Well thanks so much for all your advice and tips on creating the best roasties for the great day – beef fat came in just a fraction above goose fat, although having read your descriptions I'm tempted to do half and half! Less than a week to go!!! Woo hoo
I'm sitting in bed writing this, looking through my window at the sheep in the snow because as you may have ascertained from some of my replies, I was struck down with another bloomin' ailment – a chronic chest infection.
This, in spite of my best efforts, made it impossible for me to get on air with the irrepresible Dennis Basso last Thursday. However, it left him with the ever capable Dale, who sailed through the hour as though faux sherling was his middle name!!! Bless him
I managed to get home where Sam and Ruth met me and drove me to a local drop-in health centre. I didn't even know such things existed, but the doctor was very kind (although I would truly have appreciated him warming his stethoscope first) and having listened to my crackling chest, he wrote a prescription for some of the largest tablets I've ever seen! I'll finish taking them on Christmas Eve, so should be thoroughly cleansed of all living germs by then
Of course, all this pales into insignificance when it comes to the snow! Poor Lucy and Rich decided at midday on Saturday to abandon their engagement party as it would have been a physical impossibility for ANYONE to have got to the village hall where it was being held. Some of the guests were trying to get down from the Midlands and Northumbria, so we shall have to reorganise it for the Spring.
So disappointing for them both, and me too if I'm honest, but it was the only option… Of course the venue is one thing, the EXTRAORDINARY amount of perishable food is another… suffice to say with the help of Sam's off road vehicle, we were able to make it over to Lucy and start making inroads into her party pastries!!
I think I ate my entire body weight in cheese pin wheels, cheese patties and mini quiches!! We're hoping to keep some of it for Christmas, but sadly most will be wasted… Such a disappointment, but not worth the risk having seen the snow on the news!
However, as I did point out to Lucy, who was putting on a very realistic brave face with the help of some mulled wine, it could have been worse… it could have been last weekend!! We wouldn't have had any chance of making it to Cornwall for the taster weekend if the snow had come then. But it didn't, and last Saturday morning saw me getting on a train at Clapham Junction to Pinhoe near Exeter to meet up with Lucy, Rich and Mel who were driving…
As you know I'd been laid up in bed most of the week prior with some flu thing, but was mercifully a lot better by then, and so was somewhat offended when meeting up with the guys to see that the car seats had plastic on them, and there was a loo roll unceremoniously sitting on the parcel shelf!!
I began to explain to Lucy that incontinence was not one of my symptoms, but it transpired that Rich had taken the car to be valeted and the seats were still damp, and that the loo roll was for Mel who had a streaming nose!! :) Oh how we laughed, well wheezed in my instance, all the way from Exeter to the Barns. Just stupid things really – like trying to play I Spy in the dark!!
When we arrived, I could see even in the night sky why this place had been chosen… it's beautiful. A large collection of completely renovated barns that will sleep up to eight people each, and will cater for the entire wedding party. The barn we were staying in for the night is the one that the actual ceremony will take place in, and the rooms were amazing.
We met up with Rich's parents there, and they were equally enthusiastic about the accommodation and the choice. Having done a tour, we all sat down to a marvellous mix of starters and main courses, so we could all decide on the menu for the day. Talk about spoilt for choice! Overwhelming agreement was for the local specialities and really innovative side dishes, so all was good. Couldn't manage the desserts, but chocolate, fruit and cheese have all been included!
We all slept fitfully in our exceptionally comfortable beds, and the following morning the sun shone giving us all a perfect opportunity to admire the spectacular views that surround the venue… such a beautiful part of our country :) I promised Lucy that I wouldn't post any photos of the barns, but thought you may like to see what we could see from them… stunning eh?!
Having polished off a bacon and egg breakfast in the vast kitchen, we all piled into our respective cars and headed off down the A30 in bright sunshine. Next time I visit it will be October 2011, and my daughter will be about to become Richards's wife… can't wait
I hope so much that you will be feeling well, and that the snow won't have scuppered your plans for Christmas. I send you my love and every happiness, whether you are with those you love, or having to miss being with them… for whatever reason.
THANK YOU ALL for your lovely comments this year – you make my Blog such fun to write :) Happy Christmas!!
I have to say the thought of a warm summer is quite ludicrous as I sit in my bed looking out of my window at the sheep out on the hill in all this snow. These are the views up my little road – fingers crossed I can make it to work for Tuesday… think I may need skiis!! :)
Take good care, stay warm and keep in touch. Much love, Ali xxxx