Monday, 15 September 2014

Into the jungle

And I am re-enthused about indoors, as we now, yes, yes, yes!!! have started painting the kitchen walls. 

Tiles laid on the floor after that, although there are a couple of slight bumpy bits in the concrete which Lester says will have to be smoothed off first. 
But, wahhay!!! Paint. On the walls!

The beans, neglected after being strung up on the support wires, the poles of the wires going rickety and then collapsing some time during July. 
So, no green beans were picked, 
but after a rummage about in the heap of bean plants,
I harvested a bucket of these goodies....

....and there are still more to come!
Dry them, shell them, and we shall have a harvest of dried beans for the winter.

And from this tangle came....

...and there are still more to come as well!

The onions are nil.
The beetroot is still to be found. 
The kale is now doomed after Lester scythed it into oblivion,
thinking that it was dead anyway,
it wasn't
it just needed freeing up from the weeds.
The tomatoes never happened.
The potatoes, however, did happen.
The big green brassica type plants are still growing strongly.
The cabbages have been picked and eaten.
The green peppers were fantastic.
The aubergines are still trotting along.
The green chillies were OK.
The courgettes, well....what can I say!
They have romped away,
and I have a load to get processed.
The parsley and coriander were overcome.
The melons never got going.
The peanut plants were zilch.
The big green brassica type plants are still growing strongly.
The cabbages have been picked and eaten.

Not to worry, from out of the veggie and weed jungle we did get a harvest, and we have paint on the walls, and some on me as well because I always get into a muck when I paint. Not to worry, it washes off, and we have paint on the walls, and I am sorry to keep going on about it, but, well, we have started painting.....and we have got a harvest of veg, and we like being smallholding / homesteading folk, and we have started painting........


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Time out

Sometimes even we have to have time out even though it has been lovely weather, the fields are green and sprinkled with the prettiest of white flowers, the animals are plump and happy, and our petite ferme looks everyone's dream of what a smallholding should like, this having been said several times by people who have visited us lately. It does not always look so lovely, not when winter and the flood arrive. Not to worry, even then prettiness can be found somewhere if we try hard enough to look. Or I can look back at the blogs and be reminded that it is worthwhile to keep persevering at learning to be a smallholder's wife, reading about how far we have come, what I have learnt, what I need to do better with, etc........ And then I can go visit my fellow blogging friends, and read about what they are up to, how they are managing their farms / smallholdings / homesteads, and then I feel that I am not my own, and that there are other people out there doing similar to us. But we still need to have time out sometimes.......

And so we organised a trip out with friends. A concert at Aire sur l'Adour is where we went. Listening to a band playing Irish music is what we did. The French playing Irish music is not the same as our DIY band playing Irish music which is nothing at all like a proper Irish band playing Irish music. Nevertheless it was a grand evening. Listening to other people playing similar music, well you can two things. You can either be highly critical of their playing. Or you can listen attentively and absorb what they are doing, how they are doing it, and what you can do to improve your own playing, which is what I did. 

Where we were....

Aire sur l'Adour

La Chapelle de Ursulines

Who we were going to listen to....

Two bands, Etceltera and Salicorne,

Inside the chapel where the concert was being held....

And the good friends we went with......

Mike, Valerie, Lester (Hubby) and Ann

It was treasure of an evening, 
and today we are going to take time out from farm and renovation work to sort out new music for our little band. 
But first I need to make bread, gather some more fennel seeds, ask the pears in the fridge waiting to be put into canning jars if they can wait another day before being processed, explain to the broom that there is no need to sweep today because moi is busy elsewhere, tell my head that it is better to stay awake and do things because napping stops me from having a good night's sleep, tell the lawnmower to stop moaning about not being used and that perhaps tomorrow it can go for a run over the grass, convince my sewing machine that I do love it and not to worry about my lack of effort in switching it on, tell Labartere (our farm) that I do love her but that sometimes, just sometimes, trying to do the best for her can make Lester and me feel that we are pedalling a bike which is going nowhere, but this is only when we are tired and need a change of scenery, just for a while, not for ever, because we could not think of living anywhere else at all.
So with batteries recharged I go off into my day, 

Hope you have a lovely Sunday,
and hope your batteries are getting recharged as well,

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Changing fields.....

 Here is our new ram, Jakey Boy.....

.....handsome he may be, but happy he is not,
because himself could not  understand why he was in one field (the side field) while the girl sheep were in the other.
 So for many a day he had moaned, despite being told that he would have to wait a while before he could get to be with them, but that one day he would.
 Still, though, he kept up his persistence about having his rights with them. 

And so we gave in, and opened the gates so the girls could go across the lane into the side field ....

....but the girls hesitated. 'Do we or do we not' head towards that sheep with horns who looks like trouble (but that is only because they are not in season, they will soon change their minds when they are requiring of his services)

Ah, but they haven't been in the side field for a few weeks. It is their favourite field, and so they slowly moved towards the gate towards the side field entrance, this being the field which Bonny and the goats graze in every day and in which Jakey Boy has been staying
...but where was Bonny, who would normally be in the side field?

Bonny was racing up and down in the big field. Having not been in this field for many months, she was romping about.....

....going thisaway and thataway....moaning all the while about being on her own, or so she thought......

..... and then she saw her mum, 

...... and everyone else, so everyone had a mad gallop together....

and then off to have breakfast....

Meanwhile, over in the side field,
the sheep had gone through the gates alright......

..... but then all became not so good as Jakey Boy romped his way over to the girls to say hi, only they weren't fussed....

.... so everyone went thisaway and thataway, which JB found annoying because all he wanted to do was say hi and sniff their bums....

.... but gradually everyone came together,....

... and off they all went, and on into their day.....
I am sure that if sheep could smile then JB would have a grin from ear to ear!