Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Salmon and Delilah....

As of Saturday the 9yo will need to be called the 10yo..... Double digits; I must be old. Twelve days later and the 7yo will be renamed the 8yo. Good Lord!

We wracked our brains for a suitable pressie for the 9/10yo. New clothes? Bigger bike? Music player?

'May I have a goat?' she asked.

It seemed like a good idea so I did some research. Surely a goat could join the three cade lambs in the field? Actually the lambs need to be renamed too,.... they don't look anything like lambs now, they are rotund and enjoying the experience of grazing with our neighbour's stock of huge texel and beltex ewes, experienced animals with two seasons' lambing behind them. 

My research made me nervous. Apparently goats do not graze the land like sheep, they prefer to eat your hedges, trees, flowers, vegetables and knickers off the line! While sheep are considered escapees, goats are houdinis, experts in their field. Te he!

Our sheep are well cared for; their water fresh, their grass fresher, mineral licks on tap, their feet checked and worms kept at bay, snuggles a-plenty but we only occasionally offer them a multi-stock feed. Allegedly goats are more demanding, requiring hay and goat feed constantly and a cosy indoor residence in case of the merest hint of rain. They also need entertainment..... I pictured we Archers putting on Shakespearean shows, but I'm thinking that they'd probably prefer a musical but not 'Singing in the Rain.'

Then there's the price. A decent Pygmy goat is upwards of £150, a meat or milking goat is north of £250. [Lamaze breathing.]

On Sunday daughter and I visited The Gobbetts, a rare breed farm in a tiny village in Shropshire. We were there to see the Pygmy goats and I was rather hoping to persuade the girl to purchase some smaller livestock.

Several of the goats came to greet us as we ambled along the grass paths between the chicken runs. As daughter and I continued towards them they pretended we were chasing them, about-turned and, nimble footed, mounted the [high] rail to their enclosure. It was immediately clear that they would easily escape any of the fences at The Larches!

The 9yo went to pet them and two of the younger goats immediately set about eating her favourite jacket. So naughty. She giggled and fortunately agreed that we really weren't up to keeping goats. Phew!

She settled on a pair of gorgeous rare breed chickens; Salmon Faverolles. They are most unusual looking. The rooster, though just 10 weeks old, looks like a mini bird of prey with a ruff head dress like a bald eagle. His mate, also 10 weeks old, looks like a soft tawny owl.

According to the sproglet, she will breed this pair and sell the chicks, she already has plans to make Moo business cards to promote her shop..... just shows the power of advertising!

I tried to get her to call the pair Salmon and Delilah but she wasn't having any of it. Lucky and Lipstick have joined The Archers at The Larches.

Picture courtesy of Stephen Jones and Wikipedia.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Feel Good Food...

It must be my age or an iron deficiency but lately I find myself tearing up when I encounter kindness, good service or 'pay it forward' type stuff.

Today I am trapped in Ludlow. If I was to choose somewhere to be trapped it would be Ludlow or possibly Barbados... My husband's car needed some TLC and so, till 3pm I am camped in the library, writing. (The library is not a quiet zone today.... the baby noises are fine, the ignorant parent noises on mobiles and shouting details from computer screens less so.. sigh..)

I am writing a script for a sit com. Get me! My belief in myself is concerning but hey ho.

Writing makes you hungry so at lunch time I ventured out to get something yummy.

Ludlow is the gastro capital of ..... well, everywhere. There's a plethora of eateries stocked with delicious produce from an unending list of local producers; Monkland Cheese, Swifts Bakery, DW Wall butchers in the high street and AH Griffiths on the Bull Ring with pies and meats and game. Then there's the market in the Medievil square, the cafes and of course the restaurants, including the award winning La Becasse and Mr Underhills.

Today I did not need caviar, walnut bread, home reared pork pie or a Ludlow sausage, I just wanted to grab a little takeaway cup of home made soup and a roll. I stood on the tiny pavement off the Bull Ring close to The Feathers Hotel. Along the street I noticed a little alley called Fish Street and there I found the tiniest cafe in the world, (possibly.)

On the board outside THE CAFE my lunch was advertised: Small Soup and a roll. £1.95. Perfect.

Inside was a joy; four clean little tables and a minute serving area. My order was taken and I stood talking with a delightful boy who told me that he was slightly worried about Friday's weather as he had plans to look into some family history. He also told me that he'd just eaten his lunch, a hot curry. He, like me, prefers his curry to be hot. Quite right too.

THE CAFE is staffed both by learning disabled members and by volunteers. This space provides work, training, and social opportunities and offers a great service and delicious food. Next time you are in Ludlow, pop in for your lunch or a snack, you won't be disappointed, my soup and warm home-made bread was delish and the feel-good factor warmed me through.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Edwina Hayes - A must

Thanks to The Entrepreneur (my good friend) who bought hubby and I tickets, we saw this delightful girl at a concert on Friday. She was actually supporting a v famous singer, Barbara Dickson, who was superb but for me, Edwina was really special, her voice and stage manner so endearing.

The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon