What a busy few weeks it has been! Harvest celebrations, dinner parties in the village, Primrose’s birthday, her party complete with farm animals in our garden and a hilarious moment in the dark changing a Land Rover tyre with Jerry and one of the villagers…… I am definitely ready for a rest in the dark with a large gin and tonic, dear Reader!
Autumn is rushing around too it would seem! Our little landscape is changing again and walks have become muddier and leaf-strewn. Everywhere you look, you can see that the harvest has well and truly been brought in. Gathering with all the villagers to celebrate the bounty in a neighbour’s barn, Jerry, Primrose, Poppy and I felt rather like we had stepped into ‘dreams of foregone times’ last week. Hops hanging from the ceiling, checked tablecloths and wine flowing, homemade shepherd’s pies made by the ladies of the village (and of course, yours truly) as well as crumbles galore, the whole village sat together following the Sunday service to eat, drink and generally make merry! A time honoured tradition, made even more special by the whole village singing “Happy Birthday” to Primrose. Primrose was mortified, slumping further and further down her chair until she was almost under the table! Poor love! Mind you, Primrose wasn’t the only one to blush with embarrassment that day. Asked by the village harvest committee to create a floral display for one of the church windows, I had no idea of the brief and ended up creating a rustic autumnal wreath to sit amongst a sea of really rather elegant blooms. One villager called it ‘charming’. I wondered if this was village vernacular was ‘a pile of old rubbish’. However, I did at least manage to make it all from things in our garden and although it wasn’t the most beautiful tribute to the harvest in the church, it did have a bit of Margot charm. Well, at least Jerry and the girls thought so!
Best of all, was the amazing haul of vegetables we were given as we left the harvest lunch. The village is awash with fantastic kitchen gardens, orchards and flower gardens. I shall to have to up my game seriously for next year. Squash, artichokes, potatoes, courgettes, purple and orange carrots….I could hardly carry my handbag as it was brimming with veg! Dear Reader, I had no idea that pattypans really existed outside of Beatrix Potter but here they are..
From harvests and growing your own food……we even managed to parade (albeit briefly) as a smallholding for Primrose’s birthday party. 2 donkeys, 2 goats, 2 pigs, 2 sheep, 2 turkeys, 2 bantams, 2 call ducks, a mini colony of guinea pigs and rabbits and one extremely well behaved dog (note, dear Reader, that it was most certainly not Monty, who was kept inside for fear of him devouring a duck). A veritable mini Noah’s Ark and all in OUR GARDEN! A huge hit with children and grown ups alike. I was happy to play farmer’s wife and it did get me thinking about how marvellous it might be to rear a pig next year when we are a little more settled. Jerry nearly had a coronary when he heard the farmer who brought the livestock to the cottage, saying that he would happily give us the Kune Kune weaners he had brought that day. Apparently they do make the most delicious sausages! Considering that I have finally managed to persuade Jerry to let me have some chickens, I think that asking for a pig for Christmas might be a step too far. For now, dear Reader, for now…….!