Blackcurrants. So many blackcurrants. More blackcurrants than I can shake a stick at.

Alerted to the fact that my blackcurrants were ready for harvesting by the large amounts of purple bird poo all over the windows and paths, I popped out with a bowl to go and collect them.  Within ten minutes that was full to the brim so I popped inside to get a more suitable receptacle in which to collect them, a large roasting tin.

An hour later I decided that enough was enough and the birds could keep the rest. What am I going to do   with this lot?  Jam, that’s what. Big N has offered to make lots of lovely jam for us. Oh, I feel like I should be joining the WI. I’d better get cracking learning all the words to ‘Jerusalem’ not just the first verse.

As well as blackcurrants we also have peas, potatoes, gooseberries, apples and raspberries ready. Don’t you just love growing your own food?

While I’ve been picking fruit, the builder has been getting on with our patio. Have you ever wished you hadn’t started a job?


Poorly patio
Poorly patio

No wonder the bloody thing was sinking.  Drainage?  Well, some would have been nice.

The drainage, such as it was, was woefully inadequate. At some point there had been a repair made which had caused more problems that it had solved.  I shudder to think what this lot is going to end up costing us.  Might have to put the plan for the downstairs loo on the back burner for a while.

We took our minds off our garden troubles by staying with our friends in Shropshire for the weekend. You know the ones, I told you about them, the ones who live in a flat in a stately home. We knew that before we went but that didn’t stop our jaws dropping when we saw the place. Oh dear Lord, it’s mag-bloody-nificent!

Race horses poked their head out of their stables to say hello to us. Jockeys, stable hands, gardeners all stopped to say hello and pass the time of day with us as we strolled round the park like gardens. I could get used to this kind of life with not too much difficulty.

Stately home


Not a bad view

They showed us the lightning tree in the grounds, if you look closely you can see what looks like a face in the trunk.


If you look closely you can see a face

After our  leisurely breakfast and stroll round the grounds we hopped off into the nearest town for a spot of lunch and a browse round the many curiosity shops. I can’t remember the last time I was in a town centre that hasn’t been homogenised. It was a joy to browse round these  little streets and shops. I never knew what we were going to stumble across next.

Town centre

Talk about shops with character. This one sold …um…..stuff. Bakelite phones,  mens flanelette shirts with grandad collars, wood carvings and all manner of wonderful things, some of which took us back to our childhoods. Some of which reminded us of just jow old we really are!

phone, window, cobwebs
shop with cobwebs


just plain odd

We even went onto a shop that sold oil and wood burning stoves and I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t in a museum or  a reconstruction of a Victorian country house. I even asked if I could could move in! It was magnificent.

Hang on, even I don’t believe I just wrote that so I’ ll do it again.

The stove shop.

Yup, I did get it right, I wasn’t dreaming, it really was a stove shop. Unbelievable.

There was a a nice little castle next to the stove shop. I’d have liked to go in but we just ran out of time and I still had to see the witchcraft shop in the market. Lashes would have loved it all. Vintage clothes shops, hippy shops, bustle, individuality, friendly natives. Such friendly natives, I couldn’t believe it!  If you talk to a stranger round here they look at you like you’re and and they’re considering wether to thump you of just ignore you.

It was a totally different atmosphere, very laid back and almost carnival like although there was nothing special going on.


I know, I’m raving now but I really did love it all. What a perfect weekend.  Many thanks to our friends for inviting us (don’t know why I just put that as they don’t read this).

All I can say is that they were lucky to get rid of us!




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