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Published 25th May 2020

It's a mixed feeling today when I write this blog - on the one hand I am feeling sadness for all those people who have sadly contracted Covid-19 and some have died and feeling gratitude and empathy for all the very, very hard working medical staff who selflessly are working in such testing times and under such great strain with resources, and on the other hand and also felt proud to be British and join in with the VE Day celebrations which I did with aplomb!

I suppose way back in the testing times of WW2 my grandmother would have said "let our boys get on with the job they have to do, and let us women try and lift our family's spirits and get baking!".  Good old grandma - I can see her face smiling now at the thought of the baking bowl and flour and eggs coming out.

So May 9th was VE Day and the baking bowl did come out - and the spam! and the bully beef! and a selection of reproduction cookery books I bought some years ago on WW2 Ration Recipes, mainly by Margaret Patten.  My "boys" and daughter in law, Laura had been busy around the farm and I'd promised them a surprise lunch outside since the weather was hot and sunny.  Little did they know my plans.  I've always had an interest in all things WW2 and I am a collector of vintage and pretty things for my house, so it wasn't too much of a job to rustle up a "street party" outside.  Pretty checked tablecloths, jugs over-filled with flowers and foliage from my farmhouse garden, miss-matched china (much from my beloved grandma) sat alongside displays of my WW2 cookery books. Then there was bunting hanging from trees and shrubs all over the garden along with a large union jack flag fastened to a pole.  Plates of spam and bully beef sandwiches were piled high as well as bread and dripping (that didn't get much of a look in with my lot - they weren't at all keen!) but it showed the younger family members what that generation ate.  I can remember having beef dripping on bread at grandmas - I must admit I much prefer the light and golden taste of our healthy home-grown rapeseed oil any day.

I dug out a pretty floral dress befitting of the time, tied a head scarf tied in a bow on my head and with bottles of ginger beer and big old teapots in hand I welcomed my brood around the front of the house into the garden and was delighted to see their surprised faces!  Soon the lot was polished off along with slabs of my VE celebration cream cake filled and topped with fruit in the design of our British Union Jack, before everyone had to finish off the day's work and my dress was consigned back to the wardrobe waiting for another suitable time to come out and shine!

The last week of May has been busy for Tom and Laura, Tommo and Andrew what with making this year's silage and all.  With the weather forecast showing the rain was coming, this competent and well prepared little team knew exactly what they were doing and my goodness they were working hard and fast to mow the grass, then a few days later when it had wilted enough to bale up, wrap and take back to the farmyard.  It's a happy time at haymaking and silage time - there's always a buzz.  And whilst they were all doing that - I was put back on this year's cow checking.  Daily all the cows are thoroughly checked in all the fields for bovine health, condition of grass, safety of fencing and water troughs and removal of any objects walkers may have accidently left around the field - oh yes! we do get golf balls, tennis balls, the odd balloon (although most people now realise how dangerous plastic balloons are to wildlife so we do see less now) and to record the activities of our bulls - well - we want to know they are doing the job they are paid to do!  

It's never a dull day on the farm!