Someone kindly reminded me that Christmas is two weeks away as I was writing up this week’s blog post. Now, while I am on top of all my Christmas presents, the idea that in two weeks’ time I won’t be able to freely watch Home Alone on repeat, or have easy access to festive foods, does fill me with a kind of sadness I can’t really compare to anything else. Fortunately, for now, there’s plenty of seasonal cheer going around at LWV, thanks to some wonderful events we’ve been to this week.
In February of this year, we were invited to talk at an evening event by Reckitt’s, which focussed on the progress in their environmental efforts and in celebration of their brand Dettol. Clearly, we made a good impression - and why wouldn’t we - as we were invited back once more to their Christmas Market. Alice and Henry made their way into Hull and set up shop in a (very futuristic) Reckitt’s building. The market was part of a charity event, raising money for Cash for Kids, and in total there were fifteen local businesses for members of staff to shop from.
The Christmas fun didn’t stop there, as Henry then made his way to the Howden Christmas light switch on, with the lovely Elaine in tow. The stalls were situated in the very beautiful Howden Minster, which Henry pointed out was a bit of a life saver, since, “even the shepherds would want to be indoors,” on that particular night. While this made for a lovely backdrop to the LWV stall, it did mean there were some issues with our card reader (sadly, I don’t think the architects or builders of the late Middle Ages had considered their building materials being a problem for future farmers). It wasn’t too much of a problem though, as while they waited for payments to work the local school choir performed a series of heavenly hymns and festive favourites.
Meanwhile, Tom has continued to work on creating that level space next to the Tasting Room, as Cam and I tidied up a trailer we are selling. This trailer has been around for well over a decade, and most of the LWV team have some memory that comes with it. Originally, Henry bought the trailer to take around various agriculture events to promote the sustainable willow programme we run here on the farm, which saw the willow harvested once every three to four years for local energy company Drax. And if you were thinking you’d heard us mention this willow before, it’s because we still grow and use it now! The rate of the willow’s growth allows us to use some of the crop for events, and Alice has been working with willow since 2012. The trailer had, we admit, seen better days by the time me and Cam got round to cleaning it, but with a bit of soap, warm water (and a very fun makeshift mop made from cloths and a broom) and Cam’s trusty playlists to keep the energy going, it’s looking far better and ready for a new home.
When we weren’t cleaning out the trailer, Cam took some time to teach me how our bottling machine works, which doubled up as an opportunity to clean the machine and some spare bottles we have from last year’s vintage. The process is fairly straightforward once you get going, and I think Cam and I are now at a level of bottling that could win competitions - if bottling ever becomes a sport, you know where to find us. As someone who’s only been around for the summer seasons previously, picking up these skills feels a bit like going back to school. But in true LWV fashion, with no two days ever being the same, this is an education that continues to keep things interesting.
On Saturday Alice hosted a wreath making event with the lovely Wonderland Blooms. The event was a delight for everyone involved, as those who came along used some of that handy willow I was on about earlier as a blank canvas for their wildest festive dreams. And if that doesn’t sound like fun enough, there was mulled wine and sparkling cocktails, as well as salted caramel Florentines to enjoy along the way (no, I’m not drooling over my keyboard at the idea of salted caramel Florentines…). If you want to fuel your jealousy any further, head over to our Instagram page or our TikTok page to have a look at exactly what you missed (you will find me watching it on loop in the winery).