AHHH, you think, it’s been a busy week, but I see a clear day today. Time to relax. But then the phone goes and within minutes there are folk coming over for tea and before that, family coming for lunch.

So there you are, arms deep in the freezer retrieving items to make first a passable lunch and then a delectable tea. Thank heavens I had spent one day this week clearing out a large chest freezer. The hens and geese have stuffed themselves with ancient thawed out bread buns and tea cakes, frost bitten vegetables and carton after carton of egg whites (why?).

For once, therefore, I knew what was available to create a culinary masterpiece, or at the least a passable meal. That, and the plentiful supply of eggs that my hens provide, meant I could present friends and family with an ample repast. I do recognise however, how lucky I am that I can both furnish a meal from the cupboard, so to speak, and that people want to come and spend the day with us.

We met up with our tea time guests yesterday at a reunion for John’s agricultural college. Now part of a regional university and expanded both in terms of the number of students and courses on offer, John barely recognised the place. He was looking forward to revisiting barns and cattle sheds, but biosecurity measures meant this was a no-no. Instead we genteelly quaffed our Prosecco, orange juice or cups of tea while he fought to recognise the female students he might have chased round the hay barns.

Of all the students in John’s year, only a few had family-owned farms to go back to. John at that time was a farm worker. Very few prospects of actually owning a farm; so it is a real credit to him that he actually clambered onto the land-owning ladder. And he vividly recalls that of the first nine cows he bought to milk, one died in the first week. Then the government was keen to help with favourable agricultural mortgages, and we even made a bob or two selling milk quota when we switched from a dairy herd to beef sucklers.

Eventually he recognised some faces from his course and by chance, one of them was visiting our area today to look at a tractor for his agricultural contracting business.

So tonight John has once more revisited those carefree student days, while I gently slide under the table worn out by mass catering, frostbite, endless washing up and even more glasses of Prosecco.