…jellying, pickling, picking, plucking, topping, tailing, chopping, washing, packing, boiling, setting, and pouring. It’s been a processing factory in the kitchen over the last couple of days. All currants, gooseberries and a second crop of rhubarb were ready and waiting to be preserved in one form or another. As we’re hanging around for the weather to come right to take in a field of hay for the sheep’s winter feed (sheep are not fond of wrapped haylage, even if it’s sweet and dry) it seemed the ideal time to make sure the larder shelves are on their way to becoming well stocked for any eventuality.

My in-between-waiting-for-things-to-happen job has also been to finish putting up the shelving in my office, sort out the horrendous piles of ‘very important’ papers which I then have to dare myself to throw away (usually put into black plastic sacks and stored for a year ‘just to make sure it’s not needed’ before they’re burnt!).

And now I’m bushed with aching back, dirt-streaked face and hair full of cobwebs from retrieving books in waiting (office used to be Will’s room).

well, we had to sample!