Nearly Christmas – Sunday ramble!

Good morning from a jolly chilly Somerset.  If the prediction of what happens when “the North wind doth blow” proves to be accurate in the rhyme/song that we used to sing (a long time ago) then I have to confess it won’t just be a question of  “what will poor robin do then, poor thing” it might make our lives a little trickier too!


Staying on the musical theme I wanted to introduce you to a friend of mine – Jim Bennett. Now Jim is a professional musician and an unbelievable trumpet player and has more talent in his little finger than I could ever hope to muster in my whole being.  Like so, so many being a professional of the Arts has been ultimate sin in this most brutal of years.  He had a bit of time on his hands and sadly for us having to have overnight security on site for a month or so is something we have to do.  Up until this year it has been me in a caravan living on site for the month up until Christmas but this year Jim has taken my place and spent the nights when not on patrol practicing, writing music and amongst other things producing a musical advent calendar every night. They are simply beautiful and so, so clever and I have been sending them to everyone I know every morning.  This morning, of all mornings, I thought I would share them with you as I promise they will make you smile and give you a, I suspect, a much needed lift.  So follow this link and enjoy and remember, music, a sense of humour and silly hats will always win whatever the world of 2020, hair brushless politicians and numbers that apparently begin with R throw at us.



We appear to have nearly made it and I managed to catch a quick picture of Tim, the ultimate master smoker, stood by yet another pile of parcels about to start their journeys all of which he created the contents for.  He is almost a magician and what he has achieved this year is quite simply remarkable and I am forever grateful and proud of him.  We have very little of anything left but we have ensured that the shop at least will remain stocked to the gunnels through until Christmas Eve at Noon when we will close.  We will keep smoking and should you want anything for delivery before New year’s Eve we will be delivering on the 30th and the 31st.  So you can order what ever we have available in time for those celebrations?!  We are also still currently selling whole sides of sliced smoked salmon for delivery on Tuesday but I am likely to pull the plug on that at any moment.


Finally, as we sat chatting on the bed this morning before I leapt from it to get here all four Loons and Mrs P were discussing the important questions of the day like why Bill Bailey is such a legend and me refusing to acknowledge that I had even voted for him let alone how many times (I was very weary and emotional and may have got a tiny bit carried away) and what film they would watch for film night later and yes before you ask it genuinely is ‘The Great Escape’ AGAIN!  Stan suddenly looked very serious and held my gaze and asked “do you think Father Christmas will wear a visor on Christmas Eve” to which I answered equally seriously “no, he is magic, as old as time and nothing can hurt him”.  It may be over sentimental twaddle from an overweight,  slightly exhausted and far too emotional father but actually I think its true and that we will all still have Christmas – maybe not as we planned and with those we wanted to be with but it will happen and nothing can stop it so as I remember saying way back in March remember to take a deep breath look at the sky and do your best to smile.


This is the last from me this week.  So all that remains is for me to say is Thank You so, so much for all your support for me, my amazing incredibly hard working crew and of our little business

and to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.


My very, very best regards,



Sunday ramble – end of November

Good morning , I hope you are in fine fettle and that you have a good day ahead.  Once I have emptied the cold smokers and got back to Pattisson Towers for lunch I have promised Stan that we will play all the games and do all the jigsaws he was lucky enough to receive for his birthday which was on Thursday and saw him “become a man” apparently at the ripe old age of 6?!  I have also promised to set up a race track for his remote control cars which he received from his godmother and his godfather (never has a boy been so spoilt!).  His eldest sister Nancy is fast becoming the grumpiest person in Christendom as she tuts, sighs, glares and complains bitterly with the smallest mouth imaginable about the noise the cars make on the wooden floor!  On that basis alone it’s going to be a huge figure of 8 track that utilises every bit of wooden floor available!

It has been a wonderfully busy week here at The Smoke as we enter into the last 24 hours of our 10% off all orders (excluding the monthly boxes) you will receive 10% off any order you place before midnight tomorrow for delivery whenever you like before Christmas or even into the new Year.  After close of play on Monday all products will revert back to their usual price with no exceptions!  So don’t miss out.  You can order online at or call Amber, Steph, Charlotte and Jess in the office all day and most of the night tomorrow on 01458 250875

As the pressure builds here so the techniques used by the crew to keep calm and carry on become more varied and dare one say more odd.  On the whole most of the team resort to significantly increased sugar intake via Jelly babies, fruit Pastels, chocolate orange, red bull (in Amber’s case) and tangerines in mine (my body is a temple).  However I didnt know whether to call for medical assistance for Young Steph or just join her when I discovered her sat in the lotus position on the trolley as it rolled slowly across the car park on Friday afternoon!  I know I ask a lot of my team but even I wondered if I had simply pushed them too far when I discovered this.  Obviously before expressing my concern I took a photo to share with you today !

I must away as our newly six year old son has already insisted his mother text me three times and demand to know where I am as apparently according to him I am “already late and so unreliable”.  In all honesty I think it is best he discovers as early as possible the truth about me as it will surely soften the constant blows of disappointment in later life if he does!

I hope you have a restful Sunday and remember yoga positions on a moving trolley across a car park with a significant slope in it is likely to have a painful end!

Don’t forget to order in time for your 10% off by tomorrow night.

My very, very best regards