Lesley Dolphin: It's all about Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 01:54 09 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:36 20 February 2013

Lesley Dolphin: It's all about Suffolk

Lesley Dolphin: It's all about Suffolk

Staying patriotic whatever the weather

Staying patriotic whatever the weather

I think my prized purchase from the Suffolk Show says it all about our summer so far a pair of union flag wellies! I wish Id had them for the Diamond Jubilee river pageant in London.

I knew I was truly British as I stood on the banks of the River Thames, peering through the rain splattering on my specs, trying to spot the Suffolk boats taking part.

And I knew I was truly Suffolk when I arrived at the Trinity Park showground on the Thursday morning for day one of the county show.

As I walked in through the Bucklesham entrance I was grinning to myself. I love the smell of the freshly cut grass, the buzz of the trade stands, the Tannoys at the grand ring and the crowds appreciating all that our lovely county has to offer.

I was really looking forward to two days of broadcasting and although I knew the weather forecast wasnt the best (hence the wellies), I never expected the second day to be cancelled. It was so sad for the organisers and all the trade stands. The weather must be a real worry for the organisers of other many events coming up. Fingers crossed we have sunshine for the Lowestoft Air show and the arrival of the Olympic torch here in the county and that I wont need to wear my wellies again this year.

As well as the jubilee pageant and the Suffolk Show, I have already been to a couple of other great events in the county. You may have been watching historian Michael Woods

The Great British Story on BBC 2. Well right at the start of the series there was a big do at Ickworth House near Bury St Edmunds with a chance to talk to Michael and archaeologist Carenza Lewis.

It was also my first chance to see the new below-stairs recreation, Ickworth Lives. The National Trust has worked hard to bring history to life at many of its properties including this huge project. Using old diaries and first-hand accounts they have renovated the kitchens and basements so we can see what it was like to work in a Downton Abbey-style house of 1935. Volunteers even dress up to take on the role of cooks and so forth. Ickworth Lives is on all through the summer and well worth a visit I reckon.

The other event was a new food festival at Henham Park. Very fortunately for the organisers the weather was absolutely wonderful and the cookery theatre marquee that I was hosting was full for most of the Saturday. There was a great line up of chefs including Galton Blackiston and the Flying Kiwi, Chris Coubrough. It was Chris, along with his Norfolk butcher Arthur, who made my visit truly memorable. They gave an offal talk and I ended up eating bits of animal that I never thought I would let pass my lips let alone swallow!!

Thank goodness the editor of this magazine has never expected such things of me when we do our judging for the EADT Suffolk Food and Drink awards! Talking of which dont forget to send in your nominations for this years competition. We have a vibrant local food industry in Suffolk and this is one way that you and I can do our bit to support and promote it. Nominate your favourite food producer, restuarant, cafe or pub at www.suffolkfada.co.uk

Finally, and staying on the food theme, although it hasnt been that warm so far this year I was rather dismayed when my 15-year-old fridge-freezer gave up the ghost. I hadnt bothered to replace the interior light so it was a couple of days before I realised the milk was rather warm.

Fortunately we also have a freezer in the garage so I was able to save all the frozen goods but it was several days before we could buy another and it made me realise just how much I rely on it.

I had to resort to shopping every day for the perishable goods and to keeping my milk in a bucket of water. How did our grannies manage? Now Im pleased to report Im the proud owner of a very large refrigerator. I need a step to reach the top shelf. Although I am having some difficulty keeping it full particularly the inbuilt wine rack.

Listen to Lesley 12.30-4pm on BBC Radio Suffolk

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