Friday 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding Breakfast

What a day in history and what a wonderful dress. Sarah Burton should be very proud of herself for creating such a stunning wedding dress. Clever Kate and her Prince made for a very happy and historic picture.They have put the Great back into Britain. My visitors got into the swing of things as we treated them to champagne before breakfast. They donned their regal trimmings as you will see here. Coming from Washington DC and California it was so good that they could celebrate with us over here in England.The horses and all the Queens Men were turned out immaculately. I was always told you cannot buy class. I was always brought up to believe that ladies wore gloves on such occasions....

My Royal Wedding Invitation

We have some guests staying from America to enjoy all the excitemnet of "the" wedding. One of the ladies handed me an envelope. Inside it contained "the" Invitation. Whether it had got hijacked enroute by the Obamas or it had got stuck to the envelope which was going to David Beckham I will never know. It now takes pride of place in our sitting room which we will now have to rename the drawing room. Along side a photos of Jack on a point to point horse called Gypsy Dan ,Nicholas and of us on our wedding day. All I can say is to wish Prince William and Catherine -cousin Kate very very distant on the Lupton side of her family- all the very best for their future.Hoping their day goes as well as ours did and they will be just as happy.Even the flowers in our garden are getting into wedding mode and

shaping themselves as hearts,

Sunday 24 April 2011

Alex's Indigo11 and the Wasp Catcher

You will find Indigo 11 in Church Street in Helmsley. An amazing shop run by a very friendly Alex. She also has shops in Malton and Yarm. Her wares which are sourced from as far away as India and also just across the channel from France. With the chic that only France provides. Items you want to buy for the house,the garden,your best friend not forgetting yourself. Alex also has a thriving on-line business for those people like me who cant decide there and then. Hummm that's me I left behind a stone plate with 4 candles on it and a trio of little milk bottles ...I was intrigued to know what this glass bottle without a bottom was. It is a wasp catcher which I couldn't resist. Alex told me to put Irn-bru in as wasps are most partical to this. Although it is not wasp time I am going to do my girl guide bit to be prepared.

Happy Easter

What wonderful weather we are having.The animals are now enjoying being out in the fields. Late lambs and newly born calves are in the field next to the house. Birds are busy building their nests. With a little help of an electric mother -the incubator -these little ducklings have hatched out. Easter is very busy around here as lots of people go to Ampleforth Abbey for services.I have been busy in the garden as everything is springing into bud. The buddleia has been well cut back preparing for the summer when the butterflies are attracted to it. Happy Easter everyone and hope you enjoying your Easter eggs

Saturday 16 April 2011

Thirsk on Market Day

It is not often I venture out on the roads at weekends but I was looking for some plants for the garden. I headed to Thirsk as I knew it was market day. My first port of call was Hambleton Fresh Foods run by the Hebdon family.Philip and his wife Angela run the business now ,Philip being the 5th generation in the family business. They sell flowers ,plants and topiary bushes too. I came away with some Portobello mushrooms for supper,an iceberg and some grapes for my Dad. All this produce would have been brought in this morning I guess from Leeds when most of the county were still in dream state. HFF also stand at Northallerton on Wednesday but on Saturday and Mondays at Thirsk. It was teeming with people this morning but with 5 people on the tills it doesn't take long to get served. All the staff are very friendly and smiling and it is a pleasure if you can call it that to hand your money over. It was a lovely morning but they stand there rain or shine in all seasons.It was nice to see them so busy.

Friday 15 April 2011

Marche Grundmann's Workshops

I spent an interesting evening meeting Marche Grundmann. She lives nearby in Oswaldkirk,her home an Aladdin's cave of home made treasures. She sells her creations-patchwork bags and throws,cushions and lavender bags.Vintage blankets are recycled and embroidery is painstaking done to make attractive hot water bottle covers,books covers,little hearts ,big hearts and a host of "i want " goodies. Marche has hoards of vintage material all neatly stacked for you to pick and choice if you are having a class at Marche's home.Buttons,ribbons and wools in a hue of colours. Woolen chickens and Easter bunnies,eggs cosies and sweet little dolls and mice. Ideally situated from here if you wish to spend a few hours learning a new skill or just gathering ideas to make then give impressive gifts. More details telephone Marche on -01439 788798. Although very accommodating classes are limited to 6 people on the hand sewing course and 3 people for the machine sewing. Classes can be on any day or the week or in the evening if that suits better.

Thursday 14 April 2011 weekly shoppping trip

I usually do my weekly shop in Northallerton as I like the Greengrocers in the High street there.With 2 hours free parking too it helps and there are some really useful shops like Maxwell's the electric shop.Proper staff that are friendly and helpful greeting you as soon as you walk through the door. On the outskirts there is a real "farmers shop" which sells everything you could ever want called Sam Turners.My favourite shop is Lewis and Coopers.They have very good window displays. As their windows are always so clean I couldn't get a clear photo as everyone who walks by are reflected in it. There is a wonderful array of gifts upstairs as well as a tea room. Down stairs it is like an Aladdin's cave and you are spoilt for choice. the smell of coffee at the front of the shop where they grind the coffee beans. Towards the back of the shop their cheese and deli counter. Here you see people queuing up to get a lunchtime sandwich freshly made. They have a wonderful choice of olives too.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Harvey Nicholls came to our rescue....

For one who is known to like her food, I was very disappointed that after the Y11 there wasn't a bun fight.With the grandiose of the Grand Opera House I had thought we would be well treated.Not a biscuit in sight never mind a bun. So after a spot of shopping and before a bigger spot of shopping Sue,Mary and I went to Harvey Nicks for our lunch. While we were waiting we were amazed to see this "art" on the wall made of horseshoe nails going for a mere £1595. I took the photo as I didn't think yo would believe me and for Jack to see so we could knock a few up when he had a spare minute. Alright making them but I would love to hear someone who had bought one or even better someone who wanted it. I will organise one for them at the half the price -a true bargain !! We had a lovely lunch but did have to query the bill when we were charge £8.50 for a Martell brandy none of us had drunk. We did lunch rather than the afternoon tea which was on offer. I had to take a photo of it as it looked delicious.

Y11 at the Grand Opera House in Leeds

Sue and I went to catch the train at Thirsk. Travel intercity like the men do to Y11, then shop the rest of day like women do. We met up at the station with Jessica Barker of Thief Hole Cottages who has some very swish 5 star self catering just down the road Small world that it is- her grandfather-in-law - father of David Barker- of show jumping fame lent me a pony when I was 18 months old. So as you can imagine the train journey went very quickly. It was a brilliant Spring day when we set off arriving in Leeds it was rather cool and no sunshine . Never mind we were off to Y11. The Grand Opera House was packed as Gary Verity unveiled what had happened and what was about to happen in Yorkshire. David Shields with his new cap on and Ian Ashton would works tirelessly to help us in the Herriot attractions group.were there. The star of the show was little Violet,pictured her with her mum, Amanda Owens. Blissfully unaware of her claim to fame in the new Dales programme. I love to see these children, what brilliant parents they have bringing them up just as I was as a small child.

Sunday 10 April 2011

Look who's has come to tea- Deer-

Deer, yes little roe deer. About 8.20pm just as the light was fading I looked out of the window and saw the deer down near the garden gate.Armed with my camera I managed to take a photo of them.There are just above the gate in the field and between the hedge and the bush. I did film quite a bit more but it was coming in darker all the time it doesn't warrant you seeing them properly. The cat decided to come stalking with me and I thought she was going to give the game away. They grazing quite contentedly unaware I was so near. I guess the wind was in my favour.They frolicked about. They looked like to half grown does to me. I do hope you will get to see them if you come to stay with us. Anyone who has already been will know how near they are to the house from the photo . I just hope they don't want to dine on the magnolia bush as they did a previous year. It was a feast for them as they cleared the whole tree off in one evening and a big disappointment to me

Llama with attitude

We have had llamas for 4-5 years now. It is quite normally to see them wandering about in the farmyard. I think they are the most snobbish animal on this planet. They are so aloof.Here you see she has gone for a walk in the daffodils I just hope she choose the grass rather than the flowers.

Saturday 9 April 2011

Jack brought me Daffodils

For one who is well known for saying "I never buy flowers" Jack occasionally brings me flowers into the house. I suppose if I got them every week it wouldn't be special . Today I found a bunch of daffodils plonked in a jam jar on the table for me. There are the most amazing daffodils so I took this photo to show you . They are like double ones but with tissue paper like middles rather than trumpets. A bit like a carnation in the middle. I never knew Daffodils smelt but these do. Wanting to know their meaning in flower language I looked it up.I was glad to know that there was a bunch rather than one. One means misfortune but a bunch mean joy and happiness.Thanks Jack.
The Daffodils are out in Farndale too. My visitors had been there yesterday and had a nice walk on the daffodil walk. With the brilliant weather we are having I guess they wont be around for much longer

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Now we have joined the ranks of 4 star accommodation

We had the VisitEngland inspector to stay last night. This morning she happily awarded me 4 stars and I retained my breakfast award. Every year we always try to better the year before.The good news is the prices are still from £35pppn as we have maintained last years prices. Here are a few photos that managed to get me into the 4 star league.The inspector said that my unique selling point was offering an experience of country life that some people can only dream of. And the warmth of my hospitality shows through all what we offer.To everyone who knows me I am just me.No posh me -just a farmers daughter who loves to eat too much and feed other people too.My paternal Grandmother,Mary Louisa Lupton. She was May to most and Lady Wass to others did bed and breakfast in the 1920. She would take in cyclists,artists,city business people, people wanting to take in the country air.Much the same range of people come today. She could talk to anyone whatever walk of life they came from. My Grandmother was always invited to the "Big House" when it was the tenants dinner and placed near the speaker.It never daunted her as everyone was treated alike and conversation never came to a standstill.So I suppose I am a chip of the old block.

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Burning the Candle at both end...

Gone are the days when I used to party all day and all night. Then come home to cook breakfast. I think it was even harder this morning to cook the breakfast. Peg one of our little cocker spaniels part of the Cuckavalda Gundogs Team. decided to start having her pups just as we were thinking of going to bed. She produced 8 healthy not so little pups black,chocolate and lemon and white and one that looks white all over at the moment.But it was 7.20am before I came back into the house. I crawled upstairs for an hour in bed before I had to get up to cook the breakfast for 2 Canadian guests I had staying. At about 3am I decided to have something to eat to while away the time.I nipped back to the house and quickly laid my hands on some cheese and mixture of olives,dried tomatoes and feta cheese. I got sat down and Peg looked up as if to say I would like some of those. I really didn't think she would eat the feta cheese as it was in a herb and garlic oil but she ate every piece.A large piece of Wensleydale cheese and 5-6 olives .She would probably have eaten more but I didnt want her making herself ill. This photo shows her with her babies. I didn't move them about they just did it themselves and look as it they are piano keys. There are 6 boys and 2 girls. Mother and babies are doing fine. Midwife needs a holiday ..

Sunday 3 April 2011

My Mum and her cake ...

Well what could I do but bake a cake for my Mum,Ruby Lupton, for Mothers Day.She didn't want a card as she had kept the one I got her last year with cats on as she liked it so much At 86 she works really hard and is always cooking dinners for all the men folk on the farm.Proper rice puddings -none of this stuff out of tins. She will not have a dishwasher but she have an automatic washing machine.Long gone is the Peggy tub.She is always on the go and never seems to sit down. She gets togged up in the afternoons not in her best going out clothes but in her top coat and wellies to feed the cats and dogs and take the dogs for a walk.Doesn't matter what the weather is like she is out there.Here you see her cutting the cake I made at lunch time after we had had our Sunday lunch -roast beef and Yorkshire puddings of course. Below she is togged up in her warm outdoor clothes.When she was young she used to help her father who was a stone mason.She will tell you of all the old houses in the main street of Ampleforth she has been on the roofs of most of them. She will have carried things up a ladder on a hood on to the roofs when her father was repairing them. When she went to bed tonight I think there would be more in her bed than she bargained for. I sneaked up earlier and put 6 red pears,some comb honey ,a new flannel.some mint imperials and some liquorice sweets. So now she may be sat up in bed and having a midnight feast I doubt it but I know she will be on the phone first thing in the morning -"OH Anna..." and if she sat on the pears and they squashed I might get more than a thank you.