Bertie, Jack Leach & some of our friends.

Good Morning, from my kitchen table where the significant debris of a Pattisson family Sunday breakfast has just been cleared away! Along with this is the extraordinary noise of an horrendously repetitive song with lyrics that only appear to contain one word which is, inexplicably, Chihuahua? Please, please do not ask for any explanation as I promise I am as confused, slightly scared and bewildered as you. Apparently it is a real song and that is the only lyric! You would expect on that basis alone that it was looking like being a long day here at Pattisson Towers but this has now been guaranteed as having taken the boys Bert and Stan to the smokery for a bit of pre-breakfast salmon smoking we returned home across the moors. This particular road was so damaged by the floods seven years ago that it is known in our family as “the rollercoaster road” and with a little bit of encouragement I can be persuaded to drive rather too quickly along it as it throws the passengers of the truck around so violently if I do. It has a humpback bridge in the middle of it for which speed can add to the excitement of the trip home. I may have got a little carried away this morning and I may have jolly nearly ended
up in a ditch via a significantly large tree. However, having not achieved any such thing I still felt it important to make the boys swear not to mention it to their mother. Sadly I was only on my second mouthful of breakfast when Stan spilt the beans and Bertie through hysterical laughter gave a graphic description of exactly what those beans were. Nancy (14) instantly chipped in with “Daddy that is so dangerous you could have all been killed” 14!! Mrs P has kept her powder dry so far but I fear the worst!

We have had a huge amount of orders from you for friends and loved ones as gifts and simple ‘keep your chin up and see you soon’ missives alongside them. We are delighted to be able to do this for you and will carry on doing whatever we can to get whatever you would like to either yourselves or for folk who need things including the basics of bread and milk or fruit and veg. All you need to do is call the office and speak to Amber or Steph and just ask and we will do whatever we can to help.

On that theme I have two pals that both have tiny, but brilliant, businesses that I thought might be of interest. The first is Paddy at Vine Wines who sources and sells the most delicious range of wines to fit almost every taste and requirement. He can deliver all over the country and I cannot recommend him highly enough. The second is a chap who is currently working for us at The Smokery called Will, he has a brilliant embryonic business called TheNomadsKitchen that sells kits full of essential herbs and spices for those who love their cooking but also the outdoor life of camping and travelling. They have everything you need in them from a penknife and chopping board to a range of herbs and spices in a small easy to carry pack. I will certainly be giving these to all my nieces/nephews and godchildren this year. I appreciate they may not be of any interest but they are good folk with great products and like so many, these weird times are not helping.

Finally, I have a quick bit of news to hopefully raise your spirits. Bertie as you may remember is cricket mad and his ultimate hero is Jack Leach, the Somerset and England slow bowler. As part of a school project he wrote to Mr Leach saying how he had listened to his and Ben Stokes exploits at Headingly from the Channel Tunnel under the sea. On Tuesday he received a package, inside was an England training top and a hand written letter from none other than the man himself. It is not rushed and it is long and it made an eight year old smile and bounce like never before. It reduced his pathetic father to tears as it was simply such a fantastic and generous gesture from someone at the very top of their sport. I think the only conclusion to draw is that human nature is alive and well as is generosity of spirit and time and I’m certain such things have never been more important.

I must away as the loons are laying wreaths at the church in a hugely reduced, but just as important, memorial service on this very special Sunday

My very, very best regards,