Brass Monkey weather

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 12 November 2007

Eee by gum but it was fair freezin' today in Sussex. I loved it. The old man and me took the doglet round the houses. By round the houses I mean, down the road, past half a dozen properties and lots of sycamore trees, no cars though. They closed us down a few years back because Mr. Somerset used to get people driving into his front room, by 1999 six cars had parked on his living room carpet.

Hang a right at the end and suddenly you swing onto a wider than normal path, big enough for a tractor, follow it to the end and you're at the farm. Lots of people think it looks like France, the earth, the yellow stone of the cottages and the view. I think it looks like Sussex. Fields to the left of you and hedges to the right. Past the nursery steps, a wonderful flight of stone stairs that took the servants up to the big house and down again with their baskets of washing.

Left down the avenue where a score of Beech trees stand opposite each other. My tree is the fourth on the right. My pink pearlised lipstick kissing-mark in tact today. Right through the old style into the Outdoor Pursuit Centre, past Elm and Lime trees. Past the team building groups. They climb over head on rope walkways hung between the trees, shouting at each other and learning how to build a team! Down past the big ski slope. All year, but definitely at this time of year, folk learn how to ski on the bristly matting. The ski chairs clank continuously as they go round and round.

Up until Jackson got stiff we would turn left at the ski slope, past the shaggy ink cap mushrooms, then down the hill past the climbing rocks. All natural stone. Past groups of kids, amateur climbers and professional show offs with their ropes and crampons crawling up and around the huge rocks.

Jackson cant manage it now so we dawdle to the wooden fence, climb through the two wooden slats whilst Jackson weighs up the situation and somehow manages to bend under the lower part of the fence. Through the nettles and dock leaves, past the blackberry bushes and pheasants and out to Pooh Corner, so called because that was our pit stop when B was little. Up the gravelly slope, next to the sunflower field, right past the kissing gate, right again circumnavigating the farm and the garage where Mr. W. the fireman, keeps his renovated ice-cream vans, along the wide path where the chestnut tree drops its nuts and it's back to the road. One last push and its left up the hill and home. We used to be able to do it in 20 minutes with Jackson running, picking up sticks, and chasing rabbits. Now we're lucky if we can do it in 45, Jackson bearly manages a few little runs and the walk up the hill knackers him. Measuring time by hound - we've had Jackson for thirteen years.

Yvonne came a-knocking delivering the Parish Magazine. She lives with her husband and two dogs across the valley. At least she did until 3 months ago. Bramble, the mother of Tumble, got weaker and weaker in the end she collapsed whilst she was eating. The pain was too much for her and no arthritis pills worked. Nigel and Yvonne knew it was time to put her out of her misery. They called the vet who came with his kit bag to their home. They put Tumble in another room and closed the door. Bramble was fast asleep when the vet gave her the fatal injection. At the point of death, as dear old Bramble sighed her last breath, Tumble in another room, who could not see, hear or smell his mother, plaintively let out a long anguished howl. He refused food for one week.

How did Tumble know? They say dogs don't have feelings. I don't believe it.

We're all pussy footing round Jackson now, preparing ourselves. But all being well there's life in the old dog yet.

Keep your stories coming about foods that changed your life. I think olive oil has been instrumental in me changing my cooking habits and AGUAVE syrup. The best sweetener since sliced bread, well not sliced bread, the best sweetener since raw cane sugar. It comes form a cactus, is used in Tequila, and when it's squeezed into coffee makes the bean taste delectable.

I'm going downstairs now to cuddle the husband, the kids and the dog, not to mention the cat, then put out the compost which is at the end of the garden.

Eee by gum but it's cold enough to freeze the howsyourfathers off a brass monkey. It's right nippy here in Sussex tonight, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wrap up warm, and enjoy the cold, it feels like a real English Autumn. night night. cul8tr

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes


1. At November 13, 2007 2:04 AM SiamSuzie wrote:

I was eating my scrambled eggs this morning, whilst listening to your podcast from Sunday. You read out my post from the sausage section the other day. Well, I nearly spayed my scrambled all over my other half. His face was a picture, I just smiled and winked! He has been a huge fan of you right back from the TVAM days.

Having only just signed up to the podcast last week I'm slowly trawling through all the past shows. So at the moment you're being broadcast 7 days a week!

Its a delight to listen to your constructive 'waffle' again.

Thinking about foods that changed my life, I would agree with you on olive oil, but over the past 5 years I would say 'Nam Pla' - fish sauce, tastes great in food but smells like a fisherman whose not washed his jumper for a month or so. (I imagine that's what he'd smell like anyway)


2. At November 13, 2007 11:14 AM June wrote:

Cold crisp Sussex sounds lovely Jeni.
Food, well the thing that changed my way of thinking was realising you could have a meal that didn't consist of the meat and two veg that I had been bought up on.
Sunday we had Sage and Parsnip Roulade with Sage and Onion stuffing, wonderful.
So I have to say it's not so much a particular food just a different way of thinking for me.

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.