Follow the fortunes of Muddyboots & Family on their East Yorkshire farm which has changed from dairy farm to luxury ice cream manufacture

Friday, 29 June 2007

blue skies & USB cables

I am sat here surrounded by cables & computers. No, l really am not a computer nerd, but you see, my accounts / payroll software update just doesn't want to run on my computer so, l've set the programme up on Harry's laptop, hence the cables, surplus mice & usb cables. It could have been a bit of a problem coming up to month end but all was saved by plastic box filled with chips!

Well, l think that that is quite enough of the boring bits that concern budgets actual or otherwise. A necessary evil which always gives me the queen of all headaches!

There has been no heavy rain for a few days now. Sunshine & breeziness to be exact. Flood water has receded, draining back to the dykes & drains. Low lying areas that had once upon a time been marsh or carr land have regressed to their medieval status. Long forgotten islands un-noticeable in a flat landscape have re-emerged, providing safe havens for livestock & birds.

Thanks to everyone who has voiced concerns about the flooding. we have been fine but P, our baking lady, has had the loss adjusters around today. Their report states that, well, firstly it is inadvisable to move back into the house due to contamination from polluted water & secondly the time scale for repairing & moving back home is around the Christmas mark. She is getting married in August. Need l say more?

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

time to take stock....

the past 24 hours have seen what the met office is calling the wettest June ever. East Yorkshire has had continuous rain for a period of 24 hours. Flood water rushed along main roads & country lanes like ragging torrents, reaching depths of 4 to 5 feet.

Villages, towns & cities were cut off from the outside world, whilst here on our little hill we watched with horror & amazement at the events unfurling before our very eyes.

Yesterday evening Harry was out in one of the tractors rescuing drivers marooned in flooded cars, driving through depths of water that if his father had known about, he would have been banned for ever from driving a tractor again! Harry & Ben, trawled the lanes checking abandoned vehicles & trying to prevent the foolish from attempting to drive through river depth floods.

This morning, although the sky was still overcast, it did have some texture promising an altogether better sort of day. Went down to the beach first thing, the footpath was still flooded in places, Gordon thought this was great fun wading through but Lucy-Piglet, a more sensitive soul, was a little concerned that her 'rabbit run' was under about a foot & a half of water.

The cliff face too had not escaped undamaged. Water of any description does not work well with boulder clay & sure enough large landslips had been taking place, turning the clay to a very runny chocolate sauce consistency. Shanty Town is now on the brink of extinction. This caravan was making its way gracefully down to the beach whilst this morning, l would imagine, the hut dwellers would have had to get out of bed very gingerly indeed to prevent any downward movement.

Out and about this morning, villages were still impassible. Hull, well put it this way, we didn't even attempt to deliver to Hull Truck Theatre. There are cars & buses abandoned every where. People are, as so often the case, having to fend for themselves.

What is interesting and a point mooted by Harry last night was that the police seemed unable to cope. They were closing roads off, which was a good point, but in doing so appeared to have no plan in place as to where to send cars that were being diverted. Cars were still attempting to pass through deep water sending 'bow waves' washing towards the already flooded houses.

Today, hardly a policeman has been seen, villages blocked by flood water have had no 'road closed' signs, to prevent through traffic from getting stuck. As usual, with adverse weather conditions, utter chaos prevailed.

Monday, 25 June 2007

all hands to the pumps

All l can say is,thank god we live on a hill. So why's that you ask? Today has been, well, a stuck in the power shower sort of day, literally. Hard, driving rain with the full power switch turned to the max. We are completely cut off from the surrounding villages by rapidly rising flood water. Water that has swept off the fields, though gateways turning country roads & lanes into raging torrents, sweeping all obstacles in its path aside.

Our village has 3 foot+ deep floods, you can't get to Hornsea. Beeford is under nearly 4 foot of water. M's son is busy towing waterlogged cars to safety with his tractor. Here, we have closed shop early, very early, so that staff can either rescue livestock or sandbag flooded homes. l am going to ask Harry to get the sailing dingy rigged up just in case is doesn't stop raining!

l'm going to write this in 2 parts. I've done bit one so l'm now going to find my underwater camera bag & attempt to record some of this record breaking rain. Incidentally by 2 o'clock there had been 4 inches of rain.

OK, l've returned. Was it in the childrens book, Log of the Ark, that the Clidders melted in the rain? Well l do feel a bit like a clidder at the moment. Stockman's coat hasn't exactly kept me dry. Boy it is seriously wet out there, & no early let up either. The sky is a very dark grey, no changes in texture or colour, just dark, wet & grey. The fields are completely waterlogged, all low lying bits are becoming lakes, trackways rivers. The dogs however think that the rain is wonderful. Hmm.

One of our ladies, who left mid morning following a call from a neighbour, has just rung with an update, her house is now several inches under water, with the levels still rising. An elderly neighbour had commented that he had lived in the village, in the same house for 60 odd years & never seen the likes of this before, ever. The villagers are moving into the village hall for the night.

On my trip to the butcher' this morning, one of the things that l did notice was the bad driving of many of the motorists. Surely to god, when there is a flood, drive along the middle of the road slowly, taking it in turns with the motorist coming from the opposite direction to come through the water, that way no one gets swamped & you are on the highest part of the road. A guy shot past me, just couldn't wait, l'm in my 4WD by the way, he konked out, water half way up his door. Did l stop? No because l just had to turn left to the butchers.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Humber, Thames, Dogger

l'm bored. Have l really just typed that in this space? The weather is horrid. More rain now, more rain to come & more rain forecast together with strong northerly winds and all this in Flaming June. I can now see why it's called 'flaming'!

Today's pictures are off nice, sunny weather. The lovely weather that summer holidays are filled with. Clear blue skies, nice warm temperatures, balmy sea breezes, yes, l remember them well.

l tell you what, it must be truly awful if you're taking your annual holiday in this sort of weather. No wonder that there are so many long faces around, though the exception to that must be this weekend's Glastonbury Festival, here people seem to be positively glowing! l was reminiscing with today's staff that l was too young for Woodstock now l'm too 'old' for Galstonbury having to make do with watching it on the box, with the volume turned up REALLY LOUD. Pardon? Caught Rufus Wainright, The Frattellis & Soft Fury Animals all of whom l rather enjoyed. How sad is that, sat in front of the TV with your 18 year old son, enjoying the same music! Certainly didn't happen when l was a teenager, comments along the lines of 'do you call THAT music?' & 'turn it DOWN!' or even 'you'll go deaf listening to THAT that loud!'. Oh well, l can still hear & l'm not into listening to the Inkspots quiete yet!

Whoa dude, [getting the terminology right] the sun is seeping through those soggy clouds up there.....

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Hmm, everything is back to normal

So here l am, back to the old routine. Wednesday, East Yorkshire coast sat waiting for hubby to deliver some yummy samples to a possible new customer. Amazingly, the sun is shinning & it's almost warm. The sea front here in Filey is busy with the promenading Grey Brigade enjoying the sea air & sun shine. invigorating stuff, this ozone, keeps the encroaching years at bay.

l must have sat in the freezer van for a good half hour, with the engine running l might add, whilst hubby peddled his wares. l have seen the world & his wife perambulating slowly along the wide pathway set atop of the sea wall. Short ones, fat ones, skinny ones, wheelchair ones, bent ones & even the odd toddler just in case.

l must admit that l can watch people for hours, well hidden off course behind dark glasses. people are so interesting. Where have they come from? Did they not look in the mirror before setting out this morning? Have they always had that hairstyle? Is that man's hair a walnut whip? l could go on, l'm not being nasty or anything, but l'm fascinated by the human race we are so funny!

The rest of the afternoon was spent delivering yet more ice cream to various farm shops & open gardens. One of which incidentally is purple, seriously purple both inside & out & you can find it here. No pictures at the moment due to the flowers being not at their best yet, give them a week or so & it'll be like Provence!

Monday, 18 June 2007

A new week, a new day....

It would appear that l have missed
all the rain last week. Every time l spoke to Harry he said it was raining. It seems he was right. On expeditions out from the farm, the winter wet holes are back with us. Winter ponds. The floods are out with a vengeance around Skipsea castle, a something unheard of for this time of year.

This weekend we have been seriously busy. Completely forgot about the Father's Day thing? Pot Man had serious hangover so that made us one man down. It just didn't stop all day. Lunches, coffees, mega Moos, Cowpats you name it we were hanging in there. Bloody mad it was........

Well, these are the last photos from the all to brief sojourn to the land of Troubadours & cassoulet. Tonight's pictoral offerings are the castle of Montsegur, the last fateful stronghold of the Cathars. 500 souls held out against the Albigensian Crusade for nearly 10 months. 225 surrendered only to be lead down the precipious slopes to be burnt alive. A stone memorial marks the exact spot.

l left some wild flowers on the memorial.

My ancestry you see is Huguenot.

The wild flowers photos are from the footpaths close to Lasserre de-Pouille.

So that's it folks, l think that's enough of me going on about my trip the the Langedoc don't you? For more juicy low downs on the area & Chateau you will just have to visit the old place in person!

Saturday, 16 June 2007

just the wine bit for now...

Well today's homework is on wine. An excellent source of enjoyment
& bonhomie.

Now as l'm sure you remember l am rather partialed to the odd glass or 2 of the old red, and so was to be the case on our recent visit to Chateau Lasserre. The Duchess purtled out of the village like an old Queen, attaching corners with such vim & gusto that belied her great age, taking us, in some style, l might add, to the aptly named Domaine Le Fort .

Hurtling past vineyards & sunflowers we headed to a rather small but perfectly formed domaine & the ever open bottles of the degustion. Nestling in the corner of an ancient animal byre in what had once, many years ago, been a fortified barn, sat rows of bottles. Grape varieties with the scintillating names as Viognier, Baies des Anges, sauvignon blanc & the good old Bridget Jones stand by in the form of the old perennial favorite, chardonnay graced the bottles of white, whilst of my favourite tipple, the reds there were such classics as pinot noir, malbec, syrah and what was even better was even the most expensive bottles were still under
10€, now how good was that? l must confess to not really being a great lover of the white, but the Viognier 2006 had um, don't sound tooo pretentious girl, the most wonderful bouquet of [calm down] sort of - spring really, fresh, crisp, summer fruity like.......

What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon especially as it is some time since l had visited a vineyard as such. In my childhood Dad & me used to compete in the Angers Air Rally, & the best bit, apart that is from spotting the Chateau, was the tasting of the wines. Those were the days, scrabbling around the floors under tables collected sparkling wine corks to take home.

Did we bring wine home? Well yes. A couple of wine boxes, [merlot & chardonnay] which we had to book in as an extra piece of hold luggage, such a waste, due to recent security paranoia. Did it damage the contents of those precious boxes? Nope!

Friday, 15 June 2007

Return to the Small Island........

Well, that put the cat among the pigeons as they say. Look, l mean all that fuss trying to work out who was staying here. We doooo have to keep it professional now don't we?

OK, some of you might have done the 'rumbling' bit so l guess you all want the latest gossip & low down on the place?

Sorry folks all you're going to get are some pretty pics of interesting things & the the only juicy tit bit will be... a big thanks to her Ladyship, his Lordship, the young Lordling & the small cross one [hope you're feeling better?].

The area from Carcassonne to the Pyrenees is one of truly outstanding scenery & history together with a piece & quiet that has long disappeared from our countryside. That's the factual bit.

The area is steeped in history from the persecution of the Cathars to the Black Prince, ancient bastide towns & villages perched atop hills, vineyards, fields of sunflowers, empty roads, wild flower meadows, scenic country walks, l could go on but as l'm now feeling a little tired & in need of a glass of the old Merlot, l will just chuck a few choice pictures in for your perusal & bid you 'Bonsoir' until my brain is in full flow once again & my dammed headache has been drowned!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Warm sunshine = happy punters

Gosh it's been busy today. The afternoon sunshine has brought the public out in their droves. Queues at both counters, queues for outside tables, queues for loos. Busy, busy busy.

Yesterday's polo tournament was deemed a success by all who attended. Although it clashed with x-country day at Bramham, people were queuing to get in to the grounds armed with Bolly, smoked salmon & caviar. The press said that Jodie Kidd was there? The girls didn't recognize anyone at all, just loads of blokes who were 'really in love with themselves' with their heads stuck up various bodily orifices. Ah the wisdom of 16 year olds.....

Another strange or should l say embarrassing moment was when a customer informed us all, very nicely, that she was a regular reader if this blog & what was even nicer, felt as though she knew us all personally. It was either that or the member of staff had got crossed wires & mis-heard her saying that she had read about us in The Journal [a monthly broadsheet sized glossy mag distributed free to 'houses of distinction' in the East Riding. Could be a bit of a difference really!

Finally, just a quick note to add that l'll be away for a few days, heading south to see some friends. l guess it's what you would call a bit of an escape before the frenetic months ahead to recharge batteries & smooth furrowed brows. No it's not botox.... yet!!

Have fun & catch up later in the week!!

Friday, 8 June 2007

Late lunch @ Betty's, York

Hurrah, the sun has finely come out, briefly mind you, in between swirls of sea fret. l had quite forgotten how good the sun can look, trying to burn its way through a foggy blanket. It sure felt good, as they say across the pond. Many would say this sea fog thing, is typical of late spring along the North Sea coasts but it is a few years since it has plagued us with such murky conditions for so long. It does have it's plus points however; no flies, midges or other biting insects; no sun burn, no need for expensive sunny weather clothes or sun screen.

Yesterday. l did get away from the place.

Eventually that is.

Hubby is very good at what l would term 'waffling' with his time. he has to do a bit of this, then that & not forgetting the other. eventually, by 1 o'clock we manged to get in the car to actually go & do something. So what did we do & where did we go? Heading due east you eventually hit the ancient city of York, & this is where we ended up. Late lunch was taken in that great institution Bettys on Parliament Square, a real must for locals & tourist alike. Didn't manage to bag an 'upstairs' table but who cares really as l'm not exactly what you could classify as a FWAG. Manged to do a wee bit of shopping but as most of the stock in most of the shops had been well shopped out leaving only the 'Yorkshire Woman' sizes left l just had to give up on the spending money bit!

New man started yesterday, this time a young Canadian from Nova Scotia visiting friends for the summer. This has been interesting for me on the inland revenue side with him having presented a holiday working visa, more bureaucracy. Seems a pleasant enough guy. Snowboard instructor. We have no hills suitable here, but there is great surf at Cayton Bay & Scarborough.

Taking a complete spin round on thoughts, l have been having, what you could call a 'trying time' with my wireless connection. Its comes & it goes. No one else 'using' or should l say borrowing my connection, just a piece of, either connected or not connected. l have run several scans to see if there is a nasty lurking behind files & folders but can see nothing. A mystery a the moment.

Back to the ice cream bit now.

Yorkshire is host to this year's Bollywood film awards, with glitter & parties & celebrity stuff happening throughout the various Ridings. Tomorrow sees the action move to Beverley with the International Polo tournament or Yorkshire Nations Cup as advertised on the Beverley Polo Club web site & we, you'll be pleased to note that we will be in attendance with ice cream! Oh Darhlings how absolutely Fabulous!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

A night at the opera

l missed out last night. The boys went to the theatre in York to the opening night of Wuthering Heights premiered at the Theatre Royal York. It wasn't all pleasure however, the evening featured local food producers who were providing samples of their delicious food for the theatre goers. Apparently Harry was mobbed by female drama students! Unfortunately l was still busy when they left & just didn't have time to get spruced up. The evening went well, they had even enjoyed the play which featured just 4 members of the cast. So each time they died they would return as someone else. Hubby was shocked at just how skinny the actresses were & that they were unwilling to let very much in the form of sustenance pass their lips.

Whilst they were out, l decided to wash the sofa covers. Unfortunately, the covers have now got 'scorch' marks all over them from the washing powder. How l just don't know. l changed brand last week & some of the clothes have got bleach marks on them too, ie] black shirts have orange marks on. So now my sofa covers have got pale terracotta marks on & in just the places that stand out like a sore thumb! It's all ebays fault you see. l won a huge pair of brand new, interlined very long curtains & well, l thought the sofa needed a bit of spruce up? l should have known better, me & cleaning up just don't go at all. l always make three times as much mess as was originally there. It's a bit of a standing joke concerning me with dusters & hoovers. Luckily Hubby loves tidying & hoovering. What a relief!

l am hoping to get a day off tomorrow, l would rather like to take the dogs up onto the moors for a gentle stroll, Hubby wants to travel from Pickering to Whitby on the North York Moors Railway. Hmm, not really that keen. Have done the Thomas the Tank bit with Harry big time Toot Toot!! Please no more!
Um, just had quick word concerning this year's Game Fair. Looks as though we might be doing a demo / talk organised through Annie Stirk & her team at the Regional Food Group. That should be fun. l do have a problem with talking, basically l do rather a lot of it as anyone who knows me will tell you. l think she said a 25 minute slot? Question & answer format. Should be fun. Oh well, l'll worry about it just before l start to speak on the day, best way really. Don't panic Captain Mainwaring!

Monday, 4 June 2007

the mists have risen

At last, the sun has come out on the east coast. After days of swirling sea roke & chilly temperatures, the mists have gone replaced by blue sky & brilliant sunshine. It's always the same, kids go back to school & hey presto the weather improves. That's life!

We ran out of food in the house this weekend, just didn't have time or the inclination to drive into Bridlington. Today, we could last no longer without the finer things in life, butter, cereals etc, so l just had to get the car out and head north to tesco. ok l hate them but l only use the store for groceries. Well, racing up & down the aisles at my normal speed, l just happened to notice that there was Yorkshire Localchoice milk on the shelves priced at £1.23 per 2ltrs. Local milk? Here? From where? The customer service desk couldn't help as they didn't know how local was local. The stock control team didn't know either & on ringing Arla in Leeds they, surprise surprise, didn't know, but, they thought it might have come from somewhere near Leeds. So much for traceability.

And another thing. l buy monthly magazines for customers to read whilst they wait for their orders, mainly food magazines with a few country lifestyle ones thrown in. Anyway, perusing through these photographic masterpieces, can anyone tell me why the majority of restaurants / specialist food shops / hotels / cafes advertised or recommended are based to the south of the Humber / Trent / Mersey? Up here in the Wild North, we have wonderful eateries / farm shops / food places and the natives are usually jolly friendly too. All l can think is that the journalists are worried that their sat navs don't work this far north or that if they get lost or the car breaks down, they won't be able to understand the locals? But there again do l really want loads of southerners heading north looking for our hidden foodie delights?

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Sunday, day of rest?

Sunday trading draws to a close & thankfully brings to an end the madness that is half term. The Gods have not been with us as far as the weather has been concerned. Cold squalls, sea fret & torrential downpours have greeted the holiday maker this year. Not good for the UK tourism industry. We have survived. It has been busy & what has been truly remarkable is that the visitors to the farm & ice cream parlour have been in good humour. Not too many unhappies which is a relief. l'm a firm believer that ice cream, no matter what the weather, makes you smile!

The new trickle of uni students are busy learning the art of coffee making & ice cream sundae scooping. We've 2 new ones, both guys, in fact most of our staff is male. l wonder if that is a trend for the 'new men'? Batista's & ice cream scoopers? It's funny how all the youngsters just love working here, it's almost like a 'club'. Loads of socialising whilst working hard & boy when the customers are queuing out of the door, they do work incredibly hard!

So June is now here. Don't you think that this year is positively flying past at break neck speed? l really don't know where the passing months have gone? I'm still on a high from my January holiday, well l can just about see my tan if l squint. In our farming life, the first week in June was always holiday time, once first cut silage & fertiliser had been spread on the grasses, now, holiday time no longer, we have to wait until September. My screen saver is set to slide show, so past holiday pics waft across when l'm stuck for words, luvely! Palm trees in February nothing like it!

Friday, 1 June 2007

Daily Mail advert c/o Tesco page 40

Sitting eating breakfast this morning, somehow multi-tasking & reading today's copy of the Daily Mail. My bowl of delicious muesli, care of The Side oven Bakery , was suddenly flung across the table followed by mouthfuls of milk, bird seed & me choking violently & turning a brighter shade of purple. OK it's only the Daily Mail, & l know that this newspaper has this effect on New Labour politicians so what had l read to have had such a catastrophic effect on my breakfast.

If you have a copy please turn to page 40. OK are you there? Here before us we have a Full Page Colour advertisement care of Tesco. Product of this every little helps advertising campaign was........Localchoice milk, & l quote

'Lets you support family farms in your region.
Whether you're having tea in Lancs.
Or breakfast in Beds.'

The labels on the bottles have the legend,

'Buying this skimmed, semi, whole milk supports small local farms near where you live'


The announcement concerning this increase in milk price was discussed in length on the CL site flagged up by milkmaid & myself, quoting at length from the press release by DFB.
This advert is at best somewhat selective with the truth, & worse it is misleading Tesco customers into thinking that all milk sold in its stores is purchased from all dairy farmers at a sustainable price & that Tesco is the farmers friend.

Here in East Yorkshire we are not part of the Localchoice milk scheme despite there being small family farms who supply milk to DFB & who desperately need an increase in milk price to a sustainable level. So we will not benefit. l have not been able to get hold of a copy of the supplier contract but l have been reliably informed that the technical categories are extremely difficult to achieve for the small producer.
l would imagine that, as no farms in this area are part of the scheme, my local Tesco will not be stocking this product. If they are.............. l will ask exactly which local farms are doing the supplying, the store will have these details in order to fulfill the 'full traceability' criteria?
And finally, the logo every little helps, as far as l can see helps only one business. Tesco the Corporate Entity.
Related Posts with Thumbnails