Never have I felt the juxtaposition of town and country more acutely than a recent weekend dash to New York and back for a dear family member’s wedding. Saying goodbye to straw bales on the school run and green fields (plus two small girls) to be greeted by cabs honking, neon lights flashing and the whoosh of urban living was a far more epic contrast from our every day life than I could ever have imagined. Continue reading
Profuse apologies, my dear Reader, for my epic summer silence. It seems an age since I was last tip tapping away a little note to you and I can only blame it on lots of work and plenty of lovely things happening at Margot and Jerry HQ, giving me not time at all to resume my position at the writing desk. With Primrose and Poppy at home creating mayhem for almost 8 WEEKS of summer horror, I mean holiday, I haven’t had a moment to even hear myself think either!
Days have been filled with exploring our patch of Hampshire, trips to secluded sandy spots, sampling a lot of local goodies (wine, beer, gin…..) so when we finally headed off for our staycation and annual trip to Tom and Barbara’s shire farmstead, we couldn’t be too downhearted when it weed it down with rain. Lots of time at home too – the spare room has had its bedding stripped more times than a boutique B&B of late! As anyone who knows us well knows, we’re always more than happy to have friends to stay – any excuse for a good gossip over a large glass of something! Continue reading
I have to say, dear Reader, that I have been really suffering from Christmas malaise this year. Our first countryside Christmas and I am not quite ready to be Christmassy just yet! I AM excited but there just seems so much to get through before the 25th that pretty soon, I shall be ready to flop by the fire with a bottle of sloe gin and not surface until New Year’s eve!
Desperately trying to be organised, I did manage to get to our local farm shop’s ‘Christmas Fayre’ and it didn’t disappoint! Hung turkeys, oodles of Christmas gifts, mulled wine and mince pies…..Christmas on a platter! Newlyns Farm Shop did a jolly good job of twisting my Christmas arm and I stocked up on the essentials: meat, wine, panettone and Gentleman’s Relish! There were gifts a plenty to buy too so no family member will be without something foodie in their stocking this year. A wonderful way to start the festive season. Jerry and I enjoyed being plied with mulled wine and mince pies immensely! The Christmas feast on the day itself has its festive centrepiece as Jerry and I finally persuaded Primrose that Christmas goose is much like ‘posh chicken’. (She stills remembers me tricking her into eating Jemima Puddleduck). Rather nonchalantly, she did ask if we would be slaughtering one of our own chickens for lunch – frightening how she has become more ‘countrified’ than the rest of us so quickly! So with Primrose’s help, I shall trek over to the farm shop on Christmas Eve to pick up our bird and try to hide it from Monty’s ravenous jaws when I get home.
Don’t worry, Monty certainly won’t be going without – thanks to the lovely farm shop butchers! He will have his own Christmas gnawfest with this little number…
With festive fayre in the bag so to speak, I could turn my attentions to the buying of presents. Don’t tell anyone, dear Reader but I am afraid that I might not be able to give some of the presents I have bought to their intended recipients as they are simply too fabulous to give away. I know, I know……Christmas is ALL about the giving of presents and not the receiving part. However, I might have to sneak this little kindling set at the very back under the tree and hope that no one notices it. I would so dearly like to keep it!
With a huge dent made into the long list of preparations, surely dear Reader, it wouldn’t be amiss to treat myself to an early festive tipple or two?! I have been a good Margot after all…..promise.
(The lovely Countrywives have very kindly invited me into their country coven and I shall be adding my favourite Christmas recipes over on their website each week – do come over and take a look if you have a mo)