Archive for May, 2009

Another stunning day

Like the rest of Britain, I barely ventured indoors yesterday, choosing instead to bask in the glorious sunshine. B and I scrubbed out the Eglu and Cube in the morning, thoroughly dusting them with Red Mite powder. Buffy, one of the Buff Orpington hens, has managed to get herself a little infestation, so we gave her a good dusting as well. The others seem clean, so we saved them the indignity, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on them all, just in case.

By the time we’d finished, Jennie and her clan arrived and that marked the beginning of a truly wonderful afternoon. Nothing special happened, it was just one of those days where everything goes the way you want it to. The pigs, dogs and children all behaved themselves (more or less) and we just chilled. Perfect!

Unfortunately, there was a dark cloud looming.

As I turned out of the farm lane to go home, I saw a 4×4 approaching, following a ewe and her lamb. I started to drive off and then remembered the vegetable garden. The unfenced vegetable garden.

The “rule” with loose livestock is that you push them down the nearest entrance to get them off the road. But, if you are told that the animal doesn’t belong at that farm, it’s generally considered polite to help get them off the property, not stand there gawping while someone runs back down the lane in the baking heat, does some shepherding, and then runs back down the lane after the sheep, especially when they ask not once, not twice but three times for help! If that does happen, please expect the very hot, sweaty and tired runner/shepherd to be extremely pissed off. Do not, under any circumstances, make matters worse by lying (“I didn’t push them down your lane”) and then shout “why don’t you come over here and we’ll sort it out now”. Funnily enough, I declined the invitation to have a stand up fight in the middle of the road, especially given the running I’d just done, and instead got back in the car and drove off, much to the relief of the many cars who were at a standstill due to my bad parking.

Ho hum, I fumed all the way home, but the day was still too glorious to be cross, and a cool shower washed away my bad feelings along with the dirt and grime.

The day finished on a high note: dinner and not one but two bowls of chocolate ice cream at Jennie’s that evening. Hurrah!

Old friends and new

I had a wonderful day yesterday, and not just because the sun was shining and the sky was blue. Neither was it because despite the heat of the day and the frantic piggy wallowing activity, the ground was still wet enough from the week’s rain which meant they didn’t need to empty their water buckets, which meant that I didn’t need to refill them.

No, it was because I did what few people do and actually met (in real life, I hasten to add) someone I’ve been chatting to on one of the numerous smallholding forums. A and her husband J live in south Wales, just a short drive from me, and I spent a lovely couple of hours at their place, meeting their 150 (!!) chickens and ducks, not to mention their pair of Kune Kune pigs, the naughty trio of pygmy goats and the pair of nanny goats, one of whom is due to drop any day now.

A and J are a lovely couple, genuinely nice people who are passionate about their animals and living the kind of life where they know where their food has come from and what’s gone in to it. J gave me enough garlic to stave off the entire vampire cast list from Buffy, so I’ll be planting those today.

Then, Jennie and her clan came over for dinner, which everyone seemed to enjoy apart from the dogs, who were banished outdoors as our kitchen simply isn’t big enough to cope!

It looks as though today is going to be another gorgeous day … hurrah!

Pigs and cats on YouTube

On Wednesday, when the heavens opened and my animals started pairing up and staring at their arks in anticipation, B and I hid indoors and indulged in some YouTube surfing. I can’t resist the urge to share these two videos with you.

Enjoy!

Bank holiday sunshine

Ok, so maybe the sun didn’t shine yesterday, but boy, was it hot on Sunday!

Brini and Scrumpy - 24 May 2009

Brini and Scrumpy enjoy their fresh grass. I moved the pair (and Fergie and Perky!) onto new ground on Sunday afternoon.

Pinky - 24 May 2009

Pinky made the most of her wallow

Potato patch - 25 May 2009

The potato patch is coming along well. Not sure when I should start earthing up though

Molly's eggs - 25 May 2009

Molly the Pekin bantam has started laying her eggs in the grass outside. Thing is, she's laying in the grass in the big chickens' run, not her own!

Heptaphilia

I have been tagged by Andrew in this simple meme: to list seven things I love. Like Andrew, I’m going to skip the predictable mentions of friends and family, though I do love you all!

In no particular order:

  1. Sunsets and sunrise. The ones where it looks as though someone has thrown together every bright colour in a pattern that shouldn’t work, but oh, how it does.
  2. Kindness from strangers. When people you don’t know go out of their way to make your life that little bit better, even for just a moment, for no reward, simply because they have the power to do so.
  3. Speeches, whether in real life or in a film/play/on TV, that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, even as you find yourself wanting to (or actually) rise to your feet, your hands beating together in a tempo that matches the rhythm and tempo of the speaker’s magical words. For that moment, you would walk to war. In the wrong hands, this power is amongst the most dangerous weapons known to humanity. In the right hands, well… a slice of heaven.
  4. Nature at work. From the highest mountain ranges to the deepest gorges, the idea that nature is still constructing some of the most spectacular and terrifying sights on earth, even as we sleep, is wonderful. Nature is the best architect we have ever known and we should spend more time getting to know her work and less time destroying it.
  5. A book, film or TV show that completely captures you. From the moment you start reading or watching, life outside those pages or pixels is non-existent. Having laughed or cried (or both), your heart stopping through fear that the worst would happen to these people whose emotions you are experiencing with them, and racing when the best happens, you re-emerge, blinking, confused.
  6. Being in the water on a hot day. By this, I do of course mean the sea or a pool, not the bath! The feeling of the sun’s heat on your shoulders while your body is submerged in the most delicious, soothing coolness is unbeatable, especially if you are surrounded by a spectacular landscape.
  7. Good food, good company, good laughs. I don’t think I need to expand on this one, do I?

I tag… Jennie, Welshpurpletree, and The Garden Smallholder. And anyone else who fancies a go!

Enjoying the sunshine

Forgive the picture-heavy post. I don’t seem to have woken up yet. Uploading photos from yesterday seems like the most sensible route to take, if a degree of coherence is ……. nope, can’t finish the sentence. Need more coffee!

Snail - 23 May 2009

An early morning visitor

Scrumpy tries to get to Perky's food - 23 May 2009

Scrumpy tries to get to Perky's food but doesn't get very far!

Bailey - 23 May 2009

Bailey enjoys the fresh grass

Tia - 23 May 2009

Tia enjoys it even more

The chicks and Xander - 23 May 2009

The chicks and Xander have finally become friends

Adding to the blogroll

I’ve been adding plenty of new blogs to Google Reader so thought I’d better get round to adding them to my blogroll as well!

It’s early and I’m very sleepy, so please forgive the lack of personal introduction to these blogs. Trust me, they’re good. Read, and enjoy 🙂

Colour it Green: Here I can witter away about this part of our lives; growing veg, keeping livestock, making things and crafts and home education

Locks Park Farm: Stories from a small organic farm in Devon

The Smallest Smallholding: This … blog follows the trials and tribulations of a would-be Smallholder. Join me, Lucy, as I journey through my 20s in search of the Good Life.

A Self Sufficient Life: Self Sufficiency & Frugal Living Tips

Doggonedmysteries: I’m M. W. Hauser. I write murder mysteries and my agent would murder me if I didn’t mention that I do have an agent.

Uphilldowndale: Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England