Off Away!

25 07 2008

Heading West again this weekend to visit with TSW and Shepherdess… superb. This will a pretty interesting visit, as it’s social but also heavily business-focused. Not to titillate your tastebuds too much!

We could certainly do with some time off. I spent all my working week reeling from pillar to post, this week; neither comfortable nor stress-free. And the neighbours at our new little house seem to do everything except sleep at night-time. I counted three separate entries and exits (slammed doors, revving cars, shouting into mobiles) between 2.30am and 4.30am. I’m a really light sleeper – most of the time I’m not technically ‘asleep’ as I still have the ears-on-elastic thing from having a baby. Added to which, new houses are built of matchwood and pencil shavings, so if you cough it sounds like a bomb dropping.

I will be online, try and keep me away.

So we leave the tatty suburban street of the hometown and head out into the golden misty West… cue music! And someone promised us Beef Wellington and Tiramisu, too. Talk about Avalon…


Well, there’s no real words to describe the excellence and sumptuous wonderfulness of this weekend. We arrived stressed, after hitting the back of the 50-mile tailback from Cribbs Causeway to Cornwall. After a protracted tussle with the map and a cross-country meander, we crossed the line into Somerset. There’s an indescribable peace and contentment that I feel when I enter this county – I’ve never lived here, and have no family connection. It’s green, bucolic, rich and fertile, with deep hollows between the hills that hide the most beautiful villages in England. The pink and gold Hamstone that they use to build with here contrasts with the wisteria, parthenocissus, clematis and greenness of the gardens and glows in the shallow evening light that pours across the fields. It’s a promised land, a dream. I love it to distraction.

We dropped straight into easy banter and gathering around the kitchen table we got on with doing the dinner, lubricating the proceedings with blackcurrant vodka, and cooking up a storm. Afternoon shaded into evening as we ate the fruits of our labours and then kicked back with vats of wine for a gossip and a giggle, and then a dance!

TSW’s brow lightened after a few jars; her back has been giving her untold grief and agony. It was lovely to see the wine doing its work and enabling her to put me royally through my paces as a belly dancer – she looked great, but I looked like a cat on hot bricks although I really got the feel for the music – I’d love to have another shot at this.

We settled to bed fairly late and I was hammered, but pleasantly – no hangover whatsoever in the morning and I slept like a log, as did Mr GW. Awakened slowly by the contented sotto voce cluckings and meanderings of the local chickens. Freshly made and delightful coffee, local fresh-squeezed bramley apple juice, and a heritage breakfast of award winning sausages and bacon, local bread and free-range scrambled eggs followed. This is food the way it’s supposed to be produced. From the area, personally chosen, carefully produced, lovingly cooked and greedily devoured!

TSW took us on a tour of the local villages – cue much drooling from me – and a visit to a cider mill. Wonderful stoneware flagons of local cider and some beeswax candles that smell of honey, somnolent sluggishness and the peace of bees. 

We left, comforted and cheered on our way, like we were stepping out of a magic circle but somehow retaining the virtue of it on our drive north. Such a lot has been decided this weekend, such a lot of issues resolved. I have to thank my friends; they are responsible for all the good things that have been achieved – and they cook a mean Welly to boot!




11 responses

25 07 2008

Have a great time. And send some tiramisu this way!
Sympthies re the neighbours, that can be a real problem.

25 07 2008
The Green Witch

We seem to get it wherever we go – either my ears are too sensitive or the protocols that used to exist between neighbours are withering away!

Next house – detached. Or underground, lol!

25 07 2008

If there is Tiramisu, I’m coming too! It sounds way better than a family reunion. You know, it really isn’t nice to tease. All your hints are driving me batty. I cannot wait until you are ready to share. Don’t forget your camera (for the friends and the food 😀 )!

25 07 2008
The Green Witch

I really wish you could join us, Fox. We could save you from the family reunion! We must do the meet-up – don’t you agree?

25 07 2008

Oh, yes! Plans definitely need to be made. 😀

25 07 2008

Your posts on your blog as well as your comments on my blog are inspiring, encouraging, and entertaining. You’ve certainly earned some time enjoying good friends and good food! Have a wonderful weekend.

25 07 2008

LOL Fox, TGW is making the tiramisu, while I cook up the beef wellington, so she has to work for her supper! I do wish you could join us too – what a giggle that would be.

Sadly, TGW, Shepherdess has had to cry off and it’s partly my fault – she’s helping her son and his partner to move into the little house and will be spending Saturday night erecting Ikea flat-pack for them (she’s very sensible and practical Foxy).

If you can sleep through the gales force snoring that Kim and I make, you’re on the quiet side of the house and you should get some sleep – though Arfur (the dog 3 doors down who got the name because he keeps going “Arf!”) sometimes gets a tad restive and the ducks do start quacking quite early too (same place – neighbour thinks he’s Dr. Doolittle!).

Better suggestion for your next house = in Somerset!

27 07 2008
The Green Witch

Such a wonderful weekend, my friends – refreshed in mind, body and spirit – and fatter through the mid-section, burp! 🙂

28 07 2008

Is it any wonder I’m the barrel shape I am with all the wonderful produce around here?!! We didn’t even got to manor Farm to pick some fruit – that was silly – never mind, I shall do that soon and make jam.

It was such a delight to spend the weekend with you; you are such easy company and we must do it again soon. xx

28 07 2008

It is such a joy to read about your visits. The calm, peaceful energy you both exude is just wonderful. I’m going to guess you didn’t get any pictures? 😉

29 07 2008
The Green Witch

I got one picture, of the church seen from behind a grinning gargoyle on TSW’s shed roof. I have no means of uploading her at the moment, but I will!!

Fox, I’m sorry, I know you need pics and I promise I will provide!!

SW, likewise – your welcome is like family – good family, let me assure you!! the best kind – the kind of family you’d pick for yourself xxx

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