Indoor test matches, jigsaw, scrabble & flood driving

Good morning from a jolly flooded Somerset!

As I clambered into my truck this morning to come here there was a definite smell of very wet dog and on closer inspection it appeared that all but my own seat were a tad damp. The reason for this is that having thrown the three youngest loons into the truck to go and collect Nancy from her Saturday shift in the Smokery shop it became apparent that the amount of standing water on every lane around us was significant. Having collected Nancy and locked up at the Smokery we decided that some “flood driving” was necessary all under the guise of a home-schooling geography field trip. Two things happened in the space of about three minutes firstly a new sport was born and secondly all four loons regressed to four year olds who screamed a lot and were lost to hysterical excitement and laughter in equal measure! They insisted on having all the windows down (it was 40mph winds at the time) and I simply could not resist driving rather too quickly through huge puddles and semi flooded lanes. The new sport? Which loon could get the wettest as the water flew through the aforementioned open windows of the truck! The end result was that when we arrived home 20 minutes later Mrs P was somewhat surprised as the loons poured through the door and sprinted upstairs declaring they had to get changed whilst simultaneously filling the dirty clothes basket that had apparently reached that very rare state of emptiness not five minutes before! The height to which Mrs Ps eyebrows can rise has never ceased to amaze me BUT yesterday they broke all records! Just for the record Nancy won the wettest Loon competition.

It is somehow the last week of February which means that it is the last week of one of our most popular ever boxes The February Box being available and also the last week of our sides of salmon being on offer at their special prices of £35 delivered for a whole side of sliced smoked salmon or £32 delivered for our unsliced side of smoked salmon. You can order any of these things for any date you like in the future but in order to ensure you get these special offer prices you must order them by close of play next Sunday. So if you would like sides of salmon for Easter or a February box for the August bank holiday weekend you can have them at these prices but only if you order them this week. All our other goodies are available too on the website www.brownandforrest.co.uk or just call Amber and I in the office Monday to Saturday 9am till 4pm on 01458 250875

Finally, as it was half term at Pattisson Towers this week I managed to very naughtily steal Thursday and Friday off. The weather meant that other than long dog walks with Olive the lurcher entertainment had to be sought inside. As Mrs P and I are such luddites we get a tad grumpy about the dreaded television being used as the foremost source of what we consider on the whole to be mindless entertainment. We tend to prove this to ourselves by marching into the living room standing in front of the said television and demanding of each loon what they are watching. The amount of times they literally cannot answer is extraordinary and has been known to lead to a reasonable amount of ranting and on more than one occasion a good bit of foaming at the mouth! To that end it has been an excellent few days of jigsaws, drawing competitions, gin rummy and scrabble. There are two other games that have been very popular. The first being indoor sponge ball cricket. I have convinced Charlie that it is excellent for everyone’s batting technique and she has convinced me that if anything gets broken she will kill me! We have had a number of extremely close fought test matches with Stan and Bert emerging victorious against Edie and I far too often. The final game I sadly have to report has had to be put away and hidden as it appeared to bring the very worst out of people and in some cases, naming no names, Nancy and Edith developed into what can only be described as a street gang culture thugs! I would never have thought that the small investment I made in such a genteel game as ‘carpet bowls’ could produce aggressive behaviour, cheating and gamesmanship as it has in this household? I have checked the packaging and there are no health warnings at all and all I can say is that in my experience there jolly ought to be!!

I must away as a joint of beef requires my attention with regard to preparation and the West Indies have just arrived to play England in a three test series. Have good rest of day and remember if anyone ever invites you round for a game of carpet bowls, take shin pads, a gum shield and a measuring tape!

My very, very best regards,

Jess

Questionable Valentine’s gifts, subzero cricket & cinema night!

Good Morning and a Happy romance day to you!

I can’t pretend that either I, or indeed Mrs P, go in terribly whole heartedly for huge public displays of affection.  That is not necessarily to do with a complete lack of romantic bones in our bodies but might well be that at the tender age of 20 it was completely bashed out of us where at the wonderful Agricultural College that was Seale-Hayne to be caught so much as holding hands was a crime punishable with the downing of at least two pints in quick succession!  A ‘PDA’ (Public Display of Affection) as it was known was a major sin!  It would appear that not a lot has changed as if either Charlie or I so much as give one another a quick kiss on the cheek it is followed by screams and very convincing retching noises from our eldest daughter Nancy(14) who takes the view that having to witness such a thing is tantamount to mental abuse?!

The final reason I try to avoid showering my wife with gifts in the middle of February is that I invariably get it spectacularly wrong.  Sadly, I have yet again proved this theory to be correct this year.  Mrs P has been in search of a certain type of jean/trouser for a while and I thought I would find them and indeed after much searching I did.  They appeared to be on the other side of the Atlantic but I gritted my teeth and ordered them.  My excitement when they arrived on Thursday was a tiny bit pathetic, but never the less I presented them to Mrs P and waited in smug expectation for the out pouring of gratitude, love and indeed affection that would surely follow.  I realised all was not well when Edith uttered the words “really?”. This was followed by Nancy mumbling the words “maternity trousers” and finally Charlie saying “how fat do you think I am?”  I took immediately umbrage at this and said that I had checked her current trousers and that was what I ordered size wise.  She then put them on and I realised all was lost.  It turns out I had effectively bought my wife a size 20 which as you may have guessed by now was a couple of fathoms too big.  I have now totally retired from clothes shopping for my wife ever again and can only hope that some form of forgiveness will follow soon.

 

We have had a wonderfully busy week at The Smokery with the February Box and indeed theSupper for 2 Box proving themselves to be much more popular and successful gifts than huge black velvet trousers from America!  I am delighted that they are all going down so well and the feedback we have already had for our new Supper Box has been really lovely.  It also clearly lends itself to this arctic like weather as any meal that has piping hot Golden Syrup Bread and Butter pudding as its curtain call would do!  The box is as follows: –

 

SUPPER BOX FOR 2

150g smoked salmon

Loaf of Rye bread

2 x 8oz Rump steaks

150g of stilton (with which to create Ambers amazing stilton sauce )

2 small bottles of wine 1 x Malbec and 1 x sauvignon Blanc

2 x Syrup bread and butter puddings

 

All delivered to any door of your choosing for just £50. The February box is delivered for £35 and our whole sides of sliced and unsliced salmon are also both still on offer this month too.

 

These and everything else can be ordered through our website at www.brownandforrest.co.uk or just call Amber and myself in the office from 9am tomorrow on 01458 250875

 

Finally, I will leave you with a bit of news of the lockdown goings on at Pattisson Towers.  One of the constants has been sub zero cricket come hail or snow.  Bertie in particular has become totally obsessed and he managed to drag us all out for a game yesterday afternoon I even managed to get Nancy caught behind on the basis that the noise heard was bat on ball when in fact it was my teeth chattering!  This weekend also marks the start of half term here and to mark the occasion ‘The Loons’ decided to have a full cinema night.  Tickets were made and menus were created, there was popcorn and even pick and mix sweets which could be purchased in the foyer!  Slightly to my shame the price of these confections were even more grossly overpriced than the real thing. During the intermission of ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’  there were even ice cream tubs.  These were sold by a very drunk old lady who went by the name of Mavis and appeared from nowhere and disappeared into the freezing cold night once her duties were done mumbling something about needing another dozen gin and orange!  I sadly missed her completely as I was with the dog in the garden whilst she powdered her nose?  The boys have been waiting to see this film for a long time as the rule is that you can’t see the film until you have read the book and we finished reading that to them on Thursday.  I have to admit to not knowing if I was proud or slightly depressed when Stan (6) said the so often muttered words afterwards that “it was good, but it was nothing like the book!”

I must away the girls are downstairs picking all the products for tomorrows orders so I had better offer just a tiny bit of supervision otherwise Tyna and Seb will have my guts for garters in the morning!

 

I hope you have a lovely rest of day and remember its not just the food portions that the Americans ‘Supersize’ they appear to do it to women’s trousers too!

 

My very, very best regards,

Jess

Olive’s birthday, new February & Supper boxes and a four tin gin!

Good Morning, I hope this finds you in fine fettle and hopefully in the midst of a restful Sunday.

 

Here at Pattisson Towers we are in celebratory mood for not one but two reasons!  The first is what one might call a traditional reason and that is that Olive (the lurcher with too much Labrador in her) is celebrating her 3rd birthday.

Apparently, according to dog years, that makes her 21?  She has been presented with her present which to my delight is bright green and appears to squeak every time she touches it.  As a dog who has never really gone in for chews and toys I was quite surprised when in the last two hours it has not left her jaws.  Having commented on this to Mrs P there followed a slightly awkward silence and then as she beat what can only be described a jolly hasty retreat mentioned in the most ridiculously matter of fact tone I have ever heard that the said bright green toy may have been laced with a significant amount of peanut butter!  Now, you may sit there thinking that that is a lovely thing to have done but without going into too much detail Olive has a huge charge sheet of foodstuffs that she has eaten which have later done their best to turn her inside out.  The inevitable deep clean will I know be left to me and the ultimate insult is the passion with which I hate the smell of peanut butter.  To say I am sitting here on tender hooks would be a significant understatement!  The other reason for celebration is I’m afraid a good bit more shameful and I will share it with you later.

 

It has been the most wonderful week at The Smokery with I hope most of you receiving a postcard from us introducing you to our new February Box.  The response so far has been marvellous with so many of you taking the trouble to order them but also let us know how delighted the recipients have been.  In the postcard I also mentioned that we would be offering a SUPPER FOR TWO BOX and so many have rung asking what is in it and when will it be available to order.   As of now it is available to order on the website www.brownandforrest.co.uk in the hamper and gifts section at the bottom of the page, alternatively you can of course call Amber and I in the office tomorrow from 9am on 01458 250875.

 

SUPPER FOR TWO BOX

STARTER

150g of cutlet cut smoked salmon – a delicious thick cut slice of smoked salmon which gives the whole depth of the fish and its flavour.

500g  Loaf of Organic Rye bread.  This is dense and delicious with a tiny hint of black treacle sweetness to it.

MAIN COURSE

2 8oz Rump steaks.   From our amazing butcher Clinton Bonner.

150g of long Clawson stilton.  This of course can be used as a pudding but we have included Amber’s Stilton sauce recipe that she makes to accompany her steaks and it is delicious.

2 small bottles of wine – 1 Malbec and 1 Sauvignon Blanc or a mix of your choosing.

PUDDING

2 portions of our very own Syrup Bread and Butter pudding.  When we still had our lovely restaurant this was  what we were almost famous for.

 

Hopefully you like the idea of this offering.  It will all be delivered to any door of your choosing for £50 (that includes delivery).  This week we will only have 50 available so if you would like one it might be wise to order early.

 

Finally, I must return to the second reason of celebration in this house very early this morning . Put simply it was the utter relief I felt when it became apparent that Mrs P was indeed still breathing and in the land of the living.  I shall explain.

After what had felt like a jolly long week and indeed day yesterday as is customary I offered Charlie a liquid libation of her choice.  After much deliberation she decided on a Gin & Tonic.  I set to work crushing ice,  slicing and squeezing lemon and fetching the a new bottle of Gin that we had been given for Christmas.  I did my usual mixes and five minutes later handed the drink to my wife with the usual words of “tell me if it’s a bit too Pattisson” (this simply refers to my fathers reputation of making very strong Gins).  It looked delicious, and she took a good healthy slug.  What happened next I simply hope won’t scar my two eldest children for life.  There was a sort of moan, a splutter, an unlady like curse and a scream of “try that!”. I did as I was bid and thankfully after 30 seconds my sight returned.  I had done my usual mix but thought I had clearly made a mistake.  I added another tin of tonic and I’m sad to say the reaction was exactly the same. Three tins of tonic later and with the contents tipped into a pint glass it was deemed drinkable.  On closer inspection it appeared the  volume of the gifted Gin was somewhere in the region of 70%!  Mrs P has I think at last agreed it was an innocent mistake and that I was not after her life assurance and we have a new Pattisson drink in our repertoire which will now forever be know as ‘The Four Tin Gin’!

 

I hope the rest of your day is a good one. I must away as Olive is already beginning took distinctly green around the gills!?

 

My very, very best regards,

 

Jess

Sunday ramble, Pattisson Towers & free delivery

Good Morning, from my kitchen table which is even cleaner than usual due to Edith (11) & Bertie (8) appearing to have regressed to their toddler years and apparently being utterly unable to have a vestibule of liquid anywhere near them without emptying its entire contents absolutely everywhere!  Mrs P and I have come up with a plan to hopefully arrest this behaviour by announcing, when it happened yet again this morning, that the next person to do it will be forced to drink from a Tommee Tippee baby beaker for the following week.  Having thought this was an inspired idea I now fear that there is almost an inevitability of that person being me.   We are all in one piece here having had (from my point of view due to my skiving off work for three days) a lazy but productive week.  I was quite rightly kept a good distance from the home-schooling and was made Catering Manager and chief garden labourer.  To my horror Mrs P let the boys loose with hand saws with which they were allowed to help clear a lot of bramble and dead wood, as well as a significant proportion of a significantly out of control holly tree.  The saws were then discarded as a rather aggressive game of sword fighting pirates developed using the aforementioned holly off cuts.  The end was inevitable but fun to watch while it lasted and as I said to Mrs P we should just be grateful that the idea had not struck them before they had dropped their saws!

 

It has been a wonderfully busy week at the smokery with so many making sure that they got their Jolly January Boxes ordered before they disappear tomorrow.  It has also been lovely to see so many folk making the most of the FREE DELIVERY offer which has been available all week for not just orders to arrive this week but also for Easter and beyond.  FREE DELIVERY is only available until Midnight tonight so whatever you would like to send, be it gifts for folk bored out of their minds in their lockdown cells or sides of salmon for feasting days on the horizon, as long as you order them before the end of today you will receive FREE DELIVERY on all of them.

 

Finally, I thought I should return to my missive of last Sunday where I alluded to the anger and revolution that had engulfed Pattisson Towers due to the total lack of Snow that the loons felt they had been promised.  Mrs P in a moment of madness had promised that I would build an indoor cardboard bob sleigh run on the stairs.  Many of you have responded in the week wanting to know what the outcome was!  I have attached photos of the Cardboard Cresta Run and its utterly mad participants.  No one died or was even significantly injured although there was a moment when we identified a significant need for more bean bags and duvets at the bottom to prevent anyone actually catapulting themselves through the window at the bottom of the run\stairs!  Edith in particular took it incredibly seriously and is now considering a career as an Olympic Skeleton Bob rider!  She is on occasion a tad competitive and a win is very much a win whatever the scenario.  A good example of this was her determination to enter a school competition this week which was who could pull the funniest face.  When I returned on Friday night I was greeted by a triumphant Edie with high fives and a good deal of fist punching.  It crossed my mind that this was possibly a tiny bit of an overreaction of such a low key and gentle competition – this thought was magnified a good deal when her mother pointed out to me that Edith had been the only entrant!

 

I must away as Olive the dog needs walking and I have promised Edie that I will totally destroy her at UNO before lunch.  I simply do not know where she gets her competitiveness from?!

 

Have a lovely Sunday.

 

My very, very best regards,

 

Jess

Blustery smokery & Will’s first smokes!

Good Morning, from what feels like the middle of a serious tempest here in Somerset.  The hatches are very much “battened down” on top the hill here where the smokery sits.  One can’t help but feel a little sorry for Will who having decided to stay on with us long term started his training with Tim on how to become a ‘Master Smoker’ yesterday.  This morning he is tackling the extremely tricky business of roasting our Goose and Plum sausages over the open fire of the hot smoker.  Now this is a tricky cook at the best of times due to the glorious goose fat that is obviously a significant ingredient of a goose sausage.  As you’d expect when they get going and start dripping some of that lovely fat onto the fire it can get quite excitable and not watched properly a decent inferno can develop very quickly!  When it does 80 glorious sausages become 80 burnt matchsticks in the winking of an eye!!  Add to that, that this morning we have 40 mile an hour winds and our flue is 15 foot proud of the roof the efficiency with which the fire is drawing is almost scary. No pressure for the poor boy but I have made it clear that every destroyed sausage comes out of his wage packet (honestly it’s the only way he will learn)!  Just to add a little more to his apprehension Tim is taking plenty of photos which I have attached.

 

We are so grateful to be as busy as ever and continue to send all sorts of parcels and gifts of food all over the place to hopefully give people a lift with messages of good days to come from loved ones they are temporarily cut off from.  The Jolly January Box and indeed all our hampers are proving hugely popular as are our pates and steaks as gastronomic treats seem to be one of the few things people can have to look forward to and cheer them up of an evening after what can feel like to many, long dreary days.  So order away at our websitewww.brownandforrest.co.uk or call Amber in the office on 01458 250875.

 

As for me Mrs P has messaged to say that tonight we are having toad in the hole with our pork and cider sausages it is one of my absolute favourites and she mixes thinly sliced leeks and red onion into the batter which is simply glorious.  My mood has already lifted as a result and I will now have to wipe down my keyboard as I appear to have drooled onto it!

 

I must away as there appears to be rather too strong a smell of roasting sausages coming up the stairs and Amber is looking rather nervously towards the amount of smoke that is wafting towards us and Tim’s voice is now significantly louder than it was and appears to only be using words of one syllable.  Is this the end of the shortest apprenticeship in history …?

 

Keep warm, safe and dry today if you can.

 

My very, very best regards,

 

Jess

Return of the Pattisson school of academic excellence & smokery barn cricket

Good Morning, from the most glorious cold and frosty morning here in Somerset. I am sat at our kitchen table with a delicious coffee, Olive’s (the dog) head on my leg and shamefully still in my pyjamas. We have just fed the loons with a huge Sunday morning breakfast in the vain hope that they will not require feeding again before this evening but knowing in all reality that unless there is a full roast delivered by 1.30pm at the latest there is likely to be a revolution accompanied by threats of calls to social services.

We have had a strange first week of the New Year here with the return of the ‘Pattisson School of Academic Excellence’ the headmistress informs me that it’s been a mixed week of calm and serene learning and having to lock the boys in the garden with “almost screams” of “I don’t care how cold it is I am not letting you back in until you’ve done 50 laps!”. Meanwhile, at The Smokery we have been wonderfully busy sending Jolly January Boxes, sides of salmon and lots and lots of all sorts of other goodies to folk with mainly messages of a “keep your chin up” nature. We have also received so many lovely messages from people saying how much they have enjoyed their Christmas feastings and how well received all that were sent as presents have been. I have also been somewhat amazed and incredibly humbled (in a non-Uriah Heep way) by how many missives I have received saying how much you have enjoyed these rambles of mine, and how they raise the odd smile in times of glumness. So thank you very much you have made a chap, hitherto considered only slightly above the illiterate bracket, jolly chuffed and a tiny bit proud.

We are nearly back up to full steam regarding the amount of our products available for you to order and have indeed added some notable new ones in the form of wine. So many folk ask if we can add a bottle of something to orders they are placing or gifts they are sending that I have put together an offering of four options with my friend Paddy who supplies us with all our wines and I can assure you that they are all delicious and I sacrificed hours of time tasting away late into the night to ensure you enjoy them. The sacrifices one makes for ones business are sometimes almost too much to bear!

So you can now order anything from a Jolly January Box, a Hamper, a pot of trout pate, pork belly or some sausages and simply add a bottle of wine from Rose, Malbec, Sauvignon blanc and Prosecco to any order you choose. We have half bottles in all but the Rose too. So we are here to carry on sending boxes of morale boosting food and treats fortified with a little liquid libation if so required. Everything can be ordered on the website www.brownandforrest.co.uk or call the office and speak to Amber on 01458 250875.

 

Finally, I thought I would share with you a lesson I learned this week. We have been moving a large amount of our cardboard boxes from a barn off site back to HQ, it was a job that fell to Will, Seb and I and on Friday morning I left the chaps to it to clear enough space in our barn to accommodate said packaging. I was only away for a couple of hours and yet when I returned and quietly entered the barn I was somewhat surprised to hear what sounded like cricket commentary punctuated by raucous laughter. As I stealthily climbed the stairs I discovered that a wonderful space had indeed been cleared BUT at one end of it was William brandishing a cricket bat and Seb appeared to be hurling down an imaginary missile from the other end. As you can imagine I was livid and left them in no doubt about how hugely disappointed I was with them. I finished my tirade with how I simply could not understand that if they had had the good sense to identify my old cricket bag and remove a piece of willow from it, why on earth they had not looked properly and found themselves a ball with which to play properly?! I then quickly rectified this situation rolled back the years and proceeded to hit William all over the park!

I am not sure how much real work will get done this week as we have now developed a full league system for indoor, smokery barn cricket!

Apologies for the ridiculous length of this missive and hope you manage a restful day ahead.

My very, very best regards,

Jess

New year Sunday ramble

Merry New Year from a jolly chilly Somerset.

I have to confess to being rather hopeless when it comes to actually physically seeing the New Year in and fear that I have not managed it for 4 or 5 years!  Mrs P has always been of the opinion that its an overrated and an anticlimatical pastime and this coupled with the fact that we are very rarely not in bed by 9pm and asleep by half past was a reasonable body of evidence to suggest this year (last year) would be no different.  How wrong I was!  At breakfast on New years Eve Nancy (14) and Edith (11) were behaving with a somewhat worryingly and slightly out of character sweetness that would have made Mr Willy Wonka himself blush.  This, when aligned with a helpfulness and charm that appeared to be oozing out of every pore of their bodies would have led even the most hopeless of investigators to realise that something was afoot.  Indeed it was!  Having made their mother a delicious cup of tea and presented it alongside a freshly warmed mince pie they struck … “Mummy can we stay up until midnight to jump into the new year?”.  The volume of my guffawing was quite something.  The speed with which it then turned to dramatic choking (on my mince pie) on hearing their clearly, unbeknownst to me, deranged mothers reply was simply pathetic. “Yes of course you can I certainly won’t be but your father will stay up with you”.  I sulked for apparently a good few hours before accepting my fate.  All I can say is that I honestly tried, but by 10pm I was in real trouble and was extremely jealous of the deafening snores of Mrs P reaching us from overhead.  I left them with James Bond doing his best to save the world and realised I should have gone much earlier as I caught them high fiving each other as I bid them a final good night!

 

So here we are into a New Year and no matter how determined the headline writers are to reduce us all to terrified glum and lonely beings I refuse to yield.  To this end we have decided to have a ‘Jolly January’ and hopefully offer you a few things to bring good cheer.  Firstly let me introduce our January Box.  This contains: –

200g cold smoked salmon

4 x goose and plum sausages

2 x hot smoked trout fillets

200g smoked bacon

2 x smoked chicken breasts

All delivered to any well deserving and much needed door of your choice for £35

 

I have also decided to have a rather old fashioned sounding January sale to hopefully lift the spirits a little further and so

our whole sides of sliced smoked salmon will now be just £35 delivered to your door along with our unsliced sides which will be delivered for just £32 a saving of £10 in both cases. Remember they freeze beautifully and so don’t have to be fully consumed in one sitting.

 

I will leave you with a quick memory of this time of year from ‘way back when’.  It was in my opinion undoubtedly the worst part of Christmas and the cause of the most dramatic rows when my sisters and I were young (and I fear adolescent too).  The day our Mum said those dreaded words of “you need to write your thank you letters today”.  It brought upon us a mood as black as a Dickensian workhouse.  So it is with an unpleasantly sadistic joy that Mrs P and I inflict the same on our children and it appears to have exactly the same effect.  You can judge this for yourself from the picture attached.  If anyone suggests they won’t Mrs P reminds them of the rule that we ourselves apply.  If no form of thank you missive is received there is no present sent the next year!  This always gets their pens working again as the thought of no presents next year is clearly too much for them to bear!

 

Don’t let the doom-mongers win, lets crack on with ‘Jolly January’ and remember it could be worse you could have just been informed that toady was the day to write your thank you letters!

 

My very, very best regards,

 

Jess

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.

 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWgO6pTs8cDhjA_eeMSuSgW1rNOxa4ZWG

 

 

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,

 

Jess

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 www.brownandforrest.co.uk 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

Jess

Geography homework, polar bears & teeth!

Good Morning from Pattisson Towers where to my right Nancy is wrestling with a particularly arduous piece of geography homework and to my left Mrs P is filling us in on what our illustrious leaders are apparently going to inflict on us next – 48 hours before they condescend to have the good manners to tell us to our faces!  I do my best to keep my powder dry on such things but that favoured methodology of communication really has begun to irritate almost as much as not understanding my geography homework!

 

Anyway, its been a very, very hectic week at the Smoke with a huge amount of deliveries from fish to bacon to packaging.  The size of the crew has swelled again with Jack joining us this week.  I did inform him that he might be a little weary and stiff come the end of his first week as there was a massive amount of lifting to do.  Quite rightly he looked at me and said he was quite fit and he would be ok.  However when we had our Friday bottle of beer before sending the crew home he did admit to me that he was a little bit broken and would probably sleep all weekend.  Luckily he also was good enough to tell me he had loved it which is always a relief.  We are suddenly a crew of 12 with more starting next week the pressure is ratcheting up but the mood is great and it’s with a good bit of excitement that we enter the busiest four weeks of the year.

 

The orders have been coming in at quite a pace both for delivery in the next few days but also of course for lovely gifts of food for folk for Christmas.  Amber, Steph and Charlotte in the office are almost consultant-like in their roles of taking orders and giving their asked for opinions on what best to have on Christmas menus.  The November Box has only one more week to run and has been one of the most popular boxes of the year delivered to your door for £35.  Looking at the calendar it also means that we only have one week left of our 10% off all orders (monthly boxes not included) so if you know you have orders you want to place, and gifts you would like to give, then get them placed before Midnight next Monday or you will have missed your 10% discount.

 

One of the weirdest things about our busiest time of year is that one tends to leave the house before anyone is awake and return after the boys at least are asleep.  So it was with a gasp of horror that when Stan clambered into bed between his Mother and I this morning gave me a hug and a huge grin it appeared as if he had had nearly all his teeth removed.  As his very overworked tooth Fairy, by the name of Teddy, suggests Stan will probably have to live off “Milkshakes and Ice cream” for the foreseeable!  He has significantly more gum than tooth at present as you can see.  I have checked with Mrs P that he has not gone in for bare knuckle fighting as a career or that he is earning money by eating bricks for a dare at school and she assures me he isn’t.  He has however taken up fighting polar bears with a wand which he apparently borrowed from Harry Potter.  We have, as I have previously mentioned, got two very large chillers stood in the car park at present and they have pictures of polar bears on the outside.  Somehow we managed to convince Stan that we had live bears inside and we were going to start smoking them as a new line?!  He clearly believed us and then got himself set to “take them down” as I opened the door.  Luckily he was true to his word and we all lived to fight another day!

 

I must away as Nancy is about to rip up every map in the house as an act of defiance against all geography teachers and Stan is now demanding ice cream at 10am as “Teddy my tooth fairy said I could”!  It could be a long day ahead…

 

I hope your day is more relaxing.

 

My very, very best regards,

 

Jess