Category Archives: artisan cheese

Among goats

Tom
forking hay into an old wheelbarrow
as goats
long eared Nubians all
hustle him
nudging affectionately
their new friend

I was stretching my legs
after a long car ride
while you input the code
to access our cheese
had walked around the barn’s corner and seen
Tom

Apprenticed to the cheese makers
feeding their goats
he paused to introduce us
to half grown kids
butting and bouncing
talked of his deep joy
at tending animals

The same joy I see
in our youngest son
apprenticed engineer
loving the machining
mathematics
and camaraderie

Later we sent him a photo
of happy goats
and a happy Tom
and received a picture
of aircraft undercarriage
and a wish for a pet goat

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Tom and Paul, at the start of adult life. Light in our darkness.

Picking up the Cheeses

We seem to leave modernity at the edge of Salisbury,
Modern road but ancient names
Steep chalk coombes and rolling downland
Peeking through the misty rain
Ansty, Birdbush Farm and Cats Hill
Ludwell and then Shaftesbury town
Winding south we squeeze past lorries
Middle Farm, Rose Cottage, Hawkcombe Lane
Past stone cottages and timber frames,
Compton Abbas , Fontwell Magna, Sutton Waldron
Iwerne Minster, sharp turn left and up the hill,
To the dairy and the Cheese…..

Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 A journey to the real old England, re-blogged from 2015

Picking up the Cheeses

Picking up the Cheeses, a journey to the real old England

 

We seem to leave modernity at the edge of Salisbury,
Modern road but ancient names
Steep chalk coombes and rolling downland
Peeking through the misty rain
Ansty, Birdbush Farm and Cats Hill
Ludwell and then Shaftesbury town
Winding south we squeeze past lorries
Middle Farm, Rose Cottage, Hawkcombe Lane
Past stone cottages and timber frames,
Compton Abbas , Fontwell Magna, Sutton Waldron
Iwerne Minster, sharp turn left and up the hill,
To the dairy and the Cheese…..

 

Copyright © 2015 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Rose Bay Willow Herb

Driving down the hill into Hurstbourne Tarrant we pass three magnificent stands of purple- maroon flowers, graceful like fox gloves, but far more wild. While fox gloves have been bred for the garden, the Bombsite weed (as Londoners called it from the 1940s to the 1980s) is has apparently resisted cultivation and is still only a denizen of uncultivated places.

These flowers were on the grass verge of a country road in Hampshire, tall and stately, looking as if they had been specifically planted there. They are accidental placings, part of the joy of untrimmed grass verges, which are often now the last refuge of the English wild flower.

Even these verges do not contain the flowers that they once did in my (not so distant) childhood. A London child, I spent summers in rural Shropshire and then Wiltshire, and grass was really not to be noticed or seen on the edges on country roads. Rather, those edges were profusions of different flowers, all jostling for position. Harebells, Chamomile, Lady’s Slipper, Herb Robert, Germander are those I can still name, but there were so many more.

In fact, the three stands of Rose Bay Willow Herb I am admiring so much are poor paltry remnants. But we need to grab beauty, especially of the accidental, happenstance, sort where we can and treasure it.

Earlier in the day, we had walked through a wood high on the chalk. The path took us down into a dry valley filled with Beechwood coppice. We sat a little up the slope from the path and watched the sun trickle through the leaves. The sun beams were sporadic as clouds crossed the sky and the light was constantly being repainted across the many thin pale trunks, lighting some leaves to a neon green. We sat for quite a while, until we remembered the Cheese delivery in the boot of the car, somewhere over the hill, parked in a narrow lane. Slowly we got up and sauntered back, retracing our route to the kissing gate we had used to enter the path across the fields to the wood.

It was good to take that time to sit and watch.

What is life, if full of care, there is no time to stand and stare?

Indeed.

Hello world

Granddad used to tell me bedtime stories about the Moloch. He’d met H G Wells at a Fabian Society meeting.

Dad & I used to spend hours out in the garden trying to find Jupiter with a poor telescope.

What else could I do but read Astronomy at University, get hooked on Science Fiction and end up working in IT?

Otherwise, there’s a family to run and chickens to feed and to talk to (who are far more communicative that teenage boys, believe me).  And yes, my husband sells cheese.

When asked at parties, I say that I’m a Project Manager. We are a much-maligned breed. When the project fails, we get the blame, when it simply succeeds, they all wonder why they needed us, well, look it all worked didn’t it??? All the Project manager did was produce some spiffy reports and sit on the phone all day. We didn’t need her/him, did we? It only takes a little thought to realise that we are ALL Project managers, just some of us have it in our job titles and are paid for it. My toughest assignment is being a parent, but then you’ve all heard all that sort of stuff before so I’ll shut up about it.

So, this site will probably include stuff on SF, Conventions, Astronomy, chickens, Project Management and absolutely anything else that comes to mind……

……..maybe cheese too.