Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Seven Weeks in Somerset

Well, actually its about nine weeks but its a shame to waste such a good title!

I'm having so much fun I hardly know where to start! If I list the things I'm doing/learning/enjoying I guess that would be a good start:

This is our Kitchen Tent. Its very clever. Its the framework of a polytunnel with a specialy made canvas cover. It does flood and it is a bit windy but I love it. You cant see the table inside but quite often its where we have lunch. I've taken on the role of Cook and am now responsible for lunch. What fun - I walk into the fields and harvest what ever I fancy...and if we arent growing it ourselves I sneak into the barn to beg for produce from Riverford. We use these suppliers to add to our veggy boxes if our produce isnt ready. Theyre pretty good but we only order local stuff - nothing from abroad. So, we have lovely salads - raw, grated beetroot and carrot with various seeds is a staple and then new potatoes. I try to make the other dishes vary, the courgette bake was lovely and today it was a variety of veg gently steamed with butter and then a very sublte curry powder and lots of coconut..mmm! The guys love having lunch cooked for them and they are so rewarding to cook for...lots of mmms and empty plates!!

Lunch is subsidised by the items we sell in our little shed at the entrance of the drive. This is now my newest responsibility. I've been picking currants and flowers and making sure the "shop" looks full - I now have a vested interest in it making lots of money - the more pennies, the more variety in the kitchen.

What next...well one of the highlights has got to be the Bush Bath.

This is it in its "wild" state! It's surrounded by old roses, ornamental artichoke, a butterfly bush, a mulberry tree and lots of pretty flowers. Its an iron bath and its set over a fire pit. You fill it from the hose, light the fire underneath and keep the heat in with bubble-wrap. When its hot enough (about an hour later) you lower yourself in on a specialy made wooden plank..so you dont burn your bum on the bottom.

We had a bonfire party recently - lots of friends, Joe and Richard played tin whistle and fiddle and I had my first bush bath. By the time it was ready the bonfire was roaring and it was dark..a full moon. This will go down as one of my most amazing experiences - hard to describe...the most amazing, beautiful, nights ever!

Emma had placed roses around the edge of the bath and I added tea-candles, the effect was magical - and to lie in toasty hot water surrounded by the scent of roses, listening to the sound of a fiddle and see the moon up above and the flicker of the bonfire...magic. Here's an idea of what it was like!!Then there's the music I'm discovering. What a haven for talent this place is. Because of Joe's connections, I got to go along to a Folk Session at the White Hart. Lots of people turned up and played everything from a tin whistle, a fiddle, guitars, a mandolin...it was wonderful. I'd forgotten how much I loved folk but to hear it played live in your own village..It felt very special.

So here they are...Joe is in the blue t-shirt. I was in my caravan one night around 9.00 and was enjoying a nice glass of wine. I opened the caravan door and heard the sounds of a flute drifting across the fields. It was misty and dusky. It was absolutely beautiful - it was Joe practicing..another Most Memorable Moment!

I've since learned that we have our very own folk band..Silver Street and we have a music club....which leads me on to my next find!! The Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys..ohho!!

I had watched "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" with Goerge Clooney and heard him sing but I didnt realise he was singing Bluegrass. Its the most fabulous sound. Most of you know how much I love Lord of the Rings and the scene at Bilbo's birthday party, where they are all singing and dancing...I loved it, well there is something about Bluegrass that makes me feel the same. These are local lads and amazingly talented...I cant wait to buy their music. It was a great night, I was asked by the organisers if I would mind taking photos as their photographer hadnt appeared...so I whizzed straight down to the front and stayed there. Brilliant and I'm so excited to be finding all of this new stuff.

Right..I'm starving..more later.