Last week was … well, it was. The weather was crap and the dog kept waking in the night wanting to patrol his garden (apparently the demons were out). Result was that I slept badly, was cold a lot of the time, and ate stodge to get warm (so gained weight). Come Friday night I just needed comfort. So, I set us up in the living room, in front of the wood stove. First good night’s sleep in ages.
Woke to slightly milder temps and a clear sky. So, what to do with that? Of course, the two of us strolled but then I decided a trip to the farm shop was necessary – simply to get me out of the house.
(the farm shop frontage)
But, the car is misbehaving (it goes to the garage early Tuesday morning). So, of course, I walked. It’s just far enough to be an outing and there are two ways to get there: along the main road and then turn into a lane and then on to a path; and the coastal path. I took number 1 to get there, number 2 to get back.
(getting there: left side is turnoff from main road, right path down to shop)
(getting back: coastal path)
Anyway, I was a bit traumatised by doing the Sana Jardin perfumes last week so this week any smells have to do with the outing, the farm shop, and getting home to the warm afterwards.
It was a very nice outing. I’d been visiting this part of England for years before I moved down here from London. Back in the visiting time the farm shop was a glorified shed with shelves holding produce. You nabbed an empty box and filled it. That was that. Now (a decade on), it’s a ‘destination’ – to the extent I’ve seen Mary Berry of the original Bake Off there twice (she’s tiny). It’s a fancy farm shop; it has a chocolate counter (gelato and chocs); you can get your hair done and do a Pilates class; in the summer you can walk the maize maze and pick sunflowers; you can get fish and chips, there’s a restaurant; soon, they will open a wine bar with a wood oven for bbq and pizza, etc etc. Currently all I go to is the farm shop. And it’s a good walk from my house.
As to smells, you can see from pic below they stock fancy unguents (no other word for that section), featuring ridiculously overpriced l’Occitane stuff. I really like their Verbena line which is lemony without being sweet but I would never buy the stuff. It’s just silly money. They also stock this wonderful hand sanitiser with mint and rosemary which actually works but smells really good. The soaps are nice and stinky the way ‘artisanal’ soaps can be. In the winter I buy bunches of eucalyptus which keep the kitchen smelling fresh till spring. A few times I’ve bought cheap pots of narcissus at Xmas.
Between grocery deliveries I buy veg here (not as beautifully presented as at Harrods but really good quality). In the summer, their berries are grown on the farm itself and far better than a lot of other stuff available round here (and this is still farm country so berries are good). Every once in a while I buy baked goods including gorgeous cheesecakes, something called Daim cake (if you know the candy you’ll get why this might be luscious) and the most decadent almond flour brownies.
This visit was mainly to do the walk to shake things up a bit after being indoors for too long. But I came home with cheese scones (great with butter), some peppers, early purple sprouting broccoli, a small pot of fancy plain yoghurt, and a small pot of really great strawberry and rose jam (yes, you can taste the rose).
There wasn’t a lot to smell on the walks there and back. The daffodils are just starting to bloom now and there’s not really fragrant stuff yet (eg, viburnum). Just the oceany smell of the estuary, the cows, and pockets of wood smoke. I feel a lot better though for having done the outing.
What about you? What do you do to shake things up in deep winter when it’s simply too much to stay indoors?