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May 26, 2015 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

An afternoon at Apley Farm Shop

2015-05-26, hedgerows of cow parsley (640x480)

Hedgerows of cow parsley

2015-05-26, Adrian Jones Apley Plant Centre building

Adrian working on the Apley Plant Centre

2015-05-26, field of green barley (640x480)

Green barley

I snapped this field of green barley as I cycled alongside Venetia on her pony this morning down lanes where hedgerows are brimming with cow parsley. About ¾ of my journeys in London are by bike, which gets me out & about & keeping fit. Ironically, when I’m in Shropshire, I have to drive everywhere – roads are bigger, faster & more dangerous (lacking cycle lanes) & distances are greater – plus I’m often taxiing children or heavy items. I broke that pattern & cycled (not far !) to the Farm Shop this afternoon. On arriving, Bert & Dave told me someone had burst a mains pipe at Grindle, on the edge of the Estate, so they’d had to drop what they were doing & head over there asap. In the Courtyard, Adrian Jones was working on the Apley Plant Centre building. After I’d bumped into neighbours & friends having a late lunch in The Creamery Café, I met WH Foster’s great grand-daughter. She is the first ever Foster descendant I’ve met. She & her husband were visiting Ironbridge & popped into the Creamery Café just as I was going into a meeting.

First I met with our chef & Café manager, then the next covered a huge issue – disaster management. After all, no-one imagined 9/11 would or could ever happen, but it did. Before that, it was unthinkable that Lehmans would go down in 2008.

We covered almost every possible disaster which could threaten the businesses at Apley, from fire, flood, theft, death of key employees, computer failure or damage, computer viruses & hackers, cyber attacks, power failure, telephone failure, mobile failure, broadband failure, corrupt hardware, out of date software*, right down to an electro-magnetic attack (which is hopefully the least likely).

We’re already taking most precautions that can be taken, but another possible suitable precaution which we’re not yet taking, for many of the possible types of disasters, is to print hard copies of our most important documents & photos. There’s a certain an irony in that – the sense of having done a full circle. Until the 1970s-1980s, Estate records were beautifully kept in hand written, leather bound volumes.

*Google boss Vint Cerf recently advised printing photos as files will quickly become inaccessible due to the speed of technological advances. Click HERE to read more.

2015-05-26, Kids' Cooking - funky fish cakes (640x480)

Funky fish cakes

We picked up a horse trailer on the way home, so by the time I got home I was very hungry ! Thankfully Venetia & Francis & our au pair had made us supper (I feel it’s so important to teach them basic life skills & how to cook basic savoury meals) from the Kids’ Cooking book (by Liz Franklin) called funky fish cakes which were pretty good !

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