It’s been an eventful day.
We were up & about at 3am, as Tony had to catch an early train to London for the first day of his contract aviation course. I think his relief & excitement about ‘getting back in the saddle’ again was somewhat sobered by the early hour, as was mine but for a different reason; as whenever Tony does anything to do with flying it seems to involve a mountain of paperwork, manuals & bits of uniform….which then liberally get strewn all over the house for me to clear up (not to mention the mess left in the bathroom….eugh). I swear that any visitors would look for the hole in the roof where the bomb had come through….!
Having dropped Tony off at the railway station (we’ve decided it’s the quickest, cheapest & easiest way for him to commute; whilst taking the car may be more convenient, it costs far too much in both financial & environmental terms to justify) I hurried back to the farm to commence the Big Clear-Up, starting with the washing up (he’d wanted beans on toast for breakfast; not exactly my number one choice but there you are).
After sorting out the animals I did some accounts paperwork & then popped to the Bank, bowled across to Beulah to stock up on our depleted animal feed rations, & navigated my way across country to Food Centre Wales to collect some gelato for a new customer who had placed an order the previous afternoon & was visiting today, to collect it. And as she had come all the way from Bristol, I really didn’t want to disappoint her. Imagine my dismay to discover they’d just commenced an ozone purge in the Dairy Building….so I wouldn’t be able to access the storage freezer until 3.30pm, at the earliest. There was nothing I could do but head for home & just hope she would accept my sincere apologies that the specific tub sizes & flavours she’d ordered, simply weren’t available on this occasion.
When the lady & her partner arrived I explained the predicament & thankfully, she was quite sanguine about the situation; explaining that as she had an intolerance to dairy products & subsequently hadn’t been able to enjoy ice cream for years, literally any flavour would be better than nothing. I gave them both the ‘guided tour’ & they took photos of the ladies at the ‘sharp end’ of the operation; with Vine posing for photos as if she was the next Naomi Campbell (not that Naomi sports a beard, mind you…!).
I then went through the flavours we have in the freezer: creamy, pure Simplicity; opulent Madagascan Vanilla; the pollen-fresh sweetness of Woodland Honeycomb; & the velvety darkness of our different varieties of Rich Chocolate….ginger; cranberry; orange; mint; & of course, the fearsome Dragonfire.
A spoonful of Strawberries & Cream gelato was thoughtfully sampled. There was a heart-stopping pause….eyes closed; lips creased; then a great beam of a smile followed a long, satisfied sigh.
“This is wonderful!” she enthused. “Perfect! Delicious! Like – well, just like luxury ice cream should taste; only better, somehow….” her voice tailed off, lost in rapture as she dug deeply into the pot for another spoonful. And I gather she wasn’t just being nice – as they bought virtually the farm’s entire stock. I wouldn’t like to say how much of it got as far as Bristol before temptation became too overwhelming, either….!
It’s wonderful to have such an enthusiastic reaction when you yourselves have put heart & soul into striving to create the very best. I’ve been urged to get my Mail Order site up & running as soon as possible; this customer has plenty of friends & colleagues with similar health challenges, not to mention those who simply love something a little bit special, which is just what we want our gelato to be. Having seen our article in the ‘Observer’ magazine in September she was determined to track us down & now having sampled the produce intends to pass enthusiastic word around about ‘Lovespoon’; especially as it’s so refreshingly natural – back to the fundamentals of a genuine artisanal product.
So whilst Tony’s mission – to take wing once more – was at last achieved today; for me, my chief delight is that after many years of producing essentially unpalatable paperwork as an ‘office wallah’ in the RAF I can finally feel that it’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ – I’ve spread some true happiness…..making someone’s day, through making the very finest gelato: our passion, our pleasure & our pride.