Bertie’s unpacking & weekly ramble

I have to confess to writing this to you a little earlier than usual as it is a monsoon-like Saturday afternoon as I look across the levels from my desk whilst listening to Broad and Anderson torment the West Indies batsmen on Test Match Special.  The shop has been open on a Saturday for the first time since the madness began and it’s been lovely to see how busy we are.  Steph and Evie have been making copious amounts of bacon butties, takeaway coffees and hot sausage rolls to go with all the well filled shopping bags.

The other thing I have to admit to is that a tiny part of me is hiding here at the smoke this afternoon.  The reason for this is that last night when I got home for ‘Fajita Friday’, something that has become a lockdown tradition, where my three girls and I feast on fajitas as a celebration of making it to the end of another week.  Anyway, last night I bounced into the house to find Nancy and Edith sitting in silence and Mrs P doing her best to compete with the entire percussion section of the Royal Philharmonic during the best bit of the 1812 overture with the help of any pan and baking tray she could lay her hand on.  A swift look at Nancy received her eyes rising to the sky and a very slow shake of the head.  When I tentatively enquired lightly if everything was ok and that I was just off to tuck the boys in I got a terrifying glare and was instructed that I was not allowed to do that as Bertie was in deep trouble!  As you are aware, we are moving house in a week or two and Charlie has done pretty much everything regarding house packing.  Yesterday she finally finished boxing up the last of the books.  It turns out that Bert had asked if he could get a book that had been packed and was on the top crate and was told of course told he could.  20 minutes later Charlie headed back upstairs turn their light out to find the entire contents of five boxes of books spread across the whole landing.  My spies tell me that Guy Fawkes himself would have been proud of the explosion that followed.  It was a very muted Fajita Friday and the fear of returning to a similar scenario later today may lead to a somewhat elongated ramble and possibly even a pint on the way home!

Enough of the Pattisson domestic trials and much more importantly, and almost as scary, we are now into the very last week of July.  This means that our most popular of monthly lockdown boxes our JULY BOX will only be available for one more week.  It has been a huge success with its cold smoked salmon, whole duck breast, smoked nuts, mackerel pate, sliced ham and trout fillets but will come to an end on Friday.

Also, our Family Feasting Box and Salmon Box will come to an end.  So, if you definitely know you or anyone you know would like one even if they don’t need it until September you must order them by the end of this week.

Our whole Hams, cheeses and sides of salmon are also proving hugely popular at the moment and are fantastic gifts to take when arriving as house guests or wanting something to fill the fridge on arrival at your holiday cottage.  We can also deliver direct to the door of any holiday homes that you may have rented which can make life a lot easier I’m told.

Finally, on the theme of it not having been the smoothest week I’ve ever had I thought I might share with you my nightmare when innocently popping up to Goose Slade Farm to collect yet more of their amazing goose and plum sausages.  All was fine, I arrived had my usual chat with Phil, who is the farmer and also an amazing Butcher, loaded up the truck with the made-that-morning sausages, hopped in and turned the key to be received by absolutely nothing except a tiny click and the radio kicking into life, again I tried and again and nothing at all.  Phil came out and rubbed his chin “it’s your starter motor” he said and went and got a hammer.  That didn’t work, neither did a tow round the yard and so the sausages went back into their chiller and I awaited my friends from the AA.  After an hour or so I received a call to say he would be with me in 30 minutes and then another when he was 10 mins away.  At this point I, for no apparent reason, turned the key again only for Barbara (that’s what the loons call the truck) to burst into life almost in unison with the poor AA man pulling up alongside me.  He was delightful about it and when he had done some checks and discovered that I owned the “Smokery at Hambridge” cheered right up.  I on the other hand have rarely felt more stupid, which is saying something, and my distrust and fear of anything with an engine in it has now increased tenfold.  Andrew my hero in yellow shining armour was sent a July Box as a thank you for not being too mean to me and as far as I know Farmer Phil is still laughing!

I cannot delay it any longer and with trepidation will head home shortly although a pint with my mate Dorothy (he of the ruby slippers) at the Barrington Boar en route feels like a prudent idea.

Have a lovely rest of weekend and remember an AA man can always be won over however silly you’ve been but a wife cannot if there are copious amounts of books and a boy called Bertie involved.

My very, very best regards,

Jess

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