Friday, 29 April 2016

Stealing Time

Everyone has a story and yesterday began with a cracker.
An Australian couple, who'd been trying to find the Church, were disappointed to find it closed for repair of the roof (due to reopen in a couple of weeks).
I asked if they were on holiday?
"Yes," she answered, "we're staying in Stratford. We came here because my great, great, great grandmother had a son christened in the church before she was transported to Australia."
I was fascinated, two ladies who had come in a few minutes before were fascinated. One of them knew of someone who'd written about those transported from Worcester and swapped email addresses.
Amelia Jones, the "convict" in question had been sentenced in 1831 for the theft of two shirts.
Also in the tearooms early doors was Geoff, a stalwart of the village who managed to get them inside the church where they had a proper tour, apparently, from one of the guys working there.
They came back for lattes and toffee cake with smiles on their faces and a donation to the restoration fund.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Animal magic

We now sell flapjacks. Gorgeous fruity ones.
I didn't have a sign to put in the cake display at first but it's pretty obvious they're flapjacks and lots of people chose them. Lots.
Then Lizzi made a little sign: "Fruity Flapjacks" it said, and then beneath it she'd written, "vegan". We didn't sell another one all day.
We changed the sign. It no longer speaks of vegan-ness and normal service has been resumed.

Sunday, 24 April 2016


We opened early to be the starting point for the Gay Classic Car Group's "West Midlands Drive It Day".
About 15 men and one woman kicked off their day with bacon & tomato panini, teacakes and coffee while I sneaked outside to photograph the cars which had somehow made it up the potholed farm track to us. 

Once they'd left we had another day of jacket potatoes and hot chocolates. Then it all went quiet so several of the team went home. 
Of course this meant we had a late onslaught of people including a group of nine Norwegians. 
"We are Vikings and hungry," said a lovely woman in her thirties, "which is your best cake?"
She said they liked chocolate so I suggested the praline cluster.
"We'll take nine of them," she said, "and six pieces of chocolate cake."
I tentatively offered sandwiches since she said they hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was, by now, four o'clock. She beamed. And ordered eight sandwiches, four green teas and three glasses of milk. 
The Vikings left smiling.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Four letter word

We sold out of soup and jacket potatoes (yes, that cold) and lost count of the panini. Hot chocolates went out one after the next - 6 on one order alone (yes, that cold).
We have one member of staff who is a proper lady.
We pretend that she swears all the time and any new, young members of staff are jokingly warned not to take any notice of her effing and blinding.
So I was rather taken aback this morning when I was telling her about a customer who spoke about the roof works at the church rather negatively yesterday.
"Who was he?" she asked.
In reply I told her he was a bit of a.....and was about to say "know-it-all" when she said, "tw*t?"
I paused, shocked, and then just nodded, not entirely sure I'd really heard it.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016


Summer has arrived. Briefly.
It has been hot and sunny all day. The regulation cardigan didn't even make it up to the tearooms today such was my confidence in the forecast.
We've been wonderfully busy with lovely people and the day started with some familiar faces.
Jim (nearly 92) came with his newly retired daughter, Lesley and her husband. Lesley said it was great to watch other people working. Yes, thanks, Lesley.
While we were chatting about the dreadful state of the farm track (the one which leads to the tearooms) in came Barry.
Barry comes regularly for a walk, a ham sandwich and a pot of tea.
I delivered a tray outside and knew most people by name which, I have to say, is quite unusual.
I'm terrible with names and have to write them down in the back of a notebook along with descriptions, dog breeds, usual orders etc to prompt me.
Today, though, the book was unnecessary.
After I'd greeted all those I knew (Morning, Bob. Hi Janet. Coffee, Peter?) a young man at one of the outside tables said: "How about a hello to Jack and Chris?".
Naturally I obliged.
I hope they don't expect me to remember them next time though.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Crowded House

Well that was a surprise.
I woke up to snow. Proper snow. Fat flakes falling at 7 in the morning.
By 8am it was raining.
I went in to make lemon drizzle cake and when we opened at 11 the sun was shining. Within half an hour we were busy with coffees and cakes and early lunches.

It was big groups day.
A local family met their Australian relatives and extended family for lunch. There were at least 12 of them.
Another set of 9 came shortly afterwards and then several groups of friends and families.
Some hardy souls even sat outside. It was bright and sunny but cold.

And almost everyone talked about the snow.
Four seasons in one day? You betcha.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Not Out.

It's a giveaway that we're not busy when I post regularly.
When we're run off our feet and there's no time to talk to people I don't pick up many stories.
And then there's the fatigue which stops my brain crafting a line (for crafted they are believe it or not).
Today it rained all day. Again.
I thought we'd be horribly quiet but instead we were just quiet.
So that's not bad.
We had a few regular visitors and a lovely family from Liverpool. The children are still in their Easter holidays as because Easter was so early this year schools in their area chose to have a long bank Holiday weekend, then go back to school, then have a two week holiday later.
The first action of the little girl (aged about 10?) was to ask her mum if they could put something in our tips jar? I suggested she wait to see how we did...

In the middle of the afternoon Madge was brought for high tea to celebrate her 101st birthday:

The man who brought her is Nigel Montandon whose artwork happens to be on display at the tearooms until mid-May.
There's some of it on the walls behind him.
Look, there.