We had that buzz of excitement at the thought of two weeks in southern Spain, with no phone, no reps calling, and none of the niggling daily problems that always seem to last longer than they should.
But, amid near-hurricane winds, I was just loading the last suitcase into the back of the car when I saw the garden shed flip into the air, fly over the hedges surrounding the car park and land on our neighbour’s car.
Dumbstruck, I just stood and watched as she ran out of the house, screaming. Rob (my partner and chef) had launched himself over the hedges to halt the runaway structure but quickly gave up trying to grab it and started throwing lumps of concrete onto it to stop it tumbling any further, while other neighbours ran out to reverse their cars well away from danger as it was still flipping down the street.
Eventually, with the help of three neighbours, he got it stopped. We just dismantled it where it lay, threw it over our garden fence and, realising that we were late for the airport, apologised and thanked everyone profusely, promising to sort it all out when we got back.
Anyway, we had a lovely time and even came back with a tan.
Now, when you come back from holiday, have all your suppliers saved up their invoices, statements and so on, and added on extra unseen charges when you were not there, hoping that in the confusion you would pay them regardless?
Anyway, we got back into the swing of things with renewed vigour. Our luncheon club started again in February, and we had wine-tasting events under way, a themed evening fully booked, and our diary looking a lot more healthy than last year at the same time.
Rob is also just back from food demonstrations for the Welsh Development Agency and, as well as having a new menu starting soon, I have volunteered him for a Ready, Steady, Cook event to benefit Springboard at the local theatre.
He’s off now to see Gill, a lovely lady from the Chirbury WI, who lectures on edible and poisonous fungi to the British Army. She has promised to take him out for a couple of field trips and, seeing as I got him a greenhouse before Christmas for his herbs, chillies, tomatoes, etc (yes, I know he’s spoilt), he’s well set up for this season.
At this point, I must offer my wholehearted congratulations to the Welsh establishments awarded a Michelin star. It’s a magnificent achievement, and it’s a shame the newspapers didn’t pick up on it. I must have missed the TV coverage.
And I do agree with Simon Wright from the AA Restaurant Guide when he says that there are some superb food pubs here, particularly in mid-Wales and along the border. n
Sara Pezzack is the proprietor of the Bricklayers Arms, Montgomery, Powys
Next diary from Sara Pezzack: 11 April
Published by: The Caterer