I tell you, it was like a non stop version of the Archers

"If I could get bullocks to convert as well as I have this last week,I'd be well off. I can't believe the amount of weight I've put on", said one of the friends we have just spent a week with in Scotland; some of the time spent fishing the River Shin.

A week that has seen us all eat too much, drink too much (not me of course) but laugh a lot.

A lot of things happened at home whilst we were away. Geoff got a field of grass cut and made hay, the guinea fowl chicks learnt the run of the yard and our sparrow chicks matured from featherless, scrawny mites into virtually fully fledged birds.

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The house and dogs were cared for by friends who pitched their motor home up by the back door. Baths and cooking were in the farmhouse, bedtime in the motor home. Worked very well.

Our house sitters walked the fields with Geoff each day and reported back on the sheep and cows to me by text message.

The wonders of modern communication.

This was even truer for our friends. Julian consulted on the irrigation system for his potato crops with his son on a daily basis and Dave kept in touch with his sons to make sure that no harm was coming to his poultry sheds.

I tell you it was like a non-stop version of The Archers.

Weight gains all round were courtesy of the daily menus we dined off.

Between us we were not short of some mega joints of meat for our nightly consumption. Plus with two master Yorkshire Pudding cooks in the party (one a man) and puddings of the dessert variety after each evening meal,a full bloat was guaranteed.

The amiable nature of the week was nearly wrecked one night however by my heavy handed tactics to create a fitting sauce to accompany a Christmas pudding left from last year's seasonal festivities; but still within its use by date (just).

I had rum, brandy and whisky to go at. So I did. Gave it a splash of everything. Tasted very good I may add. But just to add

that final oomph, I felt it needed one more splash of something special.

And there before my eyes was a drop or two of malt whisky, Old Pultenay I think it was called, in the bottom of a bottle.

Obviously finished as a drink. Not enough to warrant much of a mouthful. Or so I thought.

"This sauce is good" rattled the comments round the table as the final drops coated the last morsels of pudding, "What did you put in it?"

"Oh this and that" I replied, "Finishing bottles off you know".

At the end of the table Dave's face turned grey "My nectar" he cried, "My last drop of nectar."

Not a recipe I can ever repeat it seems.