Monday, 26 December 2011

Great Granny and Grandad's Little Treasures

Our little granddaughters came to the farm on Christmas Eve.Here you see my Mum and Dad with the latest addition 4 month old Martha Mai. They came for lunch and Rubi_Sue sat up to the table. She is now 2 years and 3 months. She certainly knows how to make the little one laugh. Dancing around her and singing loudly Martha Martha Mai. Then Rubi was off with her Dad to see the pigs and cattle. Claire certainly has her hands full.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas without the ones we love

Nearly every day of my life I saw my uncles. Appy for 46 years and Fred for 53 years. I was lucky that I had them for so long but never the less I miss them so much. I know I am not alone as everyone at some stage in their lives loses people close to them. I spent hours in the cow house with Appy while he did the milking and with Fred with the horses and counting and looking after the sheep.Wise Yorkshire men -my Father included who have made me what I am today. I went to put holly on the graves not only for them, but for the 2 generations of family before them too. Holly from their own trees,fir,laurel and other evergreens that they will have planted.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

present wrapping and

Those kittens of ours get everywhere. There I was trying to wrap some presents up to send off to the North Pole to Santa to delivery for us. Geronimo decided he was going to turn his paw to wrapping. First he ran off with the sellotape then he bit holes in the wrapping paper.To test my patience even more he decided to do regularly inspections on how I was getting on with the job.
I have found this amazing website which adults and children alike will be enthralled with. It is only for Christmas Eve Day and shows Santa Claus travelling the world on his sleigh delivering gifts. I am sure the kittens will sit watching the TV and it will keep them quiet for a few minutes with any luck

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Christmas would not be Christmas...

for me if it wasn't a visit to Ian Peacock's Birdgate Chocolatiers in Pickering. Step through the door and you are cocooned by this amazing chocolatey smell.Since he has moved to his larger shop in Birdgate Ian is creating the most amazing chocolate works of art. Spoilt for choice no one can come out of there empty handed. Should it be one like this or this or no perhaps this one would be better. Dawn Bentley has the patience of a saint.Dawn knows me well, as any opportunity I have I go -Birthdays ,Christmas Valentines Day and even our wedding cake came from here. So when Nicholas decided all he wanted for Christmas was some chocolate, it was straight down the road to Pickering.But then I thought maybe Jack would like some and my mother well I hadn't got her anything and then there was my Dad. The next thing I know I was coming out with some for myself too. Well that's a surprise. Easy peasy all that shopping done and nothing to wrap up. And thanks to Ian's generosity he is kindly donating some of his wonderful chocolate to our Sparkling Breakfast Party on January 22 in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. You can see more of about the chocolate on YouTube. Mr Peacocks Birdgate Chocolatier in Pickering.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Scarborough Late Night Shopping

It wouldn't be Christmas without a look around the shops after 5pm. Late night shopping they call it. Freezing should be added to that as well. As my good friend lives and works in Scarborough I decided to go through on Thursday night. Susan runs in Bar Street, right in the centre of town. The wind was certainly blowing off the North Sea and it was far colder than it felt at home. It wasn't very Christmassy. I think Helmsley is still one of the nicest places to look around in December and is beautifully decorated too. Never mind I was in Scarborough so off trotted down Huntriss Row. The florist on the corner has been there for years since I was at college. That was over 40 years ago but it was closed. A little further up was Bonnet's again a long standing establishment.This is a chocolate shop and cafe.I wont take about chocolate as that is in my next blog... At the top of the street was the only person I saw who looked to have made any effort to get in the Christmas spirit.Sorry I didn't get your name or the name of your shop. My excuse is the cold had set in and I was rushing to see if there was any bargains in TKMax.Over the loudspeaker came that was shutting its changing rooms in 5 minutes at 6pm. She was peeping out of the jeweller shop braving the bitter wind. She warmed the whole street up with her cheery smile. Most of the town seemed have not got in the Christmas spirit. So much for late night shopping.Then it was off to CoGonis for another wonderful meal -. Buon Natale to Marco and his crew.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

And what should we buy ....

Never again should you have to worry about what to buy as long as Campbells of Leyburn are open. Wine you would presume one should keep in the cellar. Here it is kept in an attic - well on the second floor. What an array .Shapes ,sizes,types -Campbell's Aladdin's Attic. I was very impressed to see some Ice wine from Canada not very often you see that about. Champagne by the bottle,Magnum,Jeroboam,Methuselah,Salmanazar and Balthazar. And did I spy a Nebuchadnezzar the equivalent to 20 bottles. I am sure if you want to go for that Big Bottle Doug or Richard would be able to source you a 24 bottle Solomon and for the very thirsty a 27 litre Primat. We certainly could have a party with all of that.There was wine from every corner of the earth that produces it. A good selection of English wine too.I loved looking at the different labels and packaging. Wooden boxes that held 10,20 30 and 40 year old ports or any combination you could ask for.Ports for the old man himself. Sherry for the vicar and mothers. Rum for uncles and gin for skinny aunts Whiskey -Loch Lomond 1841, should go down a treat to toast in the New Year to Auld acquaintances. And dare I say Advocaat for me to make snowballs. It's the cherry I like the most, those sweet sickly ones out of a jar speared by a cocktail stick/ Well it is Christmas. With all the bottles that this shop carry it could certainly be a merry one.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Bread Challenge

I have really enjoyed watching the 3 episodes on BBC2 this week of the Bedale Bread Experience. It made it all the more interesting to see my friend Alison Barnes on as she and Lionel own Crakehall Watermill.I have not made any bread since I was at Malton Grammar School 40 years ago. Miss Clarke was our domestic science teacher then,I had a green checked pinny which was Willoughby house colour -I think my mum will still have it packed away somewhere. I used the basic bread recipe from Jamie Oliver's Italy page 312 and it was a doodle. 2 hours and 10 minutes later I had made 7 extra large bread buns and a R for little Rubi-Sue. I took some to the farm and we eat some and it got the thumbs up.Cinnamon Twist in Helmsley is kindly donating artisan bread for our charity breakfast in January but I might have another try and see what I come up with .I am thinking minute little bread buns.Time will tell

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Our kitty pussies

We did not expect to have any feline additions. We already have Duchess- born the day HRH Charles and Camilla got married. She is a big hit with cat loving guests. With all our dogs Duchess still rules the roost. Then Joyce said she had 4 orphan kittens so as one was a tortoise shell in colour I was tempted to get one for my mum and got another to keep her company. They were so tiny and had just got their eyes open. I have never taken any photos of them as I didn't think they would survive. Not as easy to look after as a pup they clawed and bite the hand that feed them -that was mine. They were so tiny they could get through a 2inch sq mesh. 4 months later and I have taken the first photos of them. Jack isn't into cats "can't do with them" he says. Enter Geronimo the black/grey one with little white toes and Mini Ha Ha the pretty little tortoise shell. Here you see Geronimo half asleep on Jacks arm.I think they will be staying here.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Sophie Likes and Hovingham Market

Hovingham Market is held on the first Saturday in the month. I went along this morning as I have never been before.I knew Sophie Binns would be there. We have known Sophie a long time as she used to work at the White Swan in Ampleforth.We are hoping she will be coming with a small collection of her wears to our charity event in January. I got there early before the crowds. I bought a blue headband from Sophie,some mohair socks from Selena Scott's sock stand. Some chocolates with ginger from Sumiras-another lady who I think will be coming in January and some sausages and last but not least a marrow. Amazing the array of things on sale.There was some really nice pyjamas and nightdresses for children so I might have to go back another time.My advice is arrive early but not as early as me.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Peckitt clan ...

gathered again. This time it was to celebrate the head of the Clan's 80th birthday . Brenda is mother to Jack, Ann and Frank. She lives in the same village as she was born in Coxwold. After she married Jacks dad she moved to College Farm at Byland Abbey and eventually retired back to the village. We had a not so quiet Sunday lunch at the Corner Cupboard at Birdforth which is a regularly haunt of the party girl and her friends.The owner Peter Handley did his usually impression of Basil Fawlty while us girls admired the talents of his wife Gerds artistic flare in the way she sets out her showroom shop.Brenda did very well and gave a speech of thanks.Two great grandchildren helped her blow out the candles Unfortunately my camera wants to show pink photos