Crikey, what a hustle-&-bustle of a day.
I was up early with the intention of popping into town to do some leisurely shopping; however I first had to ladle the curds into moulds from the chevre I’d started the previous evening. being late in the lactation I’d got quite a good yield of tender curd & was smugly satisfied with the result; however I managed to slip one mould & the contents went absolutely everywhere, slopping with a big wet SMACK all over the kitchen floor & splashing liberally up the wooden cupboard doors, taking me a susequent age to painstakingly mop it all up.
By the time daylight had dawned I still had not started the main chores; so I was late in getting my hair cut, which I was determined to do as a ‘feel good’ birthday treat to myself. Whilst in Emlyn I paused for a chat with a friend in the open-air fresh veg market, which takes place every Friday (on a Thursday there is always a livestock market although these days it mainly sells sheep & the odd few cattle; although there is a monthly horse fair a few miles away, in Llanabydder).
Now distinctly behind schedule I drove directly to Carmarthen for the frustrating whirl of Christmas gift shopping; which reinforced for me the reasons I simply could not live in a city again. Despite the brightness of the Christmas lights, with the glitter & enforced cheer of the otherwise dreary season I got thoroughly fed up of being bumped & bustled, struggling with increasingly heavy bags & muttering imprecations as I couldn’t ever seem to find quite what I was after.
By the conclusion of my exertions & having done the best I could, dusk had already fallen & I had to hurry back to the Ffarm to tuck the geese safely in bed (the leaner pickings at this time of year inevitably entices foxes closer to the farm – & I wouldn’t want dear old Dave & Roberta to fall prey to their vicious attack).
But the peaceful farmyard was such a relief, after the stress of Carmarthen’s busy streets; & I carried out evening milking in more mellow mood, singing along to an 80’s music programme & sipping a strong, hot metal mug of smoky Lapsang Souchong tea with the girls catching my infectiously cheery mood, behaving with suprisingly laid-back decorum for once.
Having cleaned down the parlour & equipment I carried out the not-so-pleasant exercise of unloading all those bags of shopping; then, sinking into the squashy old sofa with a relieved sigh, settled down with a plate of crisp water crackers, a handful of grapes, & a stick or two of crunchy celery; & lost myself in an unctuously tangy scoop of Mountain Gorgonzola & a goodly wedge of plump, ripe Camembert; snoozing in front of the fire after my modest repast.
Stressful shopping, under the false glitter of the city’s consumerism Christmas lights? Bah, humbug – give me the sanctuary of a stable, any day…..!