Friday, 5 April 2013

Ladies who lunch

Wednesday’s forecast was cold but sunny and, for once, was accurate. As you know, Marcia is in the process of tidying up book 24 and, not surprisingly, there were a few bits and pieces that she needed to check ‘on location’.

So, notwithstanding a thermometer that was suggesting it was the coldest April day in living memory (which may turn out to be the literal truth) we set out to brave conditions on the high moor. After a morning spent sorting booky things we ended up in The Dandelion, attached to The Moorland Hotel near Haytor. This is where some rather critical moments in book 24 take place but more important than that, it was warm. And the food was, as always, superb.

Whilst in The Dandelion, there arrived a delightful Cairn by the name of Morris complete with a green ball in his mouth, one man and two women. I could not resist him and it is with great sadness that I have to admit that none of the pictures I took worked: light levels were low and Morris is a busy person with the result that none are sharp enough. I really should have asked to take his portrait outside but it was still very cold and I decided that I would take quite a fair number and that there would be at least one that worked. Wrong!

It transpired that one of Morris’ party was a Marcia Willett reader and they had a lovely chat before we left. The women were sisters and, like Marcia, came from Somerset.

In a desultory sort of way Marcia and I were talking about what I would write for today’s blog when it was suggested that it should include some photographs of ‘Ladies who Lunch’. My idea or Marcia’s? Not sure but probably hers – almost certainly hers. So it was we decided that, on the way home, I would try and get some suitable pictures of ladies lunching – results below.

On a more serious note: you will see above cattle and sheep gathered round feeders at a time of the year when you would expect them to be scattered around the fields tucking into the new spring grass. Not this year. This is very bad news for some farmers who are seeing all their profits being used to keep stock alive and healthy in this awful weather. It could well be bad news for the rest of us: food prices should increase to compensate our food producers for the additional costs incurred by the weather thus spreading the load. The strong hold that the supermarkets has on food buying means that the odds are we shall see prices go up a bit but not enough and some farmers will go to the wall – and that is bad for everyone.

On the way home we came across a couple of young chaps doing the most incredible things on skateboards. The following pictures will give you some idea of how incredible.

Martin Steward (left) and Mark Helliwell

Brilliant - totally brilliant.

Lastly, our blog dog this week is Ted.