Firstly, an update on Bramble Cottage. We STILL HAVEN'T EXCHANGED CONTRACTS!! Last week I was at breaking point. All the searches and paperwork have been signed for the sale of Farm Cottage. Everything is ready for the purchase of Bramble Cottage, but our buyer hasn't received her mortgage offer yet! She only applied for it just over a week ago! We are supposed to complete on the 3rd of October, that has been moved to the 7th and she announced that she was going on holiday for 2 weeks! She is due back on the 5th October and hopefully we will exchange whilst she is away. I am not holding my breath.
Starting to panic about winter setting in and me not being prepared. I am a like a squirrel, must have stores in place. Oil for the Rayburn and a decent pile of logs are a must before November. According to the long term weather forecast and a couple of saddo websites I look at, the winter will be far worse this year. Lower temperatures and more snow. All to do with low solar activity and the Gulf stream. As long as I have oil, wood and plenty of food in, I will be happy.
I was really hoping to move on the 3rd as that gave me 8 days off to get settled. Moving on the 7th will be ok, as I am not due back until the 11th, so please keep everything crossed for then!
The garden is looking dreadful. Just haven't had time to get out there and tidy up.....too busy watching GLEE, packing, preparing for the Michaelmas fair and working the odd day. The pear tree lost a couple of branches due to the amount of fruit. I have picked 2 large bowls and there are still 40+ more to pick.
After a terrible week at work, when I was taken off a lovely 3 day trip to Germany, to be replaced with a delayed Moscow and back flight, I finally finished on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday were spent baking and making for the fair at the weekend. It went well, although not as well as previous years, I think people are just not spending money. I can understand why, but it does get you down a bit when you work so hard preparing and people comment on how nice everything looks, then they walk away.
So, pictures I hear you cry!
Using the piano to display my bags.....
I saw these adorable 'business cards' at a friend's house and had to make some for me. The cards I had printed a couple of years ago don't have the website details on them. These are perfect and make great bookmarks!
Saturday was quite busy and I sold a lot, but Sunday was really quiet. It was still well worth me doing the fair though. I have done 3 Michaelmas fairs at the Fairground now and usually take a few Christmas bits with me. This year I decided not to and had so many people asking where my Christmas stock was! You can't win. I promised them all that I would be back at the Christmas Fair at the end of November. I have already got advanced orders of Christmas cakes and stockings! Yay!!
I have plenty of jam available, plus 15 jars of mincemeat. I won't be making anymore this year, although a friend announced yesterday that she has quince bush, so I might do a few jars of quince jelly. The cranberry and orange jelly, with edible glitter went down a storm last year, so will make some more of that and a few people asked about onion jam, so that is planned too.
I really want to get into my new home and set up the craft room asap. I need to get started soon if I am to get everything done in time. Fabric is no problem, I have plenty of that (I keep finding more boxes tucked away, loaded with fabric that I forgot I had *oops*)
I received 2 emails yesterday asking me to attend schools fairs and one today for Sparsholt College. Appleshaw and Shipton Bellinger schools are a dead cert, as long as I can get leave. The Fairground Fair is the last weekend of November and I have booked leave for that, so I think that will do. I don't think I'll have time for anymore - or time to make anything! The plan for next year is to start preparing much earlier (I know I say that every year), but by August, I feel like I am running out of time to get stockings sewn and Christmas puddings made!
After spending 7 hours preparing Damson ketchup, to produce only 7 bottles I was a tad hacked off to say the least. Simmering, straining, chopping onions, spice bags, more straining then pureeing etc etc - 7 measly bottles!!!! They all sold on Saturday!! I jokingly said to Jase that I should charge £11.50 a bottle as they took so long. £3 a bottle and sold with 3 hours. Oh well, I won't be making it again. Well, maybe for me, but definitely not to sell.
I came up with an idea for potted basil. Very pleased with the way they came out. Just an old baked bean can, some craft paper and a daisy punch; simple yet effective.
Cornelia is moulting and as usual looks miserable and not herself. She is the only of my hens who is generally fed up when moulting. The others just get on with it, but she looks so sorry for herself. It must be hard work growing feathers back, but she isn't even interested in mixed corn. She does manage to get enthusiastic when I offer her raspberries though.
Shock, horror, Agnes has started laying again. I didn't think she would until Spring. Her and Elsbeth are laying 2 eggs every day/other day, so I do have some in my egg larder. Pru gave up weeks ago, but I don't think it will be long until they all stop for their Winter break.
No other news to report really. In Madrid now, back tomorrow and then Paris for the night. Home on Thursday and then 11 days off! Yippppeeeee. Only have the shed, garage, loft and kitchen to pack up now.....joy. I know, I know, it will be worth it!
C x x x