Sunday, 1 February 2015

Fisherman's friend

Over the years my toes have become more and more of a problem in the winter.  Standing at markets and in the milking parlour inevitably leads to frozen, white and very painful toes.  I have tried everything .. chilli, ginger, gingko, thermal socks, 'engineered' socks, mountaineering socks, neoprene boots etc etc .. all have improved the situation slightly but nothing has ever conquered the problem.  Until yesterday ...

Balham market was like a ghost town yesterday .. not really surprising as the weather was windy, freezing and sleety.  Very sensibly, most of the good Balhamites stayed firmly indoors.  And so there was plenty of time to chat to the other stallholders.  In the course of conversation with a pig farmer, I was bemoaning the problem of my frozen toes.  Heated socks was his advice ... never fails.  Easily available in fishing shops.

On my way home, I happen to pass a fishing shop between Beckenham and Penge.  One of those shops that you always notice on your travels and wonder if they do much business ... Well, am I glad that they do!  I stopped off on my way home, feet totally numb .. and entered an Aladdin's Cave of angling wonder.  An extremely nice man accompanied me to the footwear department.  Sadly there were no heated socks but he produced a pair of long green socks that he recommended personally ... he always wore them in conjunction with a pair of thermal lined boots.

My ears pricked up .. THERMAL LINED BOOTS?????  Oh yes .... and he waved a pair at me.  GIVE THEM TO ME NOW!!!!  I shouted, in a rather unseemly fashion .. and snatched them from his hands ...

And, boy oh boy have these boots changed my life .... For the first time today I have had warm and toasty feet all day .. standing all day at Blackheath market in freezing temperatures and then tonight in the milking parlour.  Feet still warm ... And all due to these little beauties (and the green socks) ...

Boots ...

and liners ...

Next week I fully intend to go back to the fishing shop and give the nice man a big wet sloppy kiss ..

One of the people who did brave the elements yesterday was my dear friend Sal.  That woman is a saint .. cocooned in a large black scarf and winter coat, she arrived with a thermos pot of hot Algerian coffee and large tubs of Polish salad (to which we are both completely addicted).  She also brought back one of my cheese price labels which I have in picture frames - it makes them look nice, keeps them clean and (most importantly) stops them blowing away in the wind.

As you may remember, we won a Gold Medal (and Champion Goat Cheese) at the International Cheese Awards last year.  Sal decided that a gold medal winning cheese should have a gold frame and so she had stolen it away last week to take it home and gild it for me.  And it was returned to me at Balham yesterday .. stunning!  Makes our cheese look like something very special!

As you know, milking goats is usually a very entertaining business and tonight was no exception.  One of our new little goatlings ventured up into the stalls to have her tea ... framed on one side by huge Pandora goat and on the other side by huge Roz, she was dwarfed!

Needless to say, there was the usual bad behaviour ... Pavarti decided that her neighbour Charlotte must have something far more interesting in her feed trough ..

Tomorrow is scanning day and so we will find out which girlies are pregnant and which are not .. It's going to be an action-packed afternoon!

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