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Following the tremendous success of Michelle’s Mosiacs Workshop in February we are doing it again!
Once again Michelle McQuinn Farrand will lead the workshop
on Saturday April 28th from 11 am to 3pm

Have fun using old crockery and findings to create a bespoke mosaic love heart or letter – add your own special message using pretty alphabet beads. All materials will be provided on the day.

Michelle has a degree in Fine art from Camberwell College of Art and has been creating Mosaics for the last 20 years. She has created bespoke interior furniture pieces and larger architectural pieces for Hotels restaurants and Private collectors in addition to holding workshops.

Saturday April 28th from 11 am to 3pm
£27 including materials
£45 for parent and child

There is an optional buffet lunch @£7.50 for one course.
Tea and Coffee are also available.
Stay over for Dinner – fixed price £25.
Bed and Breakfast from £60.00 per person.

Why not make a weekend of it and have a cookery class as well?

To book your place now please call
Tony or Helen on 01364 649242
or send Helen an email at

Michelle is also interested in providing this service for hen parties so if you’re planning to get married this year bear it in mind!

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Social Media Marketing – Made Simple

Having trouble getting to grips with the overwhelming world of Social Media?

Master it now with our “hands-on” half-day workshop
with June Dean of The Elevation Factor – only £30.00 a session

Click here to download the course summary

27th February 2012 – Book early to avoid disappointment

Venue: Vintage Emporium, 18 North Street,
Ashburton, Devon TQ13 7QD

To book your place now please call Tony or Helen on 01364 649242
or send Helen an email at

or why not make it a very special trip and book yourself in to stay at the Sunday night at

Garfield House

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Tomorrow I have to go cap-in-hand and apologize to our psychopathic village butcher, “I-hate-all-living-things” Neil.

At the weekend I was keen to visit the local garden shop as I decided to obliterate a garden path and create a new herbaceous border. Not that I exactly understand what herbaceous means so I thought I needed some divine inspiration. To simplify matters I thought I would purchase my meat at the local farm shop that sits adjacent to the large garden centre. The garden centre it seems to me sells everything apart from plants. H2B needed to get a prescription in the town, so Youngest Daughter and I were deposited at said location. Having perused half-price Christmas decorations, ridiculously expensive Hen houses and getting conned into buying a cup cake making set by Little Miss Gets-everything-she-wants, we made our way to the farm shop to be reunited with H2B who had had a (normal for me) experience of how it is to live in the country. Shop-keepers who are happy to dispense cups of tea to lost old ladies and even keener to tell you why you don’t want to buy their product, which is “too expensive” and aimed to con you – in this case a bottle of cough syrup.

The Farm shop seemed airy and had plenty of fresh vegetables and a posh modern meat counter sporting smart butchers in boaters and stripy aprons. All seemed well until I asked for some rump steak. The jaunty butcher informed me that if I bought two pieces of rump steak it would be half price.
“I don’t really need that much” I say
“Well, let me weigh it” he says
“ok” I say
“£29.75 – what a bargain”
“Not really” I say – as I only need a quarter of the amount languishing on his scale
“How much will that be” I ask.
“£15.00” he says.

As my eyes narrow, H2B and Little Miss decide this exchange is looking dangerous and decide to go and look for other ridiculously expensive things to add to the very posh wicker basket kindly provided for your green shopping.

The air from the meat counter was a little frosty when I told him to forget the rump steak – we would have chicken fajitas. Looking at the price on chicken breast, I surmise the cost of one breast would probably pay for a whole chicken so I make a direct move:
“One whole chicken” I say with an authoritative manner.
“One chicken, madam” he says “£13.00 – but you can have 2 for £25.00”
“I don’t want two chickens, I want one” (If I wanted two Mr Surly I would have asked for two?)

My final requirement is Sunday dinner and I fancied lamb. Now believe it or not I didn’t want a whole lamb so I said I would like a piece of shoulder
“That piece right there, please” to prevent any confusion.
“£9.00?” he ventured hopefully.

Now H2B was no gourmet before he met me, as we all know, but even he had to admit that the piece of lamb came nowhere near the quality that we normally get from our Neil-the-rudest-butcher-in-Devon. It was fatty and although tender thanks to loads of garlic and wine it was honestly tasteless. I reckon it was one of those lambs that have spent their lives walking a million miles across the bogs of Dartmoor moor in search of nutrition and not to be recommended.

So tomorrow I am off to tell Neil that we have erred, and strayed from his ways like lost sheep and I pray he will not hold it against me but take me back into his flock. I am in hope that he will continue to swear, tell rude stories and give me free coffee, not to mention help me out when I forget to order my salmon and fetch one from Martin @ Moby Nicks for me.

In the mean time I have to say if we really think we are going to beat the supermarkets BOGOF is not the way to go………………

And if your butcher is too smarmy and polite: look closely at his meat.