feels wrong.

I do have a bit of a plan though.   I am just about to abort draft three of my talk and start on draft four and am thinking about coming at it from a slightly different angle.   I'm going to try and write it after a glass of wine or two and see if that helps..  I liken it to a bit of dutch courage and therefore figure, since it would be wholly inappropriate to have a tipple before the talk itself to calm my nerves, I might as well write it into the talk by writing the talk after a tipple.... make sense?   

All of this does not bode well for my forthcoming book I'm supposed to be writing!   Obviously, that is not going well.  I've got as far as the idea that instead of page numbers I'm going to put dates starting from Jan 1 and am taking a photo from the same spot every day on the farm that will be printed in the bottom corner of the page so that if you flicked the book from front cover to back you'll see the change of the seasons throughout the year... clever, eh?    Yeah.   Great.   All I've got to think about now is content!

Jan 1st 2013

Jan 21st 2013



Monday, 14 January 2013


I have to say, I'm kind of digging January this year.   The fact that last year was such a struggle, coupled with the fact it hasn't rained during daylight hours and the fact that the sun has shown its face on no less than four separate occasions brings hope and joy into 2013.   Before we knew in what circumstances we were going to face 2013 in, one would have thought it would be a horrible year, you know, 13 and all that - it doesn't look like a good year when you see it written down, do you know what I mean??   And yet, here we are and so far, so good.   I appreciate, it is only the 14th so I have only sampled a fortnight of the year, but hats off to it... it's trying it's best to be really good!

The 14th January is a milestone day in this house.  Not only is it my husbands birthday where I can once again relish in the fact he is a whole year older than me until April comes round whereby I catch up over night, but it is also the anniversary of our move to Park Mill Farm.

Sometimes it's difficult to tell whether we have made any progress here at all but when we look back at how it was on that first day we cannot help but think 'Bloody hell!!'   I find it hard to remember how on earth we coped.   Going from a warm, centrally heated, well furnished and lovely house to a complete wreck in the depths of winter was a leap of faith to say the least!!

Kitchen when we first moved in