The wind is howling outside. It is real autumn weather outside. Drizzle, wind, loads of leaves blowing all over the place.
And yet ........ It's warm enough to put on a pair of shorts and have a go in the garden. It got close to 20C today and, even with the wind, it is lovely to be outside.
Not so for the wicked though. They have to work at newsletters and be holed up behind double glazing and suffer the coziness of being inside!
I am early this month. It's only the 25th of November and the December issue is just about finished.
Yesterday was Kel's birthday. Bless his soul. He would have been 64 this year. It is still such a strange feeling to know that he is no longer amongst us. No more quick telephone calls or an email ........
Rest in peace my friend.
It is December and we are very much looking forward to our trip to Singapore and Bangkok. It's only a couple of weeks before we go!
At this stage I must mention that we will be closing the offices from December 19th till January 9th. It sounds strange. Closing up! I cannot remember that we have ever closed up before and this holiday will certainly be the longest I can remember taking.
But it's time to recharge the old batteries!
Our on-line shop (accessible from all the pages on our web site) will remain open of course and all orders will be processed and shipped as normal. However, manual and PayPal order requests as well as any queries or emails to Biltongmakers.Com will have to wait till early January for a reply.
To be honest, we don't really want to spend our holidays behind a computer. I'm sure you don't mind!
Let's see you on our GuestMap!
We have recently expanded our GuestMap to take more names of our Biltong making friends all over the world. Please feel free to place your pin and tell us a little about whatever.
If you did place your pin in the past please do so again. I think that the guys in the US might have lost some of the info.
If you find one map a bit full just click on the "go back" button in the left-hand top corner of the map till you find an empty one.
Superb Biltong in the UK
At the end of November we took a couple of days to visit family and some customers in the UK.
It was very nice to finally meet up with Andrew Grover from Bishop's Waltham Butchery near Southampton.
What an incredibly superb and clean shop Andrew has. When you walk in there you just feel welcome and you just want to buy all that lovely fresh looking meat! Driving into the little village was like being taken back in time.
What a lovely part of England that is.
As we walked up to Andrew's shop we saw to our surprise a window full of biltong and droëwors hanging from a rod. Just like back in South Africa!
Andrew bought the small industrial biltong drying cabinet (30kg) some time ago and I must say his biltong compares with the best I have ever tasted.
When June tasted his droëwors she said:"Now that's
how I like it. Absolutely perfect!" I must say that June does not like my droëwors very much because it has a little too much fat in it to her liking and it is always ever so slightly wettish.
Hey, but I digress. Have a look at the pictures and judge for yourself. (Click on them to see them big)
If you want biltong or droëwors just give Andrew a call. His number is 01489 891937.
You can also visit his web site at www.bw-butchers.co.uk
or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have tasted a lot of biltong in England, some of it from very reputable South African shops and it has always been from so-so to inedible.
Andrew's biltong is perfect and you can order it with or without fat and from wettish to very dry! And at an incredible price too!!
We also met up with Aris Stathakis.
Aris is the distributor for our Home Biltong Makers in the UK. He has ample stock and delivery is of course much quicker than sending it all the way from South Africa!
Aris was the very first person to have a web site about biltong.
You can visit his on-line shop at www.biltongbox.com
My last stop in the UK was a visit to the London Eye.
There were two of us.
We drove to the most southern tube station in London and parked the car.
Apart from the congestion charge it is madness to drive in to London. It's much quicker and easier by tube.
We took the tube to Waterloo station and were immediately transported back to South Africa. There were South Africans everywhere waving flags (old and new) with funny hats and all rearing to go to Twickenham of course! (Don't know where all the Castle Beers came from!)
Now, those of you who have been to the London Eye know that it seldom stops. Perhaps for a couple of seconds or so but normally you will climb on and off while it runs.
We have the dubious honor to belong to a very select and very small club who stopped the London Eye for at least 10 minutes that day.
I will not go into detail.
The view was incredible though!
And so it is almost Christmas and another New Year is on the horizon and all that remains for us is to wish all of you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous, healthy and, above all, peaceful New Year.
All the best,