Sunday ramble – cricket & desk assembly

Good Morning, I write to you beyond early his morning whilst I hope you are still in the Land of Nod.  The reason for this is that Bertie has his first ever ‘proper cricket match’ later and he and his teammates have to report at Chard CC at 9.30am to play against them in the cup.  After much ‘umming’ and ‘ahhring’ and slightly against his father’s wishes he was presented with his first ever cricket whites last night which he then promptly slept in such was his apparent joy!  His father was roundly demonised and almost reported for child cruelty when he suggested that he had played his first ever games in shorts and then grey school trousers and why couldn’t Bert do the same?  I don’t know who his father was to suggest such a terrible thing but he was left in no doubt at all that apparently times have moved on in the last 40 years and making children stick out like sore thumbs in front of their mates is no longer good character building stuff but is basically abuse!


I appreciate that the impending weather forecast for many of us later today and tomorrow is apparently one of doom and Armageddon BUT it is May and so we must be positive that glorious summer weather will be with us imminently and to that end I have decided to put our stunning Whole Baked Hams on special offer for the whole of this month to help with the ingredients of all those picnics and light suppers of ham, egg and chips that we resort to so often at this time of year.  It is 1.5kg ham and will be delivered to any door of your choosing for £35 which is a saving of £12.  Alongside this our Asparagus Box will be available all the way until the end of the asparagus season it is a brilliant gift to anyone who deserves it or indeed to yourself and I highly recommend it.  It contains: –

2 x Bundles of Asparagus

2 x Hot Smoked Trout Fillets

200g Streaky Bacon

100g Smoked Salmon

1 x Whole Hot Smoked Duck Breast

All delivered for just £35


Nancy decided this week that she wanted her bedroom to feel more snug and homely as due to the ever increasing amount of homework she spends so much more time in there poor thing.  So she enlisted the help of Edith her sister, who reorganises her room almost on a weekly basis, and they set about it with I have to admit a good deal of success! She chose a new desk with her mother which was delivered yesterday in about five huge boxes and according to the instructions should take “two practical people three hours to assemble”.  Mrs P looked at me brightly and said well with the weather forecast as it is we can do it all day on Monday!  Edith who adores what I used to call woodwork and is now called Design Technology has announced that she is in charge and “don’t worry Daddy it won’t take long at all!”.  Meanwhile Stanley has gathered together a good deal of the polystyrene and cardboard and built Hogwarts School and a quidditch pitch which takes up the entire kitchen floor.  I appear to have no escape and if we are still a family of six by Tuesday morning I will have achieved a thing of greatness!


I hope you have a good deal more restful bank holiday weekend than me and that somehow we all live to tell the tale!


My very, very best regards,



Asparagus & hair cut!

Good Morning. I hope you are in fine fettle and that the sun is shining as much as it is here in Somerset. I am sat at my desk writing to you whilst poor old Nancy is sat behind me at another desk doing hard core physics revision. It’s a lonely road for the poor girl as should she come to a point that requires any sort of clarification both Mrs P and I can offer nothing less than the usefulness of the proverbial chocolate teapot! Away from physics I am delighted to report that it has been a couple of days of major milestones here at The Smokery. The first of these is that after seven months I finally found myself sat in a big comfy chair in front of a huge mirror with someone stood behind me bearing a heavy duty pair of shears with which to attack the ridiculous amount of hair that has grown in that time! The results were amazing not only could I immediately bin all hairbands but I also lost nearly a stone in weight and according to Mrs P look about a foot taller. The final relief being that at last my darling sisters, Rebecca and Clara, can stop what they consider to be comedy gold in constantly pointing out that I looked the spitting image of my much loved and missed “Mad Aunt Penny”.

The far bigger milestone and news is that THE ASPARAGUS HARVEST HAS BEGUN and to that end I am utterly delighted to tell you that from today our hugely loved and most popular box of the year THE ASPARAGUS BOX is now available to order and have delivered to whom so ever (other than yourself) deserves such a delicious treat. In case you’ve forgotten it contains: –

2 bundles of fresh Asparagus
1 Hot Smoked Duck breast
100g Smoked Salmon
200g Streaky Bacon
2 x Hot Smoked Trout Fillets
All delivered to any door of your choosing for just £35

I genuinely feel its one of the very best boxes we do and would encourage you, if you love asparagus, to try one. You can order it on the website on or by calling myself and Amber in the office from 9am tomorrow morning on 01458 250875.

Finally, I wanted to briefly touch on something that I now understand to be something of a lockdown phenomena?! That is the purchasing of a product online that in less mad times you would never in a million years even contemplate let alone part with hard earned cash for and take delivery of. It would appear that I was struck down by this curse and far too much money later I am now the owner of something bright yellow which sole purpose is to do something that I have only ever done once (last month) in 30 years of owning the things and that is of course washing ones car?! Yes, I am now the owner of a power washer. I have no recollection of the thought process that led me to it, and indeed no recollection of actually doing it, but I did. Having now assembled the offending article Mrs P said lots of encouraging things like “well it might be useful to wash the patio with” and “if the drains ever block it will come in very useful”. In the end of course it has already proved to be brilliant for one thing and I now can’t believe I didn’t get one before simply for doing this and that of course is blasting the loons with freezing cold water! It is beyond fun and apart from getting a tiny bit carried away in seeing exactly how powerful the highest setting was and almost blowing Stanley off his feet they love it too!

So I must away as slow roast beef with piles of asparagus is my task for the rest of the day and of course trying to stop the boys seeing what happens to Bob our very old remaining guinea pig if you power wash him!

My very, very best regards,


Sunday Ramble – Willy Wonka & Chainsaws

Good Morning, I write to you from my kitchen table on what is a frosty but lovely morning here in Somerset.  The day started with the most exciting news … I was in a deep slumber (a state I have to admit to being jolly keen on) and found myself being shaken awake in what felt like an almost frenzied fashion.   As my consciousness began to surface the shaking appeared to grow even more intense and the words “Daddy! Daddy you’ve won! WAKE UP!”.  I began to peel my eyes open to be confronted by someone who bore a strong resemblance to Stan but who appeared to be dressed in a black top hat, a checked shirt, a green silk jacket and a large purple bow tie?!  He was waving something in my face and with a very serious tone said “Congratulations you’ve won the last golden ticket”.  The clock said 5.45am and Willy Wonka was now clambering over me to get to his mother and share the amazing news.  On that basis alone I think we can safely say that all is well and normal here at Pattisson Towers.


It is Sunday and that means that it is the last day of our week long FREE DELIVERY ON ALL ORDERS.  So if you have not managed to take advantage of this you only have until midnight tonight to do so.  You can order whatever you like for delivery whenever you like in the future and the delivery will be free as long as the orders are placed by the end of today.  So, whether it’s a whole baked ham for a family gathering in August, a side of salmon for September or even a Family Hamper for Christmas place the order today and delivery will be FREE.

Finally, as many of you may know I am almost famed for being the most hopeless and impractical chap imaginable so what I am about to tell you may well bring on a significant wave of anxiety.  My mother-in-law, Biddy, had been set the task of having her brothers garden cleared, over hanging trees cut down and ensuring that neighbours on all sides were happy.  So having taken a couple of soundings she asked a chap to quote for and then carry out all the work that needed doing.  He said he would need cherry pickers and chipping machines and that he would need a good slug of funds upfront.  This was all done and then she received a message saying all the work had been carried out and could she now pay the balance.  She drove down to Devon to check that everything had been done as requested to find that not even 50% of the work had been done and that everything that had been chopped down had simply been left and that that had been dumped and was now blocking a footpath!  The neighbours had informed her that there had not been a cherry picker or chipper in sight.  Biddy was a bit desperate and so I borrowed a pals chainsaw and with Edith we set off for Devon on Friday.  Mrs P waved good bye to me as if the next time she saw me I was unlikely to still be in possession of my full compliment of limbs and gave Edith a packed lunch and some basic first aid instruction.   I am delighted to say we did it and having finished and cleared everything Edie admitted to her Granny “to be honest I didn’t think he’d even be able to start it let alone know how to use it!”  From a daughter who spends most of her time being acutely embarrassed by and thinking that her father is a complete halfwit this was a compliment of the very highest order and one I will cling to for a good while .

I must away as I am apparently needed to present my golden ticket and start my tour of Mr Wonka’s chocolate factory which has been built in the garden!

I hope you have a restful Sunday and remember no job too big or small Ginger Jess from Somerset is available and comes with a chainsaw!

My very,  very best regards,


Sunday Ramble – Golfing, nails & free delivery

Good Morning from Pattisson Towers, where I am at the end of what has been a glorious week off.  A lot of cricket has been played and grass cutting carried out as well as managing to escape to play not one, but two rounds of golf.  The first of these was worryingly good by my standards and I’m glad to report that the second I reverted back to my usual form and barely hit the ball above shin height!  As in all things I then spent the next 24 hours trying to work out what exactly went wrong and came to the conclusion that it is clearly the length of my hair!  You may think this sounds like an appalling excuse for not being able to launch a small white ball into the air but the constant sniggering on ones backswing coupled with what can only be described as the sound of someone eating crisps very loudly right behind me as my long locks move back and forth over the microphones on my hearing aids makes it an almost impossible game!  At least I was spared the nightmare of one of my great mates and playing partners Bill (usually a brilliant golfer) who having drawn his enormous driver from his bag on the first tee proceeded to launch his ball about fifty feet into the air and gazed at the horizon down the middle of the fairway (as we all did).  It was quite a shock when we heard a ball land very close by and realised he had moved his ball no more than ten feet forward and twelve feet to his right.  We are a friendly bunch and have all been there so the volume and slight hysteria of the laughter that greeted this shot followed by the amount of folk that felt the need to photograph him playing his second shows what an awfully cruel sport it can be!


The Team have reported that it’s been a slightly gentler week at the smoke following the wonderful madness of getting all the Easter orders away last week.  The April Box has already proved jolly popular and is available for delivery to any door of your choosing.  As of tomorrow we appear to be taking another huge stride back towards our previous lives with the opening of hostelries and restaurants and our freedom to go and actually drink a pint poured by someone else albeit with four layers of clothing and a woolly hat on.  To mark and celebrate this I have decided to offer FREE DELIVERY ALL WEEK from now until close of play next Sunday. You don’t have to have delivery this week you just have to place your order and even if you don’t want it delivered until August it will still be free as long as you place the order this week.


Finally, I thought I would share with you one of the bizarre behavioural cross overs I have observed this week between the kingdom of animals and male children under the age of 10.  It appears that one of the most traumatic events that can befall either species is that of having their nails cut.  Olive our 3 year old lurcher (with far too much Labrador in her) literally starts to shake as soon as she sees the instruments of torture.  Bertie simply appears to disappear from the postcode district without trace.   With a significant amount of planning and whispered codes passed between Mrs P and I both were carried out in quick succession yesterday afternoon.  It took no less than three of us to do Olive, who is still not speaking to me as it’s always me that has to wield the clippers.  Bertie had to have most of his cricket kit removed with the threat of forever over him before he finally yielded.  I can happily report that both still have the correct amount of fingers and feet and the blood spilt won’t be missed by either!


I hope you have a relaxed rest of Sunday and are able to make the most of the FREE DELIVERY this week.


My very, very best regards,



Sunday ramble – caps, Easter orders & thank you!

Good Morning from a jolly blustery Smokery.  I write to you this morning through the pain of a significant head injury.  As with most injuries that I pick up there is a direct connection with one of the ‘loons’ in this instance it is Stan(6) who, as is his way at present, decided that he and I ought to swap beds at somewhere just North of midnight.  The crucial part of this exercise is to not wake his mother up as a whole world of misery lies down that road.  Having accomplished this and squeezed myself onto his bed and then removed the obligatory four books, one Rainbow Barbie doll, a cricket bat and finally a wand which were all attacking different bits of my anatomy I settled down back to sleep.  It was upon waking that I was dealt the near fatal blows. As is my way I threw my covers back and leapt like a salmon from the bed.  The blows came almost instantly one after another the first on the top of my head and the second just above my eye as I recoiled from the first and I was rendered blind and practically unconscious.  As with all really deep sleep one forgets where one is and in this case I had forgotten that Stan sleeps on a bottom bunk!  After some appalling language and having resisted killing Bertie who was sat on the top bunk genuinely crying with laughter I retreated to make the morning tea for Mrs P.  I am as a result not in the best of moods as the sympathy has been non existent and the inability of anyone to stop laughing is just too much!


I also have a great deal to do here today as with only three days to send all the orders for next Sundays Easter feastings I have duck to slice, sausages to roast, salmon to cure and pate to make!  The orders have been coming in thick and fast although it does appear that folk are genuinely horror struck when the penny finally drops that it really really is Easter a week today and that Wednesday is the last day that we can send anything in order to ensure it arrives with you and your friends in time for Easter.  We are still taking orders and have pretty much most things still available.  The only day available for delivery now is Thursday the 1st  so if you would like to send a gift to anyone or need some goodies for your own Easter weekend menus you really need to get them ordered in the next 24 hours!  Either online at or call the office from 9am tomorrow morning and speak to Amber or Steph on 01458 250875.


Finally, as many of you may have gathered by now I can be a creature that gets rather odd bees my bonnet about certain subjects and have been known to become a tad entrenched about such things?!  One such thing has been a long established one and it Is that of branded clothing of any kind I simply cannot bear.  I have resisted the crew’s almost constant pleas for polo shirts, caps, sweatshirts and the latest request heated gilets with Brown & Forrest emblazoned across them.  It now appears that Tim and Will decided to take the law into their own hands and unbeknownst to me or anyone set about disobeying me and on Wednesday this week presented me with two personalised Brown & Forrest Caps one of Grey and one of Pink (my go to colour).  Try as I might I could not stop my face betraying how utterly delighted I was with them.  The grey one is now my work one and the very special pink one will be my golf hat when I am allowed to swing a club again!  I fear having “given in and been proved wrong” in their minds it won’t be long before we are branded from our wellies to our pants via of course a heated gilet!


I must away as I have been told that being home before 6pm this evening is a pre requisite to remaining happily married?  I also thought I would just mention that today marks a year since I wrote my very first ramble, it is quite simply beyond comprehension what has happened in that year not just to Mrs P ‘The Loons’ and I but to all of us.  What started as a way of trying to cheer myself up as impending doom looked to be going to strike down our tiny business somehow became a vital part of its salvation.  So, I would like to simply say THANK YOU to you for reading, and it would appear occasionally enjoying, my mad missives and of course the odd morsel of our food.  There is simply no doubt that we are still here because you did and do.


My very, very best regards,



Sunday ramble, Easter orders, cobwebs & hair bands!

As I write to you this morning from the kitchen table of Pattisson Towers four things appear to be occupying my as ever over full and inadequate brain.  The first of these, and probably the only one of any real importance, is that believe it or not two weeks today is Easter Sunday and from a mail order smoked food perspective this means that in reality you only have one week left to order what you need.  The second is that being an arachnophobe is a genuine nightmare when your halfwit of a boss asks you to de-cobweb an entire building.  The third is the fun I get watching folk don the scarlet rugby jersey of Wales and pop a leek in the lapel when their only apparent connection with the country is that their maternal Grandfather once spent a week camping there in the 1970’s!  The final one is how one should react when ones wife presents you with a gift of three luminous head bands with the words “these might help a bit”.  The unmentionable virus has it would seem destroyed romance as well as a good many other things!


I’m afraid it really is Easter Sunday two weeks today and that if you have not already placed your orders for gifts to family, folk who need treat or indeed your own requirements for the feastings of Easter Weekend you really do only have one week left to do so in order to ensure it arrives in time.  We may manage to carry on taking orders through until next Monday but at the moment it is highly likely we will have to stop before that as with Easter week the way it is and the Bank holiday on Good Friday we can only send your parcels out on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and there is a limit to how many we can physically pack and despatch each day!  So whether you would like a March Box for Great Aunt Eddie, a Supper Box for your parents, a Whole Ham for your daughter or a side of salmon for your own table simply go online and order at or call and speak to Steph and I in the office from 9am tomorrow morning on 01458 250875.


As a chap who is pretty much scared of most things it was rather a surprise when I suggested to Seb (18 years old 6ft 3in) on Friday afternoon that he and I would spend it attacking the cobwebs that had become more than a tad embarrassing in number through the old restaurant and shop.  He went a bit pink and ever so gently suggested he wasn’t great with spiders to which I yielded and said I’d go up the ladder and he could hold the hoover and the ladder.  We were progressing well until I, at my highest point from the ground, thought it would be amusing to drop my large cobweb gatherer (we had given up with the hoover) somewhere in Sebs direction and mention something along the lines of “look at the size of that one!” The ladder shot sideways and a scream of significant volume shattered the silence and by the time I had managed to reintroduce myself to the ladder that was preventing me from a 10 ft drop Seb was nowhere to be seen.  Within five minutes he was back but accompanied by Steph, Andrea and Tyna who old made it perfectly clear that I always went just a bit too far!  It’s funny how the same sentences one can recall from the age of five through an entire school career to student days, married life and to my shame even now appear to be on constant repeat!  I apologized profusely and was put further in the dog house when I returned home and told my sorry tale to which my trio of girls said it would serve me right if I was convicted of work place bullying!  So there we have it – basically a week of shame for me made even worse by the fact that my lockdown locks are now so long that as previously mentioned Mrs P has taken significant action and given me luminous head bands to keep them out of my eyes!


I wish you a restful rest of day and remember some folk who suggest “they are not too good with spiders” actually mean they are terrified and risking their boss breaking both legs falling from a ladder is one they may have to take.


My very, very best regards,


Jess 01458 250875

Mother’s Day at Pattisson towers

Good Morning from Pattisson Towers which is a hive of activity and helpfulness today!


It is of course Mothering Sunday and that basically means that ‘The Loons’ were read the riot act last night explaining that Mrs P should not be allowed to do a single thing today other than eat, drink, read her book and spend time in her garden!

It was also suggested, by their slightly over aggressive father, that bedrooms should be cleaned, clothes put away and any inevitable mess created cleared up afterwards.  In my ever over-optimistic state I truly believed that this had hit home and been not only heard, but entirely understood and digested.  I was half right.  As I write this at the kitchen table Nancy is peeling, chopping and preparing all the vegetables for the requested roast pork, Edith has made it possible to at least see some of her bedroom floor which is I’m afraid a triumph by her standards and the boys have decided that counting every single piece of Lego they own is somehow the stuff of their mother’s dreams and is likely to be one of the highlights of her year?  To say I nearly wept when I discovered the counting house of Lego they had created and had their philosophy behind it explained to me would be nothing but the truth!


We have had a wonderfully busy week here at The Smoke sending out all manner of orders for peoples mums, grannies and simply people they are fond of.  There has been a lovely buzz of busyness in the office as hopefully you have all now received our catalogue and my letter introducing the March Box and the Supper Box.  Both have been hugely popular and as promised we have also adapted the Supper Box so that it can be for one person not just for two.  This is now also available on the website as an option to be selected if so desired.  I must also mention to you that by some terrifying speed of time passing three weeks today is Easter Sunday?!  On that basis you really only have two weeks left in which to place any orders you would like to send in time to arrive for Easter as the last sending day is Wednesday 31st of March.  So whatever Easter feastings you may have already started planning, or even some family gatherings and picnics you are finally allowed to have, you only have a relatively  short time to ensure you get your sides of salmon, pots of pate, canapé hampers, whole baked hams and anything else you may need for your Easter weekend feastings.


As I have mentioned on a number of occasions Charlie (Mrs P) adores her gardening and her garden and having moved house rather too often in the last 12 months leaving her plants and borders behind is one of the worst parts of the whole process for her.  She always insists on taking as many of her much loved herbaceous menagerie with her as possible which can and has on occasion very nearly brought us to blows!  The main reason for this is that that like all good Sergeant Majors she becomes quite brilliant at giving the orders and equally gifted at not actually taking part in the carrying out of the said orders.  Most of the time this is of course fine BUT with one such plant back in the Summer ‘Edith’s Apple Tree’ limbs, eyes and sense of humours were very nearly all permanently lost.  So you can imagine my horror when I received a text at work yesterday lunchtime saying that the hole was dug and could I please collect the poor girls and go and dig up the apple tree from her parents’ house and bring it back to Pattisson Towers and re plant it!  We of course obeyed our orders and did our best not to suggest that Mothering Sunday may well be cancelled if she didn’t stop laughing at her freezing cold daughters rammed in the back of a truck with an apple tree during a gale whipped hail storm.  She didn’t stop and simply started taking pictures.  However,  she now has her apple tree back and like so many brilliant mums everywhere she entirely deserves whatever makes her happy.


My very, very best regards,



Pattisson academy for academic excellence final awards!

Good Morning from a gloriously cold and frosty Somerset.


Breakfast at the Pattisson table this morning felt a somewhat foreign affair and yet one that had significant amounts of deja but mixed in.  The reason for this was that the main topic of conversation was who wanted what in their packed lunch for school tomorrow!  As you can imagine ensuring all four of the loons receive the right ingredients in their sandwiches, and then they are put in the correct lunchbox, is an operation that requires military precision and planning and if it’s wrong one could be forgiven for thinking that upon their return from school you had committed a crime against humanity!  The day has arrived and tomorrow the loons all return to their respective schools and The Pattisson Academy of Academic Excellence has, we hope, closed its doors for the final time.  It would be untrue to suggest that everyone is over the moon at this prospect as a return to real school, catching early morning buses, meeting up with mates and not being allowed to go and play cricket whenever there is a break will undoubtedly feel as foreign as once upon a time not going to school did.  But it seemed to Mrs P and I that it was a cause for much celebration and so invitations were issued for an end of Home-schooling Awards evening, Dinner dance/disco. This took place last night of which I will report more later.


We have had a busy week at the Smoke sending out copious amounts of March Boxes amongst other things and taking lots of orders for later in the month. A good many folk are miles ahead of me and have been placing orders for delivery just before Easter which, without wanting to depress you, is less than a month away and only just over three weeks before the last delivery date for the Easter feastings you may be planning.  The other date we have been very busy with last week is for next Sunday which is apparently ‘Mothering Sunday’ it seems to have taken a significant amount of more importance this year as clearly those of us that are lucky enough to still have them have not been allowed to see them so that ‘gastronomic hug’ or indeed any sort of virtual hug has possibly never been more needed to both give and indeed receive.  We are here to help with any delicious food parcels you might like to send and will ensure they are all delivered Thursday/Friday next week to be consumed at their leisure by a mother, grandmother or indeed godmother who you may decide needs it.  You can order at or call Amber and I in the office from tomorrow morning at 9am on 01458 250875.


So, we sent out the invitations and the instructions were clear Dress was to be Smart, Dancing was compulsory and punctuality essential.  We were to dine upon a delivered feast from our wonderful local pub ‘The Duke Of York’ after the ceremony.  Well they didn’t disappoint they all dressed to up to their nines in their favourite clothes and having been presented with the medals that Mrs P had found and had engraved on the back with their names and hung round their necks with rainbow NHS ribbon, WE DANCED!!  I am hopefully not one for blowing his own trumpet but I have a long held belief that I am a very, very fine mover and indeed groover on the dance floor.  I quickly joined the girls and demonstrated one of my throwback to ‘Brighton Night clubs in the early 90s’ routines. Their reaction was at best unappreciative born out of an ignorance of being in the presence of a true artiste.  At worst it was cruel, resembled bear baiting in the 1700s and was tantamount to bullying.  The howls of laughter and refusal to be anywhere near me let alone dance with me will leave deep, deep scars I fear.  I comfort myself with the fact that many of the truly great creative forces were not recognised until long after their demise.  However, it was a great party and a fitting farewell to the Pattisson Academy of Academic Excellence.  We are all desperate to get back to a normal life and lets hope we really are a good step closer come Monday morning.


I will wish you a lovely restful Sunday and remember words like “you cleared that dancefloor like a ticking bomb” are simply spoken by those that don’t understand!


My very, very best regards,




Sunday ramble – cricket, rugby & new March box

Greetings from what is the most glorious morning here in Somerset. I hope you are blessed with the same deep blue sky and a bit of genuinely warm sun on your back.

It is much much needed here after a fitful night wrestling with my anxieties that were brought to a crescendo late yesterday afternoon. Calm, warmth and the odd primrose have at least returned some form of equilibrium to my troubled soul!? I shall explain. Those who know me will know that of all things I can not bear it is the stereotyping of people and the inevitable judging that follows once one has pigeon holed great swathes of people into said ‘type’. It started with the odd moan from me to Bertie, and anyone else who would listen, about the odd dubious decision of the cricket umpires in India. Next came the slightly more vociferous exclamations about the “appalling quality” of the pitch that made batting in India a “total lottery” and “made a mockery of Test Cricket”. Finally, it ended late yesterday afternoon during the Rugby international between Wales and England, when screams of “That referee must have Welsh Grandparents” and “even Stan can see that’s a knock on, and that’s without a replay”. All this has led to an utterly ashamed realisation that not only have I become one of the worst nationalistic stereotypes of them all, I have also become the thing that I have been sending my children to their bedrooms for since they were born. These are a ‘The Whinging Pom’ and it would appear to my utter shame ‘A Bad Loser’. Hopefully by admitting these deplorable character flaws out loud my journey to redemption has begun?! The final straw, and what has proven to be an economical disaster, is the introduction of a swear box three days ago. According to Stan “if Daddy keeps this up we are going to need a bigger box!”.

But the sun is out and to my delight it is March tomorrow! This most importantly means that our new March Box is now available it contains the following: –

200g Cold smoked salmon
4 x Pork and cider sausages
2 x Smoked mackerel fillets
1 x Hot smoked whole duck breast
2 x Hot smoked trout fillets
All delivered to any door of your choosing for just £35

Finally don’t forget that midnight tonight is the last chance to order the February Box £35 delivered and our whole sides of salmon offers
1 x 1kg whole sliced side of salmon £35 delivered
1 x 1kg unsliced side smoked salmon £32 delivered
These offers will be gone by tomorrow morning and will revert to their usual prices of £45 and £42 delivered respectively.

Finally, I must away as with such glorious weather comes a significant list of garden jobs, family games of cricket and netball which must all be completed before sunset! I will leave you with this thought to ponder on. On Thursday it is ‘World Book Day’ and at home the Loons are all under instructions to, as is tradition, dress as a character from any book they like. Edith has announced that she will be dressing up at something called Tunip from a book called Octonauts. This may sound fine however Octonauts is aimed at 2-6 year olds and Edie is nearly 12?! It also turns out that ‘Tunip’ is a cross between a carrot, a leek and a turnip. I almost despair – could someone please tell me what is wrong with a simple Anne of Green Gables or a Hermione Granger? Obviously I will keep you informed on what a thrice crossed vegetable 11 year old girl ends up looking like!

Have a wonderful Sunday and remember a swear box is a terrible idea under any circumstances BUT with four children and a wife all in possession of bat-like ears it is the road to financial ruin!

My very, very best regards,

Jess 01458 250875


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 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,