A bad workman always blames his tools…


I am in the depths of rural Wiltshire on a working farm and loving it. Above we have little Lulu, tuckered out after a day chasing sticks and balls that the builders have been throwing for her. I also have the company of Harry, a beautiful black flat coated Retriever and Bumble, a poodle cross. One thing these dogs all have in common is the sweetest, most loving natures and it is a delight to explore the farm with them by my side.

My first full day here has been an adventure and my reference to the saying ‘A bad workman always blames his tools…’ relates to my experience with the Aga. I had an email from my client saying that I may find builders on the farm building a barn. I did, in a far paddock across the yard working hard on a massive 90 foot barn, so they will be here most of the week. They were very pleased to be offered a hot drink, and unable to find builder type biscuits, I also offered to bake them a cake. Their eyes lit up. The Aga and I had become acquainted at breakfast time and there was no reason to suspect that I could not produce cake using it. Oh me and my eternal optimism. My furry companions were bemused when I took my cake out of the oven this afternoon and burst out laughing. My new builder friends watched me approach with their afternoon refreshments in hand, saying ‘A bad workman always blames his tools…’ To then look relieved when they realised I was referring to my cake. They assured me that it tasted good, because it certainly looked interesting in shape and appearance! I have a week to master the Aga….

There are sheep on this farm (that escape into the rose garden!), retired racehorses, ducks, geese and hens, as well as my furry companions, so it is easy to see why I love it here. The farmhouse is a beautiful country home and my bedroom is en suite with a bath tub that is wide, deep and long. Bliss…..


Let me introduce you to Harry, who is keeping watch over me while I write this.

There are all manner of roses growing up the front and back of the house, the ducks and hens are so tame you can stroke them, a stone lined stream runs through the grounds like a moat, buildings have been made from soft, honeyed Cotswold stone, there are fields as far as the eye can see, a friendly lodger on the top floor of the farmhouse, many wild birds and a huge five bar gate that I open to drive the car in, the dogs come to greet me and then jump into the car, I drive through, close the gate and then we all travel up to the farm together.

And last but not least, Bumble, who is holidaying here while her Mum is away and whose tail wags in time to the words you say to her.



20 Responses to “A bad workman always blames his tools…”

  1. 1 bardessdmdenton July 5, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Just love reading your reflections, Jane, and this one is another gem sharing another idyllic situation with your lovely animal friends! Hope you will consider putting all of these in book form some day. I have used an old Rayburn and remember how I could put a chicken or stew in its oven to slowly cook all day. Lots of love and hugs, Diane XO ♥


    • 2 Jane Thorne July 6, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      Oh Diane, Birthday Girl, thank you so much for your supportive words. I have discovered that I am a rural girl at heart and so love having animals around. Slow cooked stews…nursery food for the soul. ❤ and many hugs for you. xXx


  2. 3 smzang June 30, 2014 at 8:31 am


    I grew up on a farm and reading your words is pure joy for me.
    The cake experience made me smile with memories of my own
    occasional misadventures in the kitchen. All in all, this makes me
    feel that the world still has warm and safe havens to nest in.

    Thank you!



    • 4 Jane Thorne June 30, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Oh Sarah, thank you. I won’t tell you what comments were made as I carried my flapjacks across the field this morning! Needless to say my relationship with the Aga is warming. I spent my early teenage years on a farm and those heart memories have stayed with me. I am coming into land in a new home and I am looking at a cottage on a dairy farm….it feelss so good. ❤ to you and I hope you have a great week. It is always lovely to hear from you. Xx


  3. 5 Peter Wells aka Countingducks June 27, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    It sounds like a kind of paradise to me. I am so pleased that you find yourself in such spots


    • 6 Jane Thorne June 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks Ducky…this is one busy farm! I may get to drive a tractor on Monday, I am very excited… have a great weekend at your end. 🙂


  4. 7 journeyintopoetry June 26, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Oh Jane this is just a delight; I could read and read your pieces over and over; they are like mindful meditations and equally as beneficial as any CDs I listen to on this subject. What gorgeous aurroundings, and Im sure your cake tasted great! Agas scare me!! My sister has one but I stay well away, content with my fan assisted oven!! 😊

    Sending love, hugs, and flowers for you



  5. 13 ianscyberspace June 26, 2014 at 2:02 am

    What delightful homely scenes you shared with us. Always a good read to visit your site.


    • 14 Jane Thorne June 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Ahh Ian, thank you for your lovely comment. I am behind with my reading and will visit your blog today. Have a lovely day. 🙂


  6. 15 Al June 25, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Pretty hard to go wrong with a cake for hungry workmen. As I recall, the worst cake I ever ate was delicious.


  7. 17 1smiles June 25, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Dearest Jane,
    Your life is full of spontaneous adventure these days. How wonderful!
    Much love,
    Jeannie xxxxxxx


    • 18 Jane Thorne June 25, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Yes, it is, although I am making plans to come in to land Jeannie…I need a place to call my own and my treasures around me. Thank you for being you. ❤ xXx


  8. 19 Eric Alagan June 25, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Another idyllic assignment – from the sounds of it. Thanks to this stint, you’ll be an expert with the Aga.

    We tend to do the same – make refreshments for workers. The joy in their eyes – always makes our day.

    All good blessings keep you company 🙂


    • 20 Jane Thorne June 25, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Always there are blessings and it lifts the joy from each day to think on those…while plans are going on behind the scenes for coming into land! Big hugs for you my special buddy. Xx


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