I am working on a gigantic ‘What I Did On My Holidays’ post, but this deserves its very own post. Think of it as a 24-carat gem resting on its own cushion of navy-blue velvet.
We visited the Hairy Farmer Family.
Yes! We totally did!
On our way back down to The Great Wen after the Great Northern Holiday, we stopped off for lunch. And there she was, smiling in the doorway, and we actually hugged and started chattering away like starlings and after about ten minutes of this I realised we were acting like good friends who had known each other for ages and THEN I realised, well, yes, because we were, and had.
And we met the Hairy Farmer, who was, I think, a little bemused, but game, and very welcoming to these two unknowns who just turned up and caused a baking frenzy in his wife, but unfortunately had to rush off to rescue a comrade from a modern combine harvester with his elderly combine harvester, the which, if you know farming, you will realise was an occasion for some smugness, heh heh.
And we met young Harry. Who is just. SO. Cute. Not only that, but he was on best behaviour, and H and I were honoured by the company of a charming little lad playing around our feet, and I got to see some Actual Walking, hurrah! Gosh, but he’s a lovely child. He and H rather took to each other, and H got him to giggle on a couple of occasions, which was also just. SO. Cute. And I was doubly honoured by a brief cuddle. HFF told us Harry is not normally quite so cheerfully accepting of strangers, so that makes us triply honoured. And all this while the poor mite had a horrid cough and had every right to spend the entire afternoon grizzling. Quadruply honoured.
HFF had set out the most splendid lunch. And there was wine. And tea. And then she bought out the white-chocolate meringues. And then she brought out the lemon meringue pies (pies! pies!) and H could be heard making eager happy noises as lemon curd, people! H likes lemon curd! Ooh yes! And when all the lunch and meringue and wine and tea defeated me half-way through my most excellent and glorious (and enormous) lemon meringue pie, I could’ve cried with disappointment. I did briefly consider stuffing the rest of it in my mouth and holding it there for a while to enjoy the taste before regretfully taking it out again, but as Harry had been doing much the same thing with his roast beef earlier, I decided this might be a tad jejune and I was, after all, trying to make a good impression.
And then, best of all, there was the immense pleasure of talking with the lady herself. She’s just like her blog, funny (very very funny), sweet, observant, generous, clever and immensely charming. With lovely blue eyes. And we nattered and chatted and giggled and gossiped and had little serious moments and then started giggling again and dear Lord, but the relief of being able to tell Annoying Wand-Monkey stories without having to back-track, explain, deal with the horrified pity bit, deal with the ‘why don’t you relax and go on holiday’ bit, deal with the ‘well, I could never…’ bit, and then lose track of the story entirely and end up getting told about vaccinations for toddlers and how children aren’t all fun and cuddles for twenty good minutes, not that I’m thinking of a particular relation at all at this point and now I’m getting side-tracked. Anyway. The pleasure and relief of being able to talk with someone who Gets It. And can be funny and sweet about it. And who can sympathise without making you feel like a freak or a basket-case. With added meringues. Priceless.
And then, and then, when we finally realised we’d spent FIVE HOURS cluttering up HFF’s living-room and hoovering up her baking and over-exciting her toddler, she piled our arms with fresh eggs from her famous hens, and home-made jam, and more meringues, and some bread and beef (which we ate for supper later, as exceedingly chunky sandwiches, and toasted the Hairy Farmer Family with every bite) and a box of chocolates for me, because every failed cycle deserves chocolates. I admit I sat in the car with tears in my eyes as we drove away because I was just completely verklempt with the kindness and generosity of it all. And briefly considered bundling her into the back seat and so we could elope back up to Gretna Green after all.
The chocolates are fabulous, by the way.