B is for Burnt Sausage Roll
08.03.2016 - 11.03.2016 6 °C
This blog entry is being written on the set of Escape to the Country. Nan and Aunty Marg – you would be incredibly jealous of our current location! But let’s backtrack for a minute to clarify how we actually ended up here.
After all our adventuring with Team Thornshire, we had a quiet day exploring Leeds with Annie and Rosie, even braving it on the number 16 bus (distinct lack of leather seats, but still quite an effective public transport option). Simon, Andy and Steve headed out to the jazz club after dinner but Annie, Lesley and I raged on at home (and by ‘raged’, I mean ‘talked a little bit, sorted out the washing and went to bed’).
Our departure from Leeds involved rain, a difficult to find hire car and an apathetic hire car company employee. We got on the relevant motorway with no difficulty whatsoever – the update to the maps function on the iPad has resulted in considerably less challenging navigation in comparison to our previous UK adventure, rather spoils the fun, really. So in order to increase the difficulty of the situation, we decided to turn off to Chatsworth House with no real knowledge of exactly how far away it was, or exactly how to get back to the motorway. Because that’s how we roll! Huzzah!
Turned out that not only was Chatsworth House ‘not on the way’, it was also ‘not open’ until the 22nd March. Boo! But as everyone in the Mouth Room knows – just because life hands you a cactus, doesn’t mean you have to sit on it. So we laughed and continued along our (modified) way to find our first housesit in Botts Green, not too far from Birmingham. And that’s where Escape to the Country comes into it. We’re talking 1593 farmhouse, with a separate barn conversion out the back that is used as a holiday let. We’re talking exposed beams, we’re talking low doorways, we’re talking totes amazeballs! Juliet and Sam welcomed us in incredibly warmly and we’ve spent the past two days getting to know how the household works – particularly in relation to Polly and Inca the black labs, and Cookie the black cat. Our horizons have expanded to include the art of cooking with an Aga – oh the warmth! So far I highly recommend baked sweet potatoes and toasted sandwiches, but I’m sure over the next week my Aga-ing skills will develop further. We visited Leamington yesterday (pronounced ‘Lamington’ but no chocolate and coconut covered sponges were to be found) and spent the evening being baffled by the phenomenon that is Crufts – the world’s largest dog show. The television broadcast of this spectacular event (being held a mere 20 minutes or so from us!) was highly educational. We now know what defines a ‘utility dog’ and understand what to look for when judging different breeds. We were particularly impressed by the winner of the Toy Dog category, a Pekingese piece of fluff known as Eric (kennel name much longer than that) that, in the words of Juliet, strongly resembled a burnt sausage roll. Exhibit A: burnt sausage roll dog. The poor thing could barely walk on account of its fluff. And this was the WINNER. The BESTEST toy dog that could be found. Un-bloody-believable.
Juliet and Sam have now flown off to France for a week of snow adventures, leaving us to enjoy tonight’s broadcast of Crufts with Polly, Inca and Cookie. It’s a tough life, but somebody’s gotta do it.