Normandy Clog by Catherine Evans :: 14th April 2010

Normandy 2010

Normandy 2010

I took a weekend off from the B&B and travelled to Normandy with Crooked Steeple Morris. We were very well received by the French, dancing in Trouville, Honfleur and St Pierrre sur Dives. Everyone rose to the occasion and we produced our best dancing ever! Many thanks to Nic and Linda for organising such a great time!

If you want to see us dance we will be at The Sun Inn, Leintwardine on Saturday 24th April at 2pm and at Upton Folk Festival on Sunday 2nd May.

Spring is Here by Catherine Evans :: 29th March 2010

Spring is finally here – or so I thought until I got up this morning! After a beautiful weekend it is miserable and wet today. Saturday was spent at another Beekeeping Theory day, run by Ludlow & District Beekeepers Association. It was very informative and I can’t wait to get started! Next is a Practical session at the end of April.

Yesterday we had our first Broome Park lambs – a couple so that is a good start – especially as John says this ewe didn’t lamb last year! We had a Kerry ram so the lambs should be quite white with black faces. 5 more ewes to lamb – hopefully all with couples too.

More Pigs by Catherine Evans :: 06th March 2010

My new pigs are a little larger than usual so will soon be ready to eat! Consequently they have been named, rather unoriginally, Sausage and Bacon!! Here they are enjoying the pumpkins left fro last year that have not been turned into soup.

Fortunately the weather is improving and I managed to spend an afternoon in the garden on Wednesday – repotting the tubs in front of the house, tying in all the raspberry canes and spreading muck on the asparagus bed. Still haven’t planted anything yet – much too cold!

Spotty Sponge Cake by Catherine Evans :: 29th January 2010

I have had a professional photographer visiting today to take better quality photos for the web site so I decided I must bake a cake! He was certainly very impressed so I’ve decided to give a sneak preview! This is another of my attempts at an artistic still life, although I have chopped the tops off the daffodils.

Things are quiet on the farm at the moment but I am hoping to get some more piglets next month. The younger of the 2 cockerels has moved to my Mother-in-law’s as her cockerel had died, although John thinks there is yet another young one!

Outside at Last! by Catherine Evans :: 17th January 2010

sweetcorn

sweetcorn

The snow has finally gone – at least for the moment and it has been wonderful to get outside today. I have reorganised the bins with a view to creating a seating area by the back door and started tidying up in the garden. I started to dig up the sweetcorn stalks, then noticed some ladybirds hiberbating inside one of the husks so have left them for the moment – if you look carefully at the photo you will see one on the right hand cob. I have just pulled back some of the husk to expose the corn below in the hope that the birds will find it. Perhaps it’s not such a waste to grow baby corn and then not pick it after all!

Happy 2010! by Catherine Evans :: 01st January 2010

crooked steeple morris

Once again we danced at The Bulls Head, Chelmarsh to see in the New Year. The delicious mulled wine was just what we needed on such a cold day! This almost the complete side, including Musicians and Nic is busy arranging our first tour – to Normandy – in April!
The last of the turkey has been made into turkey and ham pies and the last of the ham is bubbling away at the moment as Cowboy Stew – very tasty!

The Perfect Christmas Present by Catherine Evans :: 29th December 2009

Beekeeper?

Beekeeper?

As you can see I received my beekeeping suit for Christmas – Sandra are you impressed?! I feel I am now fully equipped to start in the Spring. Michael, who has hives around the farm, has offered to loan me a hive in the Spring to get started and promised to find me some gentle bees so now I can’t wait.

I am enrolled on another Beginners Course in March so should be fully prepared by May when I expect to get the hive.

Christmas Eve by Catherine Evans :: 24th December 2009

Geoffrey in the snow

Geoffrey in the snow

Geoffrey is all ready for Christmas – I don’t know what he is expecting in his stocking? I am nearly ready too! I cooked the ham yesterday and it looks very tasty. Today its all the final preparations so that I don’t have too much to do tomorrow. We will be 12 for lunch which is a nice number – enough crockery etc. without having to resort to everyday stuff!

Can I wish all my guests – past and future – and those of you that follow my blog for fun! – A Very Merry Christmas and a Fabulous New Year – including a stay at Broome Park Farm B&B!!

Santa at the Severn Valley Railway by Catherine Evans :: 13th December 2009

Severn Valley Railway

Severn Valley Railway

Yesterday the Band played at Arley Station, entertaining passengers of the Santa Specials as they waited to see Santa. It is certainly a festive occasion and yesterday was a beautiful frosty morning – although fingers and toes get a bit cold when playing for 3 hours.

Our next outing is Cleobury High Street next Saturday when we will be collecting for this year’s charity ‘Help for Heroes’ – why not come along between 10.30 and 12.30 and get in the Christmas spirit!

Countdown to Christmas by Catherine Evans :: 04th December 2009

Advent Calender

Advent Calender

Christmas seems to be approaching fast! As Becky is not coming home I decided to make her an Advent calender for her room – she was thrilled to receive it!

This Saturday the Band are playing at the Church Christmas Fair and switching on the Christmas lights so that will really feel Christmassy. Every weekend from now until Christmas there is at least one concert – lots of lovely mulled wine and mince pies!

I have cured 2 hams ready for Christmas – they are now hanging in the Outhouse ready to be cooked for Boxing Day. I use a cider and brown suger brine cure, they have soaked for a month so should keep fine as long as the weather stays cold.

Clee Hill Views by Catherine Evans :: 18th November 2009

Brown Clee from Titterstone Clee

Brown Clee from Titterstone Clee

We had a young American friend staying for the weekend and decided to show her the views from the top of Clee Hill. It had been a while since we’d been and I had forgotten how spectacular they are. From the top of the hill you get an almost 360 degree view over Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Wales and beyond – it is truly breathtaking – especially when it is as windy as it was on Sunday! This is the view looking from Titterstone Clee towards Brown Clee.

Irish Holiday by Catherine Evans :: 14th November 2009

Giants Causeway

Giants Causeway

We have just returned from a long weekend in Northern Ireland, visiting my sister and her husband. We spent the weekend on the North Antrim coast which has some of the most dramatic and unspoilt coastline of the UK.

We arrived home to the news that the bacon was ready for collection – I was pleasantly surprised at the amount and quality from 2 loins and will definitely be opting for more home grown bacon in the future. The perry is bubbling away by the woodburner and I aim to rack it off and add some sugar this weekend.

Bonfire Success by Catherine Evans :: 01st November 2009

cockerals - old and new

cockerels - old and new

The Bonfire and Fireworks were a great success – although I missed most of the fireworks as I was busy serving burgers and hot dogs. The firework display lasted for 25 minutes and there was a crowd of 2 – 300 people, plus all those watching from other vantage points in the village. The best news is that we think we have raised over £500 for the ‘Wear Pink for Wendy’ fundraising that had been taking place at the local pub – in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

The photo shows my 2 handsome cockerels – of the 6 eggs that hatched out in the Spring only 1 has turned out to be a cockerel – which is really good news as that means 5 more laying hens – I just need to find out where they are laying, as it certainly isn’t in the hen house!

Bonfire Night by Catherine Evans :: 31st October 2009

Pallets for the bonfire

Pallets for the bonfire

Tonight is the Cleobury Chamber of Trade Annual Bonfire and Firework event. We have been storing pallets from the local Box Factory for the last few weeks to keep them dry ready for the fire. This morning John loaded them up and the firemen have kindly built the bonfire in a field in the village.

The Chamber organise the event in part to promote fire safety and safe handling of fireworks at this time of year so the local Fire Brigade come along, give out leaflets and advice. Our Chairman is able to buy fireworks direct from a local manufacturer and I am told last years display was fabulous! I am looking forward to tonights event – which starts at 6.30pm.

Apple Pressing by Catherine Evans :: 26th October 2009

Apple pressing

Apple pressing

We had a great day yesterday pressing apples and pears ready for cidermaking. Once again with 2 presses in use we struggled to keep up them – the scratter (that pulps the apples before pressing) is quite temperamental and doesn’t like being over filled – Annette is busy bodging the apples down with a custom made tool! This years innovation was to use a colander to get the apples out of the washing barrel.

It is definitely a social activity with even my guests having a go! And a great time to catch up with old friends who always come to join in – Dick was very proud of his speciality cider apples – blagged from a farmer near his home – until he looked at those John had picked locally and saw they were just the same!

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