I love many things and lots of people but I can unequivocally say that there’s no love in my life that touches me quite in the way the one for Averie and Eden does. Averie and Eden are my granddaughters aged 6 and 4 respectively and just to make sure there’s no doubt at all in your minds whilst you are reading this story (which took place when they were 5 and 3) I LOVE THEM TO THE MOON AND BACK.

I love my family and friends, cooking food and using fabulous ingredients. I love the relationships I build up with my suppliers (many of whom become really good friends so you could say there’s double love going on there) and I love to travel.  Of course last but by no means least I absolutely love The Guest Chef from The Deep South (who is more often than not called Steve by most people in my life …. but deep down he quite likes his GCftDS title)

This story brings lots of these loves together in quite an amusing and on reflection, not unexpected, way.

It all happened on a warm and sunny Sunday in August 2020. Steve and I had been invited to have lunch with Paula, Matthew and their children George and Evie. Their business is Home Farm Produce in Grove, Retford, North Nottinghamshire. All of their animals are free range and they specialise in rare breed pigs. I get most of my meat and eggs from them so had become a regular visitor to the farm. 

A few weeks prior to this Sunday afternoon I had taken Averie to visit the farm whilst  Eden was at nursery. Paula and I were having a much needed catch up and a cup of tea whilst Averie and George played outside. The antics they got up to is worthy of a story in itself but it would really be one for Matthew to write as to be fair Paula and I were too busy chitchatting to take much notice. Let’s just say they had an absolute blast in the fresh air playing as young children should and had THE BEST time together. 

Averie and George had talked of wanting to play together for weeks afterwards.  That was part of the reasoning behind our lunch invitation and why the girls were with us. Both girls were super excited to be going to the farm and were suitably dressed in their sequinned net skirts and pink unicorn wellies. No sooner had we eaten dinner (a choice of fabulous slow cooked brisket of beef with barbecued burgers and sausages  ….because Paula and Matthew also produce fantastic beef and of course make all their own sausages, burgers and the like)  and the kids were off again running about, playing on George’s tractor, feeding Evie’s horse (with Evie’s permission of course ) and the like. They had a whale of a time, as did the adults, and we were almost ready for going home we’d been there that long.

Then the real fun started ….

You know how children can be rather persistent and how they eventually get their way?  Well throughout our stay both Eden and Averie kept asking if they could go and see the pigs. Despite Paula and Matthew still having a lot of work left to do on the farm that day and it getting quite late they duly obliged (because that’s the kind of fabulous people they are) and we all went to see the pigs. Now remember I said that their pigs are free range? Well last summer they were living their happy free range lives in the woods a short drive away from the farmhouse. They needed their evening feed so Matthew took the tractor and we thought it best to take my car down so that once we had seen the pigs we could leave Paula and Matthew to their jobs and Steve and I could take the girls back home.

The girls absolutely loved it. Averie had seen them previously but it was Eden’s first time with the pigs in the woods. I enjoyed showing Steve how truly free range they were and Paula and Matthew were getting some jobs done. Win win all round….(tempted to say winner winner chicken dinner but that’s a completely different story)! 

The tradition in my family is to call grandparents grandma and grandad. So when Averie was born grandma was my name. When she started to talk she couldn’t say it properly so I became Mommar and the name stuck. As far as they are concerned I never want them to call me anything else.  My heart still skips a beat and my tummy does a little tumble when I hear them call my name.  Mommar said by Averie or Eden is music to my ears and my response is usually “yes darling ….”

However when Averie appeared before me on that blissful Sunday afternoon crying her eyes out with her arms outstretched sobbing….

 “MOMMAR. I have fallen over in the pig poo and it’s gross” 

…. and I could see that she was covered from head to toe in muck …. I’m quite embarrassed to say that my first reaction wasn’t to give her a hug and say “Oh darling. It will be OK”.  I’m even more embarrassed to admit that I think I said “it’s just a bit of poo it will be fine” when it so clearly wasn’t just a “bit of poo” It was oozing out of the top of her wellies, her lovely pink frilly net skirt was absolutely covered in it and she’d even got it in her hair. Because we were in the woods, quite some way from the farm with not a shower, towel, change of clothes or shoes in sight it wasn’t quite that easy to get her out of her very dirty clothes and wellies and get her clean. She handled the situation much better than I did (I was a complete wuss …. not quite as much a one as “you know who” was though ) and by the time we’d got her out of the offending clothes and swilled her down with water that was intended for the pigs to drink she was back running around again in bare feet with Eden and George as happy as anything. This time however they made sure that they kept away from the muddy, pig poo areas.  Soon we were heading back home with all the car windows open to try and waft the very obvious smell away with Steve saying how it was a good job we had taken my car not his !!!

Now I only have one child, my daughter, Laurel.  She is Averie and Eden’s mummy. It goes without saying how much I love her and just writing this now brings a tear to my eye when I think of how proud I am of her and her girls. She will often say to people that I am not maternal.  Seeing it written like this you might think that it doesn’t put me in a very good light but I kind of know what she means.  If you know Laurel….I am sure you will give a knowing nod and a little chuckle and can imagine her saying it in the way it’s intended. 

So to put the record straight and finish the story I would just like to say that when I dropped the girls off at Laurel’s I did so minus all of Averie’s pig poo laden clothes. My maternal instincts are that strong that I thought it only fair that I should wash them and not leave them for Laurel to clean…. or more likely her husband Pete.

This isn’t quite the end of the story however because the pink frilly ending would not have not been possible without the help of some more of my friends, the lovely Jill and Dave Ashton. They sell fantastic Amway products and without their special clothes bleach and wash powder I couldn’t have given Averie her pretty sequinned net skirt and unicorn welly boots back a few days later looking absolutely as good as new. 

I’m not sure why but it’s taken all this time to write this story. A year later Jill and Dave still have an Amway business, Averie and Eden keep asking to go to the farm, so they obviously weren’t put off by the experience and just today George has chatted to me on the phone and still wants the girls to go and play. Paula and Matthew are still very welcoming to people who want to look round their farm so I don’t think we were too much of a distraction when they were trying to get jobs done. Laurel and Pete are still happy to let Steve and I look after the girls for a day or more and the Guest Chef ….  well his comments when he read this were “you don’t half go on a bit”

He’s not wrong there I know but I hope you like our story. It still brings a smile to my face all this time later even if I still feel slightly guilty about the first thoughts that went through my head when Averie cried out the word “Mommar” which probably are more accurately described as Oh S*** 🤣🤣🤣

Cary xx

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