Tag Archives: food blog

Staring boredom in the eye

Today, as you can see from the title, I stared boredom in the eye and it was boredom that looked away first.

The main job was going through hundreds of emails and tidying up the mess that we use as an email system. I have saved the ones that have information I need and will attend to them tomorrow.

Then I went on to the computer and cleaned up the documents folder. I’m not very organised so it took a bit of sorting, but eventually I realised I was on top of the job and after that it seemed to fly by.

With that finished, and all the information I need secured on a flash drive, I decided that it was time to treat myself to some time off so I went across to the men in sheds and cadged a cup of tea.

With the sense of achievement that comes from doing a job I’ve spent weeks avoiding, and the warm glow that comes from a free cup of tea, I’m feeling quite pleased with myself.

Julia is having a day off at a spa with my sister. It’s only a couple of miles from the farm so it seemed pointless driving home so I sat down to act like a martyr at the keyboard. I have a sore back now, from too much crouching over a keyboard, but I am happy. We are meeting up later this evening for a meal before my sister goes home, so no cooking and no washing up. What a result.

I did do a piece on this spa last time she went but that was about a year ago and I can’t find it. This is a nuisance as I will have to find some more links, and because I can’t link back to my own post. Linking back to your own posts, as I may have mentioned in this post, is supposed to be a good way of raising your profile in the blogging world.

Here is a brief history of Eden Hall. Scroll down to Elston Towers to find the information. Several people seemed to have blogged about it – try here, and here.

Before starting work I was even able to take a few photos I needed to finish off a post for the other blog. It doesn’t quite rank as something I’ve been putting off, but I haven’t been as industrious as I would like with the food blog, so it’s good to get another post published.

Now, enthused by my confrontation with boredom, I’m going to organise my camera cards.


Rumblings of Rural Rebellion

When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?

John Ball (c 1338 – 15 July 1381)

We came to work today under protest as we had planned to have a day away. Julia needs more pottery so a call on the factory shops of Stoke on Trent is in the pipeline. It’s not as good as it used to be (though I’m not quite as good as I used to be either) but we normally find some decent stuff and I’m also looking for a few bits to photograph pies on. Did I mention I have a new food blog and am shamelessly plugging it in the pursuit of more traffic?

As Number One son is now working in Leeds and Number Two son is due back at Sheffield next week we should be safe buying new crockery. You would not believe how many plates they can chip compared to the amount of washing up they do.

As so many times before, despite desperately wanting us on Wednesday, The Farmer, who does not pay us for this time, is off doing other jobs come Friday and we are totally forgotten.

We are currently being battered by the wind (just look at the swinging ice cream sign). I really don’t like wind. I can take cold or wet, but wind is so wearing. It was always noticeable when I used to frequent outdoor antique markets, that wind kept people away more effectively than rain.

The men in Sheds, having mended the old industrial toaster from the cafe, are making toasted teacakes and spreading them with the plum jam Julia made on Wednesday. She meant to do it on Tuesday but we ended up with no power. It’s very good. We sat around eating it and fermenting rebellion.

Someone came for two of the Polish crosses, though they don’t seem to understand my point that at this age I’m not prepared to guarantee they are pullets. If I was prepared to guarantee this I would want a lot more money for them. That’s how it goes. However, as The farmer has told her we will sort two out for her I had to do my best and grit my teeth.

We used to volunteer around the farm because there was an element of give and take in the relationship. Over the years, without us really noticing (a bit like the Boiling Frog) it has become more of a master servant relationship and my radical leanings are coming to the fore.

The example of local lads Robin Hood and Jeremiah Brandreth is never far from my mind, though it didn’t exactly end well for either of them.








New tricks

I’ve always wanted to write a food blog. This blog was supposed to be about food and farming, as well as the group, but it sort of wandered away and became a ramble through life with digressions into birds, butterflies, the evils of modern life and anything else that came to mind once my fingers hit the keys.

This is probably not the way to become rich and famous from blogging, though with the exception of Jack Monroe I can’t actually name anyone else who has become rich and famous from blogging. There will be some, I’m sure, but I just don’t know them.

A friend of mine, who is neither rich nor famous despite being a top notch food blogger, once told me he didn’t have a clue what my blog was about. I was glad to hear it, because until then I thought I was the only one who didn’t know what I was doing. Incidentally, I’ve never read the article in the link before, and was surprised, when reading it, to find I was mentioned at the end. So maybe I am a little famous. Catch his blog here.

Over the weekend I have been reading a book about how to write a food blog, and as always, when faced with advice on writing I become scared. I’m not the world’s greatest writer, but I get by. I have always tried to stick to George Orwell’s advice after reading it as an earnest 16-year-old. The six rules are at the bottom of the page to save you reading through the whole essay.

I’ve drifted over the years, but I like to think I’m still writing passable English. However, after reading the new book I’m starting to worry about tinkering with my writing style. Once you start to think about the nuts and bolts you aren’t far from breaking it.

Writing is a bit like a kitten – it’s cute, magical and alive. But if you attempt to take it apart to improve individual parts I’m worried I’ll end up with a mess and have to play with my own wool.

Moving quickly on from that image, I’m also having to learn not to eat food when I see it. That’s always been a problem. I buy food, I think “photo” and I find myself looking at a pile of crumbs.

That’s why I had a special session today practising food photography. I’m not sure I’ve got the hang of it yet, but it’s a start. One pie is from Pork Farms, and that’s going to be my “control pie”: the other is from Hampson’s Garden Centre in Wakefield. (I was in Leeds yesterday dropping Number One son off – he starts his new job today).  I thought I’d drop by and pick some pies up, buying a big meat and potato pie for tea and three pork pies. After eating one in the car park I kept the other two for photography and testing. As luck would have it the luscious, savoury, jelly-filled piece of pork pie perfection turned out to be the best of the bunch. The other two, reserved for the photographs, were just not as good.

There is more to this food blogging than meets the eye.


George Orwell’s Rules

(i) Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are
used to seeing in print.

(ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.

(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.

(v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you
can think of an everyday English equivalent.

(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.