Monday, 30 March 2015

Welcome To The Potting Shed Monmouth

A year ago, No.1 The Barton, looked like this:  Empty, Neglected, Smashed In, Completely Broken, and Totally Unloved.  Personally, I could WELL 'relate to that'.

Because as well as being on my fourth or fifth course of Lumbar Injections in half of those years, I was wondering just how I was going to continue gardening professionally, when in reality, I could barely walk.......

And in all honesty, not being convinced that the Wife of my Osteopath would actually welcome me LIVING full time with them in their Treatment Room, I was beginning to think I needed to come up with a 'Plan B':

So, huge credit, where credit is due, No.1 The Barton looks like this now, ONLY because of Trousers, and our extremely tame builder, Gordie, Gordie, Gordie, who one of these fine days, we may find a way of thanking him with far more than a Mug of Tea and a Chocolate Biskwit.

Heart on my sleeve, I don't think my Dad would recognise me as his daughter these days if he were alive.  But I do know just how very proud he was of me, and seriously would be of me today for 'inventing this business out of  nothing but the belief in my own ability and his own belief in me all those years ago', which I've always held close to my heart.

And once upon a time, he invented his own business too, from nothing, working endless hours through the night at his desk, and in his home-built Recording Studio.......
Which leads me beautifully......... where I used to record 'Two Ronnies' Jokes' on Cassette with him to send to my Uncle Mark to make him laugh...?

My Dad's favourite joke at the time of recording was:

"The Pound had a good day today.
It got up early, went to the park, had a nice lunch......" and for the LIFE of me, I can't remember the ending.....?!
Two Ronnies Jokes were so.........'Family?' and just absolutely Barker-Bonkers.  I loved them.
We had SOO many 'Sound Recording Studio 'TAKES' on that little beauty', because Wellie just kept 'corpsing'.
TAKE 2......TAKE 3......TAKE 4..... 5........6.......7...!x

And then there was 'The Snail Joke'...., which never quite 'went away'?

And being quite honest with you, I'm not sure I could ever have told him 'The Noddy Joke', without the two of us having shared a sherbet or two too many?

THIS week at The Potting Shed Children.....(reminds me of The Fast Show: "Today I Are Mostly.....") we've been blessed with some truly lovely new customers, staying in'n'around the area, or day-tripping to Munmuth, and some even, travelling 'specially to The Potting Shed Monmouth on recommendation from friends and family.
Which Was Nice....!

A couple of really lovely ladies came for lunch, having found us on Tripadvisor, and genuinely loved us.

Another lovely couple from Portsmouth were staying in Symonds Yat, a hugely lovely tourist attraction, (not them - the place?).....really enjoyed their lunch, and their visit to The Potting Shed, and promised to Tripadvise to promote our lovely business.

And it was a bit inclement outside with their dog to eat, so were truly grateful, a lovely couple from Newnham-on-Severn to have lunch inside our rustic tearoom.  Not only did they enjoy their Smoked Haddock Chowder, but sincerely raved about it, being 'foodies themselves', which is generosity in itself in the praise department.
And too, one of the loveliest compliments anyone has given me since my Potting Shed Adventure began a year ago:  "....and you are so caring towards your customers - it really shows..."

On which note, I'll leave you to enjoy your Easter Holidays.x

Incidentally, I mentioned to some Potting Shed Customers today about my blog, and that I've now got 34,000 'Odd' Blog Readers..... (do you feel odd?!!).....and they rather SENSIBLY pointed out that it would be VERY unfair of you all to turn up for Afternoon Tea at The Potting Shed WITHOUT phoning ahead to book in advance?!
So just DON'T - Okay?!x

Bless you all for being here.
And Hello Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine!x
My Love for now,

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Hello..... And Thank You.x

Whether you're new, old, young, elderly, tired, wide awake, don't get out much/should get out're all really welcome here at The Funny Farm Blog, and I'd just like to take a moment to thank you all for reading my Blog....

....In The United States, The United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Ireland, France, Brazil, Finland, Indonesia and Lebanon this week.

Bless You All for being here.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Fireworks, Rainbows & Lollipops.....

.....Allegedly, life is too short to go without them?

I suppose it's because they're "Oooh!"...."Aaaah!" and....."Mmmm!".
And I only mention this, because my friend M text it to me the other day.

To be honest, FIREWORKS have never really 'blown my frock up', being more of a 'Sparkler In The Dark' kinda girl. I can't get over how much they cost, (Fireworks, not Sparklers), how brief their enjoyment, and the anti-climactic disappointment I feel when the sky returns to dark, like they'd never been there in the first place.... It might just be that 'I'm A Miserable Git', that we only afforded Sparklers when I was little, or that I prefer a good old-fashioned Mother Nature Sunset, with a chilled glass of.

Whereas, give me RAINBOWS any day of the week, and watch Wellie chase them, in search of that elusive pot of gold. Give me a DOUBLE RAINBOW, and I'm doubly happy, chasing it to the ends of this earth and beyond for the dreams in my heart.

LOLLIPOPS, on the other hand, are like 'A Hug on A Stick'. And depending on the level of Hug you're after, you can have 'A Boring Hug', 'A Funny Hug', 'A Sherbet Hug', 'A Frozen Hug' on a hot sunny day, or just have 'A Moment Hug' and bite its' ruddy ears off if you're that cross Children?!x

So that's where Wellie stands on the Fireworks, Rainbows & Lollipops front, in case you were wondering.

And M left me a little GoodyBag on the front door knob, with a card saying "I'm Missing my friend", a beautifully perfumed potted candle, and a ceramic heart, saying: "Remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you feel, and smarter than you think."

Which, no doubt is true, given that I've been a whole week without my beloved Black Cat now today, this Mothering Sunday.

And one of our lovely Potting Shed Monmouth Customers, bought us a Lavender to plant for BC.
Thank you Susan.x

We decided BC would like to lay down for her Big Sleep in front of The Funny Farm kitchen window, where I can chat away with her, like I've always done every morning and evening.

And I'll be 'Colouring Her Happy' under Mother Nature's Duvet with some beautiful Sarah Raven Mixed Cut Flower Seeds, kind of 'throw'n'grow' stylie - picking regularly throughout the summer to take to The Potting Shed for filling the kiddy-wellie-vases on the tea tables.

I've planted my Special Garden Fairy beside her, to keep her company for now.

I miss you Babe, and love you always.x

Around the world, those of you who are reading my blog once again, Bless You, Thank You, and See You Here Next Week.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Asleep Forever in My Broken Heart.....but Never More Loved

I'm devastated to have to report to you all that BC, my beloved black cat, my very special and precious little girl had to be put to sleep today.

Her failing kidneys and latest episode of Cat Flu, were far more than she could handle, and as much love and care as I gave her, when she'd 'had enough' and stopped eating, so rapidly deteriorating, she gave me her permission to end her beautiful life.

It's never an easy call to make, but Marlow Vets came here to The Funny Farm, and she died in my loving arms at lunchtime, just where she would have wanted to be.

As I sit here writing this painful blog update, looking at her next to me, wrapped up snug in my garden fleece, I'm wondering where she'd like her Big Sleep to begin underneath 'Mother Nature's Duvet'....
Perhaps I'll ask Trousers what his thoughts are.x

It's been an incredibly difficult day for me today, but a very positive one too. My friend Medina sent me THE most beautiful text, saying that I could not have been a more wonderful mum to BC, and this is why she chose me all those years ago. In all honesty, I do feel honoured that BC chose Trousers and I like she did, and so very grateful to her for showing me just how deep a love can go into your heart, like hers' did, leaving me with a lasting warm glow within my soul, and a sparkly twinkle in my eyes.

Tomorrow I shall return to work at The Potting Shed with a renewed spring in my step, an extra twinkle in my eyes, and over a decade of fond memories to keep me smiling forever. Bless you BC.....
Mummy Loves You For Ever and Ever.x

Sunday, 1 March 2015


You know what?  It's been a really tough January/February to come out this side of it into March, but honestly, hang out The Flappy Bunting, the sun is making more regular appearances to kick-start Mother Nature into wearing that lovely Spring Green Frock of hers', and it won't be long now till we're in full swing!

I'm quite surprised that Trousers and I have managed to stay such good friends, having to look at each other for quite so many hours in a day for the past two months!..... Thankfully, the silences have been broken, and the atmospheric 'cutting knife' put back in The Potting Shed drawer, with the slow but steady arrival of happy and friendly customers on a daily basis since the New Year dawned.

That's what I love about this Potting Shed Business - My Customers.
They've been so supportive, and hugely complimentary about the business, spreading the word about us, leaving lovely comments on Tripadvisor about us, and bringing more and more friends and family members to see us when they visit, that they're almost Family themselves to us now.
And with us opening our doors 7 Days A Week again from this Tuesday 3rd March, we'll be pleasing many more of them, more of the time....x

Until then, we enjoyed a day off today with a drive out to Whitlenge Garden Centre in Hartlebury for a bit of a new-season friendly motivational 'hug' from our Friendlies; Fran and Keith, who started their own business there in a similar vane to us, many moons ago.

Their hugely popular Garden Centre & Creative Landscaping Business, with exhibits at Chelsea Flower Show, have won Fran & Keith many an Award.
Whitlenge has a lovely Tearoom/Cafe, where Wellie had a toasted teacake this morning, and Trousers, rather unsurprisingly, had a Big Boys' Cooked Breakfast Boys'n'Girls?

There are crafts and gifts, and it's very Child-Friendly, with designated Play Areas, an extensive range of beautiful garden plants, and a really fabulous private garden for you to follow a seasonal trail through, full of inspiration, and lots of fun for the whole family.  And they can even cater for functions/children's parties too.

When we were last there, we bought some rustic wooden balcony panels for The Potting Shed Garden, and our 'Tame Builder': Gordie, wanted a few more of them to play with in a couple of weeks' time?
In fact, Children, scroll back to my Blog entry dated 11th December, 2011, and see what a lovely Tool Box Gordie has!

With March marching on, and the possibility of our Alcohol License being granted in the next week or so, that potential for new business opportunities opens The Potting Shed Door even wider....with longer Sunday Trading Hours for our Customers to enjoy Cream Teas, or a fruity glass of Pimms in the garden, a glass of wine with lunch, and even 'pre-theatre Suppers', if we want to, having both The Savoy and The Blake Theatres on our keep your fingers crossed for us, why don't you.

And if you haven't become a Follower of my Blog here, or find us on Facebook and Tripadvisor, and things, where you can Goggle at some photos.
To be honest Kids, I've not stumbled unceremoniously into the land of Twitter yet... (too much compost under my fingernails maybe?) but one of these fine days when I have time on my hands, have made the acquaintance of a three year old child who's been on Twitter since they were born, I'll get them to teach me, eh?!x

Until next time, take care my friends.