Sunday, 22 November 2009

Frills, Thrills & Festive Fruits

With four full weeks until Christmas, and only marginally more until New Years' Eve, I thought it was about time I blew the dust and cobwebs off my sewing machine, and finally got around to making the new tablecloth for The Dining Hall! Little do you think, at the time, that your parents would give you a Singer Sewing Machine for something as special as your 18th Birthday, but then again, I never quite expected a Gary Rhodes Cookbook for my 40th either.
Don't think I'm ungrateful - both have been extremely useful over the years!!

Trousers and I are spending our first Christmas here at The Funny Farm alone with our cat, kind of like 'The Calm Before The Storm', you could say, as our very good friends, The Piglets, and Paul's Bestest Friend...In The World....are all coming to stay over New Year. And I do love making our home look cosy and festive, whether it's the dining table, the mantle, the front door, the tree - or the cat....

I am so looking forward to foraging in the woods over the next few weeks for sticks and twigs and berries and cones. What a magical time this is!

Those of you who occasionally pay any attention to any of my witterings, I recently visited Prince Charles' beautiful gardens at Highgrove. As a little gift for His Royal Highness, I took a pot of my exclusive Cape Gooseberry Jam. Anyway.......

I was on my way out of the farm gate the other morning, and, something inside me, whispered that there was a letter from The Royal Household in my postbox. Trusting my own instincts these days, I unceremonially stuck my hand into the rusty red box, and pulled out the contents. To my sheer delight (see Wellie dance round her truck with the letter in the air before shutting the gate) I was not wrong. But I surprised myself by placing it on the front passenger seat, and drove off with it UNOPENED.

I know, I know..... the suspense was killing me too?!

Every time I stopped the truck at a junction or a set of lights, I casually turned the pristine envelope to face me, and admired the postmark: Buckingham Palace......
"Ah!... Indeed....Who IS Queen Today?" I said to myself with a giggle.

Unfortunately, the contents of the letter was marked as Private & Confidential, so you will have to accept my word that Prince Charles was very appreciative of my homemade Physalis & Passionfruit Jam. However, it made no mention of whether The Prince simply adored the jam, thought it moderately tasty, or has been confined to bed with a dicky tummy ever since.
Although the very select few who have very much had the priv.priv.....honour, have loved it!

I'm not silly enough to presume that Charles is reading my blog, but, if you are Sir, it blew my frock up to receive your letter of thanks, and I'm going to frame it in The Downstairs Loo. X
(See Wellie curtsey).

Now then - there's a bit of a Wellie Workshop moment going on Down at The Funny Farm between now and Christmas. And, if like me, you're going to make Citrus Fruit & Clove Pomanders, they'll need to dry out in a warm dark place for 3 weeks, so I've started ours' this afternoon.
It takes 'the patience of a saint' to make them, and believe me, I'm going to need it, as I've got between Nought and Thirty to make, depending on when this particular Saint throws in the festive towel!

You can make any pattern you like with the cloves, and I'll be putting pretty ribbon on some of them when they've dried, whilst others will just nestle amongst dried squashes, church candles, nuts and evergreen foliage.

Once again, thank you for watching, and see you next time!

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