Finding food hidden away or “lost” at the back of cupboards is a  cause for much delight - Jill Thorp

It’s been a funny old week at Stott Hall. Like many others, we feel like we’re walking on eggshells, silently holding our breath whilst we await an exit from no-man’s land.

There is a hunt for food for at Stott Farm

We’re told by the powers that be that we are now entering a crucial period in terms of the containment of the virus. The next two weeks will be critical, numbers could soar, hospitals be overwhelmed with sick patients. It’s certainly a worrying time. For now, we try to continue as we have always done, but with a heightened awareness of distance and constant hand washing.

Lambing time is upon us so isolation is not difficult, it’s the unknown that leaves us wary. It’s been fantastic having John-William at home, I miss him terribly when he’s at school. I’ve always believed that education extends beyond a classroom.

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Learning about the flora and fauna on your doorstep is equally as important as fractions and the ‘times table’. Despite missing his friends, his sheer joy at being at home with his ponies, tractors and lambs starting to arrive, is infectious.

We moved the remaining sheep that had been away on winter keep last Monday. It was an early start from Stott Hall and we hadn’t gone far before we were pulled over by a police car.

We were questioned about our movements and was our journey essential, did we not know the country was on lockdown. It would appear that communication between the police and other governing bodies are somewhat sketchy. Last time I checked, farmers were classed as key workers, producing goods to keep the nation going. Without too much fuss, we were allowed to continue on our way.

As we’re trying to make our food supplies go that little bit further, meals have become interesting, to say the least. Nothing is wasted, throwing food away a heinous crime, no matter how out of date it may be.

Finding food hidden away or “lost” at the back of cupboards is a cause for much delight, especially for Paul. On one of his recent kitchen treasure hunts, he found a giant Christmas pudding, an in-date one at that. Being a staunch lover, it made his day discovering the festive pud, wrapped in crinkly red cellophane.

As drink supplies are now getting a bit thin on the ground, we resorted to dusting the cobwebs off an old bottle of champagne that we were saving for a special occasion!

It went well with the fruity pudding. But the ultimate find was one made by myself. Hidden away in a tall corner cupboard which houses the boiler, I discovered a Thornton’s Easter egg. I’ve no idea who put it there or how long it had been there, but it caused an instant argument over who it belonged to and who should sample it.

Sadly, as John-William, who had won the battle to test it, discovered, it had been there for some time and was “disgusting”, even by his standards!

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