Judging by the absence of new posts on our blog you might think we at Orchard Farm were all asleep, but not so. We are in fact horribly wide awake…! So much has been happening over the past week, much of it fairly mundane although Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs might value getting one’s returning on time as pretty important and I am glad to say we made the deadline! It was touch and go but all went through although one gathers that with the strike there might have been less need to panic.
We had some friends to stay for our little Parwich book club annual Christmas dinner when we invite the husbands too, on the condition if they want to eat they must have read the book. We had to relax the rules this year as not even all the actual book club members had managed to get through the nearly 600 pages that is Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey. Perhaps more of that another day.
The friends staying with us and we did the RSPB Birdwatch on Sunday. Sadly no dramatic sightings to report, and only one goldfinch when most days there are at least five or six to be seen squabbling over the nyjer seed at any one time. Our friendly neighbourhood robin did not let us down nor of course did the blue tits.
I have just been down to London for one of my regular jaunts which I always love because it also means the chance to see Ruth and Nick, our two ‘English/London’ young as against Sara our Australian/Sydney daughter (how we’d love Sydney to be just that bit nearer!). As well as having a lovely family time with Ruthie and Nick and getting a much needed hair cut I did some useful research in John Lewis into kettles and toasters for both barns and a new lamp for over the Tom’s Barn kitchen table, all of which we shall now order from their online store.
The most dramatic piece of news, Tom’s & Douglas’s Barns wise, is that we have had our 2012 Quality in Tourism inspection already. The inspector rang up on Monday evening, and arranged to come on Wednesday which was a bit of a shock and involved us in a fair amount of rather hurried paperwork, making sure things like the inventories were updated; I did also have to very quickly order some small tumblers as directed by last year’s inspector . Anyway, to cut a 3-hour inspection story short, all was well although until we actually receive the certificates and report there is always that ghastly feeling that we may have misheard her when we thought she said we retained our 5 Stars and Gold Award for both barns, and 100% for cleanliness in both barns. So, more about that when the time comes too.