Travelling on


They are here again. You may not have noticed yet but there has been an influx from abroad as there always is at this time of year. At first, I only glimpse something that is not quite familiar and then I see clearly it is a Redwing from Iceland, could it have looked down over the volcano? Or a fieldfare from as far afield as Russia, could it have looked down over Ukraine? I can see a pair of Fieldfares now feasting on our windfall apples.

We saved as many apples as we could to keep in our apple loft. There are Spartan and Fiesta eaters and of course the Bramley cookers. They will stay fresh until March next year, but we had others which we ate early as they do not keep. As a general rule the ones like Discovery which ripen first are the ones which do not last too long.

And now we have had our first frost our vegetables have dwindled. Nothing much will survive in the open ground except the white nutty turnip-like celeriac and the tapering roots of the parsnips. But inside the polytunnel steadily growing are carrots, kale and cabbage. We will rely on these in the coming months and come to think of them as delicious. We did not want them in the summer when there was so much choice, but now we are not so choosy.

It seemed as if I was very choosy over when I had my COVID jab but that was because after I had booked to have the vaccination, I caught Covid. I booked on-line to go into a clinic in Shrewsbury but then had to change it and booked the Masonic Hall, but I was still too poorly, so I changed it again and there were vacancies at a nearby chemist. So yesterday I sat amongst the people collecting prescriptions in a busy pharmacy waiting for my jab. All went well but how strange not to be at my GP clinic and not having to apologise for changing my appointment, the computer does not care.

It was strange too last week going back to the place in Yorkshire where my parents used to live. I reserved a table at the Village Fayre to sell the books I have written. There was the usual tombola and raffle and many stalls. There were jams and chutneys for sale as well as Christmas decorations and all you would expect at such an event.

What I had not expected was the number of people who came by to chat. Amongst these were relatives and friends who knew me from my past. I had come ‘home’ again.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)

Our winter veg. taking a tumble in the cold weather - it will revive!


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