Katie Johnson - What Katie did in springtime
PUBLISHED: 15:58 16 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:53 20 February 2013
Writer, broadcaster and compÃ¨re Katie Johnson lives on a smallholding on the Herefordshire/Shropshire border
I seem to have popped a rib, of the non-edible kind. Sadly, I wont have done it while attempting anything as exciting as a judo move or scuba diving, probably more likely to have sneezed while tidying a cupboard at a funny angle. Speaking of cupboards, I came across a batch of our homemade damson gin Id forgotten all about. I read somewhere that it makes an ideal gift, so had a go. Lets just say, having sampled it, we suggest ours is more of a household cleaning aid than an alcoholic treat. Monkhide Wines from Canon Pyon can sleep easy as I dont think well be trying it again.
You can tell its spring, not only have I swapped the padded anorak for a lightly quilted body warmer, but the daffodils are out and the frogs are partying. Weve also had the urge for a few changes at home, and Glyn is all set to use his O-level in woodwork to build a partition wall in the lounge. Now, I have every faith in him following his recent success with the pig house and log store both are still standing but I think Ill be out the day he decides to start laying his 4x2. It has come about because of the winter we had and having to turn our heating off when the oil couldnt be delivered. We even had a call from BBC Breakfast asking if they could come and do a piece on us, I assured them we were fine, and if we did run out of logs to burn, we could always use the settee, as I quite fancied a new one.
Staying with television, Monty Don returns to our screens with Gardeners World, using his own garden near Leominster. If ever there was an incentive to make sure youd picked up after the dog that must be it. Ive interviewed Monty a few times. He has very large hands, so shouldnt think hes ever at a loss if his trowel goes missing. Monty once described Borderlines Film Festival as inspirational and once more it comes to our county. Last year saw more than 80 films shown in 40 venues (most of them village halls), in some of the most rural areas of Herefordshire, Shropshire and The Marches.
County-wise its time for the census, work-wise were at the Edible Garden Show at Stoneleigh, and at home, its the cows annual TB lottery, or as its known officially, test. It wont be long before the opening of Herefords brand new cattle market. Its a year ago this month since work began, and if youve driven along the Roman road you cant have failed to notice the development. Mixed emotions, I guess, for a lot of people. Its wonderful that there continues to be a market when you look at how so many in our county that have gone over the years, but its the history of the site that you lose. I was watching some old footage of The Queen and Prince Philip when they visited the market in 1957, being greeted by a line of farmers dressed in clean white coats standing proudly with their animals. Glad to see there is a teaching pack available on its history, including some wonderful stories of market days so its place in time is secure. Heres to good things to come for the new site as well as the old. Popped rib or not, that deserves a toast but not with our damson gin, Ill use that to wash up with.
Writer, broadcaster and compre Katie Johnson lives on a smallholding on the Herefordshire/Shropshire border.