Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Tomato Harvest

This post is actually 2 weeks late, but hey, better late than never. Tomatoes have been overtaken by Apple Days this weekend - apple pressing and cider making at the Walled Garden and the Living Willow Theatre near Llandod. (I am still in Somerset puzzling over water pipes but Ian is valiantly playing his part in feeding the nation back at base).....

The bank holiday weekend saw Ian and I converting the prolific tomato harvest in the Ashfield polytunnels into delicious tomato and basil soup to be sold at the Victorian Festival. All traders are supposed to be in costume so we found a boater and blazer for Ian and a 1970's Laura Ashley blouse for me from the Red Cross shop - well it was kind of old-fashioned and that was good enough for me! This was the first time we have ever tried our hand at selling food - and SirrAlan would definitely not have been proud of us. The first day raised only £22, but by the weekend the weather improved and more people came out to play and we managed to make a profit of about £120 in total. Not good for four days slaving over hot tomato soup but it was fun.

The festival is definitely the highlight of the year in Llandrindod Wells. It started 29 years ago with the re-enactment of Victorian life for a week to celebrate those 19th century visitors attracted to the health-giving substance in the spa water. The town definitely has that grand Victorian look with its tall buildings, big hotels and its man-made lake, all catering to the Victorian tourist. The spa is still there though I'm reliably informed it tastes vile.

Unfortunately those days are long gone and the stately townhouses have been divided into bedsits for occupation by its 21st century visitors imbibing their not-so-healthy substances and - basically - living off benefits. Part of Ian's job is to provide work placements for those brave enough to volunteer, some with more success than others. Ian has admitted he is on a learning curve, and I think dealing with a little culture shock!

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