Jo Craven.

The last time I remember being as ‘in’ to trees as I find myself right now was a good three decades ago when I was maybe six years old. In those days making leaf pictures or helicoptering sycamore seeds from between finger and thumb were all in a day’s fun. Then as a teenager, I was regularly co-opted into constructing never-ending log piles with my dad – vainly trying to emulate the so-neat ones he’d seen outside Austrian chalets…


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by TOAST ( 03.03.11 )

This entry comes from Kim Trethowan who along with Maugan works day-in-day-out at Gorwydd so knows the seasonal changes in the cheese and at the farm better than anyone.

Winter has a habit of letting you forget the warmth and colour of any other season and the one just passed has been no exception. Starting so early, Mother Nature turned the landscape monochrome and reminded us with every bitterly cold intake of breath just how powerful she can be. It’s all about survival during those dark months; keeping our heads down and clearing away snow and ice from the drive, trying to maintain the temperature in the dairy, guarding the equipment from failure… So when you catch the first signs of new life hugging the stark stone walls around the farm, it takes you totally by surprise…


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by TOAST ( 24.02.11 )

Our regular column from the Trethowans, makers of Gorwydd Caerphilly – one of Britain’s great territorial cheeses. This month Jess recounts the hard work and equal delights of a cold winter at Gorwydd farm.

The early snow this year has brought with it some of the jobs we usually tackle closer to Christmas and into January. Clearing the long driveway of snow and ice needs to happen at least twice a day in order that the milk tanker and the couriers can make it to and from the dairy, delivering milk and picking up cheese.


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by TOAST ( 14.12.10 )

Our new column comes from the Trethowan family, makers of Gorwydd Caerphilly – one of Britain’s great territorial cheeses. This month Jess writes of their beginnings in cheese, her husband Todd’s perfectionism and attention to detail, and of their mutual love for the seasons…

Cheese is an assuredly real food. It’s the product of passion, attention to detail and science. It is a living thing with a rich history. It is tied to the land, to the weather and the seasons, to animals, to people, to ideas and to farms.


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by TOAST ( 15.11.10 )
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by TOAST ( 09.11.10 )

Home-made Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.
A home-made journey into space. Courtesy of Brooklynite father, Luke Geissbuhler, and his seven-year-old son, Max. The rest is best left to them…


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by TOAST ( 05.11.10 )

I’ve wanted to learn to knit for a very long time. Over the years I’ve made a good few attempts, asking my mother to remind me how to cast on more times than she can bear. But sadly, I’ve never progressed beyond knitting a single, flat, square piece, made up of one type of stitch and a single colour. And how I regret my lack of persistence. I would so love to be able to pick up a pair of knitting needles and, over a few quiet evenings in front of the telly, or in the local pub, create myself a small, charming, disarmingly perfect, stuffed dog such as these…


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by TOAST ( 05.10.10 )

Watch out tonight for the first super harvest moon in 20 years, a phenomenon that occurs when the autumn equinox (when day and night are of equal length and summer moves into winter) coincides with a full moon in the northern hemisphere. NASA tells us to expect the result to be a kind of 360 degree twilight glow as the sun sinks in the west and the moon rises in the east…


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by TOAST ( 22.09.10 )

Nat Lucas discovers how time moves differently on a late summer row down the Thames.

The sky is an ink wash of gunmetal grey, silver and indigo. Swollen with rain it dips down to meet the water; the willows mutter in the rising breeze. Two men pass by on a working barge, a patchwork of black with a shock of exhaust. They raise their hands and nod in greeting as they overtake. They have watched our progress for the last twenty minutes on a straight avenue of the river. We rest and balance our oars on the water for steadiness as their wake slaps against our boards. Then the rain comes…


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by TOAST ( 14.09.10 )

Jon Day.

Opposite Minack theatre, the old stone circle that watches over the bay, there’s a rocky outcrop which falls away, sheer, into the sea. From its broken outcrop I see what I first take to be flotsam, lines of dark shapes drifting about 20 feet off shore. I watch them for a while and a subtle movement marks them out as living things.

I scramble down the rocks, hoping they’ll still be there when I reach the bottom. Of course they are, hundreds of them, a long line of movement hugging the shore. Grey mullet, old and fat lipped, difficult fish to catch. Idiosyncratic in their tastes, they swim near the surface in massive shoals, gently sucking in weeds and water. Unlike the foolish mackerel, who’ll bite a bare hook if stripped past their face at the right speed, mullet are subtle, elegant fish. You have to trick them, coerce them into taking your offerings.

My hands shake slightly as I put my rod together, threading the thick fly-line through the rings and tie on a fly. I love the names of flies: Wickham’s Fancy, Cat’s Whisker, Hare’s Ear. Local, ancient-sounding names which are discussed in hushed tones in tackle shops and on river banks, garnering some fame for their creators. Mullet don’t have predictable preferences, so I tie on an old favourite, a nameless green blob, and step down to the rocks nearest the water…


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by TOAST ( 09.08.10 )
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