Well village week in St Boswells has started and to date there has been a very successful food and craft fayre and barn dance. Or I have heard great reports about the barn dance confess the Drane household was in bed early last night after we turned the kitchen and utility room into the Barnsdale Artisan bakery on Friday night to sell at the food fayre.
My husband left the bustling city early for him and arrived home at 6ish and started to bake for the village of St Boswells and didn’t stop till one in the morning. He then had a few hours sleep before starting to bake again along with my son at 0630am as most of the village was no doubt still asleep. The house smelt wonderfully of fresh baked bread – brown, white,rye, foccacia and walnut and raisin. Yet still my husband baked in between setting up his stand. The other stand holders laughed at his bakery appearance. So tired after little sleep that his t-shirt was inside out and he was covered head to toe in flour. He looked and was the genuine article the master baker. Stall set up he returned to the kitchen to finish the baking.
This was when my sister-in-law and I took over our task was to sell. At first I was daunted. Wanting his bread to be liked with my fellow villagers as much as we as a family love his bread. I needn’t have worried we had already sold about a dozen loafs before the hall doors opened and that was just to the stall holders. As young, middle-aged and old came through the doors we sold bread, talked about bread and boasted about the master baker. The walnut and raisin bread was sold out by 0930am as was the foccacia which basically sold as it was made at one point orders taken back to our kitchen before the foccacia was in the oven. By the end of the fayre at 2pm the bread stall closed sold out of all bread. The weary baker though had time to spend the last hour or so at his stall and talk with other stall holders and take in the praise of those who had tasted the bread. He then returned weary for a nap before feeding the pigs and then yes he made bread for us as there had been none to take home. He woke this morning after a long, long sleep refreshed. He has today to relax before yet again leaving for the bustling city and his life as a lawyer. But that is where titles are wrong he is not just a lawyer he is so much more and one of these include the title of master baker, my husband and father to two great kids.
As you do we were reflecting about the fayre and how we loved the atmosphere and the skill and creativity of all of the standholders. St Boswells is full of creative people from artists to writers to crafters and to bakers. Some are lucky to do this full-time others like my husband do it as a hobby to escape the bustling city. All talented and all living in this village of creativity. We agreed that this is one of the many reasons that we love it so. It’s similar to other places that we love such as rural Spain where food is at the heart of things and so is family. We might not have the Spanish sun but we do have the love of food, culture and family right here in the Scottish Borders.
Many people may wonder how my husband finds the time to bake, to cycle, to breed pigs, to be at the heart of the drama. I do too quite often. But something he said to me a couple of weeks ago made me realise what it was. I had finished yet another book and although he like me loves reading he tends only to read on holiday whilst I read all the time and average a book a week. He asked me how I had the time. I thought about it and realised I read because I must read I cannot be in a world without books and words and particularly fiction. It is central to me period so I make the time for it. I was asked yesterday by a friend in the village how I had the time to blog. This from a really busy lady who herself I admire for all the various groups she is involved with. I thought about it and realised that like books I love writing always have done from very early doors. I still have tons of childhood diaries the blog has just become an adult extension of that. Like books I make the time to write.
So I’m glad very glad that in his busy life my husband makes time to bake and that yesterday the village of St Boswells for the first time in many years had its bakery back from the master baker who is also a lawyer. I am also glad that already I have heard tales of the bread being eaten with fresh eggs from chickens in the garden and two villagers who headed like me to the fruit and veg in Melrose. Their mission? To make vegetable soup to go with the freshly baked bread. The master baker couldn’t wish more for his bread.
Well done to him and all those from the kids who produced crafts and sold sweets and strawberries to the other stall holders. A special thanks to Julia Cunningham who organised it all. You have a talent not just for the wonderful bags etc that you make but for bringing creative people together. And to her neighbour who mistook me for my sister-in law’s mother. I forgive you despite making me feel older I’m only 13 years older than my sister-in-law! But you made all the stall holders coffee on the hour every hour and did so with such a great smile! You are forgiven. Though I am happy if you pay for the facelift I now feel I need! Seriously though I said it in my blog on Friday St Boswells rocks why? Because of the people who live here.