Tuesday, 9 September 2008

River Cottage forever

So I've finally come down from my cloud over meeting Hugh, he was as anticipated lovely and not only did he sign my book he also tasted the jam I took for him (I had a revelation on the present front, redcurrant jelly & acorns, the perfect present) . His exact words were 'Mmmm nice, good consistency not to sweet, great stuff' Ohhhh! How Wonderful! Kip has taken photos but unfortunately they are on his manual camera, but as soon as I get the prints I will put them up. River cottage in general was pretty fab, as well as having lots of river cottage stuff for sale there were loads of other stalls ranging from spinners to blacksmiths (the mushroom expert was also roaming around so we got chatting to him, now is the season for giant puffballs so I'm told) and survival experts. Kip got talking to the survival experts and is doing a course in wild foraging next year, I got chatting to a basket making lady who hopefully will be doing courses up in Oxfordshire (she was making a raven sculpture out of willow to be set alight at her friends hand fasting, cool or what?!) in the coming months. That would be great as its something I've always wanted to learn. There was a basket guy there selling his wares who promised me he would make a basket to my spec (I'll email him tomorrow, he also had some lovely broomsticks) and a guy who made knives from scratch, I would have really liked one of his whittling knives but I think they were about £200 and the thing I need most right now is not a knife but a spinning wheel so regretfully I had to pass. On the Saturday of the fete the weather was pretty horrible and it rained a lot but the Sunday cheered up and we had a really good time. Hugh's new place is a lot closer to civilisation but you can see he really has scope to do lots of new projects.

Other highlights of the trip included the pub we stayed on which was right next to the Cobb at Lyme Regis (as I was the only girl present I refrained from standing on the end wailing :-) , it was a really comfy room (which was well appreciated after all that rain) and we were cooked the most wonderful fried breakfast by a nice singing scouse chef. Perfect. I was determined to seek out some fossil shops and thought I may have missed my chance when we went straight to the farm on the Saturday. However we managed to find a small one down a backstreet on the Sunday morning, and I bought a polished ammonite as a paperweight for my new desk, a fossilised ananomy and a relative of the ammonite that was found on Skye (the guy in the shop said it was very rare but I can admit the attraction for me was the location it was found in :-). On the way back from Lyme Regis we stopped off to see Kips friends Brund and Alison. They both work as rangers on an estate not far from Lyme and take parties of kids round. Kip and Brund have known each other since school but as I found out he had ulterior motives for visiting as he quite likes Alison. She seemed like a very nice girl and packed us off with a load of home grown veg (my kind of girl and she went to lancaster Uni) so I've encouraged him to ask her for a drink the next time he's down. Everything crossed she says yes.

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