Wednesday 26 October 2011

Crack shot at 89

No wonder my Dad was looking so happy today. He works hard but today he was having a day off. With his family and friends around him who could blame him at 89. Wise as an owl, as cute as an old dog fox he still has the eye of an hawk. On the first drive of the shoot today who shot the first pheasant of the day?. My Dad of course. and he got an equally good one in the afternoon. As one fellow shooter said he just creams them off. He makes it looks so easy . It was a perfect day -the weather was glorious and the company was good. The tales and stories being told makes the day. A lot of hard work goes into a day like this . All do their part and none more so than my Jack. I am so proud of him as although he has a bad heel he worked and walked with his dogs all day. He had with him Tara and Rollo the yellow Labradors. The little black cocker spaniels are Peg and Troy.They all worked so hard. For me it was nice to be out to enjoy our country way of life and look after Sue and Dave from Cornwall who have never been on a shoot before.

Duke and Duchess of Probus and Truro

Sue Mutton and David Laffin are regular guests who come to stay with us. Today they experienced a day out in a different way. We had a small shoot day and invited them to come along to see what it was all about. We had glorious weather.The autumn colours of our countryside are spectacular. For what we take for granted to ride on bale of hay on the mule to picking a few sloes to make sloe gin.Pete Simpson even lent Dave his gun at the end of the day and he hit a target both times having never handled a gun before. A roe deer can running up the field and would have been only yards from them. Good company and good fun. I think I can say they had a wonderful day and a day they will never forget.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Is snow in the air....

Well we can never be really be sure to believe what the forecast says. We are having some wonderful days of sunshine at present.There are lots of tell tale signs winter is on the way. The wood are a hive of activity as the squirrels are collecting their nuts to last them over the winter. The hedge rows are laden with berries to feed the birds.It isn't just the wild life which are filling their autumn stores. I have been busy pickling and preserving.Gathering apples and pricking the sloes.Here you see one of our suckler herd with her winter coat on. Their coats are so curly as they are still outside. The ground is still hard. They will only come inside when the land gets wetter and the days get more wintery. We are expecting a frost tonight. The stars are shining brightly as the sky is so clear.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Susan Briggs keeps us on out toes

Susan Briggs has lots of strings to her bow.A PR lady,a journalist and world sorter. So isn't Yorkshire lucky she just happens to live here and has a passion for the area.She held a meeting at Fountains Abbey earlier this week when I along with other Farmstay "Girls".It was to discuss how to bringing the Yorkshire Dales into the forefront of every ones mind. Although I am in the Moors as far as regions go and I cant get any grant money it was still interesting to go to listen. What questions are thrown at Susan she never stalls. She has her audience spell bound as we cram every word she utters into our knowledge boxes. Afterwards our little gang went into the tea room for refreshments. Our regional director-Rose Hyslop from Layhead Cottages near Settle. Caroline Barker our regional Chairman,Christine Ryder who wore the Farmstay Chairman hat for many years who does bed and breakfast at Scaife Hall and Mary Pearson another b and b lady who kindly shared her cheese scone with me.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Yorkshire Farmstay AGM

I gave myself some brownie points today. I am not the best at going to meetings. It was held at the Wold Cookery School in the "middle of nowhere" I should maybe say in the heart of the Wolds -that sounds a bit better.It is a new place set up on JSR farms. Around 30 of us where there to listen to what Andy Woodward and the jelly baby loving computer geek -Sean Murricane. Sean was very much on the ball given he will be having a few sleepless nights with the new addition in his family. The venue is very new and spacious. It was warm and had comfy seats and we had some very nice sandwiches. Although I did think I detected a taste of goat in a quiche. Yuk. The cookery school even run courses for men. I think that will fall on deaf ears as far as Jack is concerned. I once left him to get his own lunch. Meaning I hadn't left a pan ,tin of soup ,tin opener along with dish and spoon. When I got home I was surprised to see he had opened a tin of chopped tomatoes. Was he going to surprise me with a concoction with chopped tomatoes. No, he had been looking for a tin of tomato soup .Seeing the tomatoes on the side he opened in,ate it and thought it was lumpy soup.....

Calendar Girls descend on Helmsley

Yes that's right those nude W.I. ladies -well two of them - Angela and Miss October. HRH Prince Charles may have come along but we didn't have Miss July to tempt him. These two ladies had us all in stitches - an evening organised by the Yorkshire Cancer Research was held in the Town Hall. The Calendar girls have raised nearly £4m, still had time to sign calendars and pose for me on the way out. Maybe you don't recognise them with their clothes on.What I would say if you get chance to hear them give a live talk make time to go.Although I have seen the film it is just so interesting to hear their story of how it grew. There was a lot of brave people in the audience too.Mums,sisters,wives and grandmas who had tragically lost loved ones.They were all their to give their support .Cancer is terrible at any time but must be heart breaking if your child gets it. The girls told us that when they began only 1 child in 10 survived now it is 9 child out of 10 are cured.What an achievement.These girls should get halos

Sunday 9 October 2011

Lads Lowance Time

We had harvest and now the farmers are busy getting the land worked and the corn drilled before the bad weather comes. It is all hands on deck.Lowance is a Yorkshire word. An allowance of time and small quantity of food. When I was small this is when I used to go to the field with the women folk on the farm.Everyone used to pull up the horses and sit down for their meals in the fields. When my dad was working long hours when I was very young this is the only time I saw him .Now I make lowance and take it to him in the field. Lowance is usually tea and a bite to eat-cake, biscuits ,teacakes and cheese -Wensleydale of course. It will be also a bit different for Ben Fawcett who is going off to Australia tomorrow to help combine 100,000 acres. He has a fridge and a cooker in his machine as they work from 7am to 1am.Good Luck Ben -we look forward to hearing from you

Sugar and Spice

How does the saying go- Sugar and spice and all things nice that what little girls are made of .I was in York recently and was looking for a place and came across Waitrose . I had heard of this shop but never been, so did a detour. What a delightful supermarket it is. Expensive I hear you cry -no -Andrex toilet rolls were cheaper than in Sainsburys and Flora as cheap as Tesco and Asda.My mother was delighted I had found her packets of semolina. I found it a real pleasure to shop there. The staff were very pleasant. When I saw the cake counter I thought I must take a photo for all those like me -until that day - had never had the pleasure of stepping inside a Waitrose. What a delightful array of cakes and novelty biscuits. I came home clasping treats for Rubi-Sue. Just the sort of things Grannies buy little grand daughters.A foot shaped biscuit with pink icing and red toe nails and a heart shaped one with a pink sugar mouse on and fairy decorations. My treat was some Fendimans rose lemonade. If anyone can find me violet lemonade please let me know.Jack got a Shooting Times to keep him happy.

Saturday 1 October 2011

Can you remember what you were doing 34 years ago ....

probably not-- will be the answer. We are just back from the Carpenters Arms at Felixkirk. Where once again we had an exceptional good meal.The staff are so friendly there. We went to celebrate as it is 34 years since Jack and I first met.Some people celebrate wedding anniversaries and the like.We have always celebrated when we met - it is the most important to us.I recall prawn cocktails were the "in" thing in those days.Here you see Jack looking at how to attack his huge prawn cocktail tonight.Fashion goes full circle and it looks as if food does too.On the way home we stopped near Toms Smiths'Cross.Jack tried to yodel and make it echo for me down one of the horse rides we use to ride down when we were young.