Thursday 26 April 2007

The Parish newsletter

February 2007

I love the parish newsletter. The dodgy graphics, lopsided type, the reports of the parish council meetings, the coffee mornings and bring and buys, the ads for businesses that packed up years ago. Wonderful snippets such as ‘problems with dog fouling have been interrupting football matches on the recreation ground’ and sage advice: ‘out of concern for your fellow churchgoers, if you have a cold or sore throat, then it is perfectly acceptable to ‘dip’ the wafer in the wine at Communion.’

But, even greater joy, this month we were treated to a page of ‘Food of Yesteryear’ in which the author, an anonymous 86-year old, instructed us on the delights of rook pie, giblet stews, hogs puddings, and lamb’s tail pie. To make the latter: ‘The tails were plucked, then placed in hot water to clean off the wool that was left. Any remaining strands would be singed off. After several washings, these lovely little white strips would be cut into 1” pieces and placed in a dish to which a little minced bacon and a pie crust put on and was then baked. When cold the pie would consist of lovely, thick, delicious jelly.’ Hmm, decided not to try that one for lunch but made up a huge pot of Bolognese sauce instead.

It’s been a funny day, quite a wind blowing and sun and rain bickering as to which will get the lion’s share of the weather. Every so often there is a low rumble of far-off thunder, trying to make up its mind whether to get seriously hacked off and throw a wobbler, or just to grumble a bit to make a point and then slouch off.

Spring is flirting too. There are all of a sudden buds on the elder and catkins on the hazel. Bright green shoots hurtling up all over the place, making me feel guilty that I still haven’t cleared and weeded properly. A gaggle of blue tits on the bird feeders and a buzzard circling high, mewing. Soon, any day now, will come the greening – that imperceptible moment when spring shimmers through the trees, placing a veil of palest green over the woodland.

I’ve found it hard to settle to work today. I’ve abandoned my office for the moment (fire proving too labour-intensive) and am camping down in the living room on the huge oak table with Asbo curled up under the radiator next to me. The sofa is too close and the temptation to curl up with Arthur Machen is just too much (Arthur being an author, not some ne’er to well farmer, I hasten to add.) I’ve also been glued to ebay. Now this is all your fault. I’d never gone near ebay until I came on this website and have been lured into Bad Habits. So, a few days ago, I lost my virginity and bidded for the first time. My auctions were approaching their end today. Oh, the excitement, the thrill! I won! I won! I am now to be the proud owner of a new needlepoint kit and an Aga clothes drier. Now the first I could truly have done without, but the second is, I felt, a Truly Good Buy. Again, it’s all your fault – I never even realised there was such a thing as an Aga clothes drier until I read it on a post and somebody helpfully directed the poster to ebay. Where will it end? I have visions of vast Narnia-esque wardrobes arriving, scrolls of Persian rugs (oh, oh, HOW much cheaper here than at the village hall!), garden statuary, ride-on mowers…..who knows what might catch my eye?


CAMILLA said...

Dear Jane,
The weather you have sounds breathtaking. We have some of the most amazing pink skys here in Norfolk, just as sun is going down.
On the subect of NAME, there was a bit of a squabble between Ma and Pa, one is used legally, the other, well it has been used since I have been out of nappies, it is the one my mother chose.

lixtroll said...

Matron is visiting again with an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

The chat-room is experiencing problems with overloading which we think is causing it to be marked as SPAM, which is in effect locking us all out :-

So in the mean time: each day please look out for the post called ANNOUNCE NEW BLOGS HERE and put your announcements in as comments on that post.

This will still leave space for one personal post per person which we can all comment on.

This is purely a temporary measure, we are keen to get the chatroom back to the weird and wonderful way it was going before - we are looking into various options at the moment (by the way, have you noticed that option is an anagram of potion) - WesterWitch! put down that cauldron!