The farmer took a friend and I out to lunch today to our favourite farming restaurant in the nearby market town of Hawes. The place was fully booked and I would guess that almost every table was a farming family of grandma and grandad/sons/daughters and grandchildren. (I would also guess that Grandad was paying!). There were a lot of fresh complexions, a lot of rather round tummies and absolutely no airs and graces anywhere. Good straightforward food of turkey or beef (home reared in both cases) with stuffing, bread sauce, roast and mashed potatoes, sprouts, red cabbage, swede, carrots, roast potatoes and parsnips, good gravy, plenty of sauces and go back to the self-service as many times as you wished. Oh and I forgot the Yorkshire Puddings (no meal is served without these giants of local food up here). Puddings, apart from Christmas pudding and brandy sauce, were a selection of various trifles, pavlovas, profiteroles and the like.
And yes, we all partook of everything available. I now feel as though I shall not eat again until Christmas day itself, although I expect I shall feel totally different come tomorrow morning.
Home again now, travelling through the Dales on a very indifferent kind of day with views limited by heavy mist in places and fine rain falling - but my goodness, how green the grass was everywhere. Still growing, says the farmer.
We had a cow this morning aborted a calf six weeks before delivery time - fully formed but born dead. Always a sad happening.
The photograph is just to show Dales folk enjoying their Christmas dinner.