The weeks are marking past like well trained soldiers. Not that we have a hard and fast routine but it's pretty guaranteed that we'll make cheese twice a week, wrap at least one batch of cheese and go to the Friday market in Feilding, and of course be open for tastings on Sunday at the Creamery.
Wet weather is also guaranteed to make the market and Sunday tasting quiet affairs. But you can never completely be sure so it's best to approach very day with an open mind. I'm learning Bob Marley's "Three little birds" on the uke and I love the lyrics, Rising with smile on your face". That is definitely good advice. Laughing is also a good way to start the day.
On Friday three lovely young women came to buy cheese and tell me cheese jokes. Laughing is corny jokes certainly lifted my mood. I was in a kind of mental battened down mode in preparation for a cold, wet and windy day. On cue when they arrived the sun came out and I had a smile on my face. Question, "So what did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror?" Answer, "Hallo-mi". They bought some chilli Halloumi as sign of solidity.
I am constantly surprised and delighted by the people we meet because of our cheese. I had a couple of locals call in, one who is a regular who started showing up in cars that impress, like a RX Mazda boy-racer car, today it was a car kitted out for rally driving. I heard it long before I saw it. Next there was a couple who have just had twins, she had the most trim figure I've ever seen for someone with six week old babies. I also had a couple visit from Palmerston North, the women's sister is a teacher in the same school as Ade's sister. She was so excited about the cheese and the connection she had to have her photo taken with me on the verandah. I hope like hell I can remember what she looks like since I'm completely capable of forgetting and looking at her blankly when she arrived all smiles the next time we meet. It's not that she wasn't memorable but more that I'm meeting too many people for only short periods and there is little opportunity to re-enforce the name learning and face recognition process.
Getting back to Friday, my favourite customers of the day were a couple who came from Wellington. We'd talked on the phone, they were planning to stay at Song-Bird Gardens and wanted to learn about the things to do locally. I recommend the Friday market and they duly turned up and introduced themselves. She was a tiny, well spoken fashionable lady of a certain age, cream knitted wool peaked hat, black boomer jacket, red woollen top, black leggings and boots plus that French essential – red lip stick. Her husband wore a beret and a stripped scarf around his neck like a cravat. Not your typical Feilding Market get up. They were accompanied by her sister who hardly spoke, seemed painfully shy or had no interest in cheese. This was odd since I learned that she was the one who had owned property in France and had introduced them to 'real' cheese. If you were a bit unkind you'd say they had 'airs' about them but I'd had no wish to pigeon hole them and deny myself the chance to enjoy their good company.
Almost as a counter balance to that experience later in the morning I met another woman of a certain age. Her grammar was not as polished as the posh woman and I'd say she was in a different income bracket but none-the-less had an eye and taste for good things. She considered the cheese very seriously and contemplated what she liked best. However due to income constraints (not her words, my guess) she said she would not buy any this week but would soon. I might be gullible but I'm inclined to believe her.