February 19, 2019

When I was a student (back in the day when we had student grants rather than student loans), I would work on farms during the long summer holidays, harvesting sugar beet in the blazing heat, or stand for hours on a bone-shaking trailer as it rumbled over the dry clods...

February 9, 2019

I was listening to the news at lunchtime - the crazy, crazy news that we take for granted these days - as I ladled fragrant, spicy soup into bowls and sliced hunks of freshly baked sourdough bread. Outside Storm Erik blustered and a formation of geese struggled against...

April 16, 2018

...There is a sense of lives lived; you almost get the feeling that Vanessa has just stepped out of the French doors of her bedroom to pick flowers from the garden to put on the kitchen table...

March 23, 2018

Work for many people can mean spending nights away from home in bland rooms in soulless hotels. We were talking to a guest the other day who travels hundreds of miles a week for her job, spending at least three nights away in travel lodges each week. She said that half...

January 18, 2018

There is a brief time in the year - those puddled months of January, February and March - when everything is over and nothing has yet begun. It is a time of waiting...waiting for days to lengthen, waiting for the wind to stop howling, waiting for the first shoots of sp...

January 4, 2018

Christmas is over but the lights are still on the tree and holly and ivy garlands still adorn the inglenook. The 'fridge is almost bare now and husband Dave has implemented his annual austerity regime which means that we eat a lot of rollmops and sauerkraut and things...

October 21, 2017

As I write, safe from the elements in my little room in the attic, leaves from the lime trees are swirling about in the air like golden coins. The hens, scuffing about for grubs beneath the leaf litter, are all of a dither as their feathers ruffle into orange tutus. Cr...

March 12, 2017

The daffodils are out at last and it is warm today. Sunlight is casting shadows of bare branches across the lawn, catkins shiver in the breeze and birds are flirting and singing in the hedgerows. There is energy in the air and it's time to blow away the winter cobwebs...

October 3, 2016

Back in a previous existence we made charcuterie for restaurants we owned in Brighton. We kept a couple of house pigs for our own family and we used local pork and game and herbs from the garden for making salamis and air dried meats. We used traditional artisan method...

July 11, 2016

We took a night off recently and went to a lovely hotel (market research, you understand). The bed was a huge super-kingsize - big enough for an entire family. The beds at Starnash Farmhouse are mere kingsize, but roomy enough, we think. What we have in common though i...

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