Influenza! Only a day after my triumphant return from a great weekend in Derbyshire, I woke with the faintest feeling of the onset of a non specific malaise, possibly a cold. Well by that evening I was a mess! Burning hot followed moments later by shivering cold, headache, general aching all over. It was amazing how quickly it came on and how rough I felt. My bed was the only place that I wanted to be for the next few days, because I felt weak and so tired. My taste buds went AWOL, but I couldn’t face a thing to eat anyway, and as a consequence I lost around 10lbs in weight in 5 days. As a one-man business there were things that I had to do, so I did drag myself to work to do what I had to do, before hurrying home and burrowing back under the duvet. Jennifer saved the day on Thursday by getting stuck into assembling the veg boxes, and by Friday I was well enough to make the deliveries, though I did run out of steam by the afternoon. I cried off attending Wyken to avoid too much contact with vulnerable customers, and also because I couldn’t face the prospect of standing there for hours feeling ropey. I am back eating again, and what remains of the illness has morphed into a cold. I should be fine again in a couple of days. I’m pretty certain that this was only the second time I have ever had flu, so I should count myself lucky.

Because my week was dominated by being under the weather I don’t have too much to say this week. At least it came at a time when the garden can largely look after itself. One of the jobs that I did during the week was to go and collect the latest batch of apple juice from Stoke Farm – a very foolish decision. Flipping heck, it wiped me out! However, the juice is now safely stacked in the shed, and I can report that it is officially medium/sweet in taste.

Sightings of two of my favourite birds while out delivering on Friday lifted my spirits. In the spot where I usually see them, in a couple of fields between Great Barton and Ixworth, there were hundreds of Lapwings grazing. And in more than one location I saw some groups of Fieldfare, a sure sign that winter is upon us.

I am afraid that there is a shortage of green vegetables this week. I have cut the chard pretty hard in the past two weeks, so I need to allow it to recover, and because of my illness I missed the deadline to order some greens from Home Farm. I do have curly kale growing outside and in the polytunnel, so that’s your choice I’m afraid. Carrots, beetroot, parsnips, leeks, onions, red onions, swede, turnips, squash, garlic, mushrooms, plus ‘Cara’ and ‘Charlotte’ potatoes complete the veg list. There are kiwi fruit, lemons and oranges (I forgot to add them to the shop last week).

I’m not looking forward to slipping on my work boots tomorrow; not because I am reluctant to get back into the swing at Moyns Park, no it’s on account of one of the tongues having been chewed off of one of them by the charming Nellie! The boots were standing on the kitchen floor beneath the radiator to dry out, so naughty Nellie thought that she would take them to bed with her; needless to say, they are not what they were! A trip to Screwfix or similar may be on the cards tomorrow, because the tongueless boot is not going to be very watertight….or comfortable.

I will be back at Wyken on Saturday, so it will be lovely to see stallholders and customers alike after my two week hiatus. Very sadly, one of the market’s most committed regular customers died suddenly last week; we will all miss seeing and chatting with Gordon. My sincere condolences are extended to his lovely wife Sue and their daughters. One can only imagine the heartache they are experiencing.

Have a good week, and keep your windows closed.

Phil

 

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