Manfully hitching up his trousers, slinging a saw in gungho fashion over one shoulder, a mallet hanging limply from his other hand, and secateurs (mine!) securely poked into his pocket but yet leaving the handles showing sufficient for me to know that he had been on the 'borrow' again, and me not minding that he had thought he had need of them, but nevertheless feeling a little irritated for was this not the day when I had indeed decided to go out into the front garden and do deadheading stuff and other trimmings of winter-sleep shrubs before they wake up and complain that I am hurting them by doing unto them a prune!
Ah so! Putting this ever so slight draft of annoyance out of my head, with pride I watched Hubs, with saw, with mallet, and with secateurs bouncing jauntily from out of his pocket, stride manfully down to the lower part of our woods for Stage One. His second in command, Gussy-boy, trotted equally as manfully behind him: what a grand team they looked.
Meanwhile, with no secateurs to mess about in the garden with, what else could I do except sit on the front door step in my rocking chair and do some knitting, with my second in command, Bools, guarding the homestead, and me.
And here's a curious thing: for a while, sitting in the warm sunshine, I felt connected with all those other women who, for generations, would also have sat and done something or other on the porch infront of these self-same doors while their individual Hubs would have been out doing their man-things. Treasured moment indeed. I felt the span of the generations, of the many families who would have shared this space, and I felt connected with these families as if they were my blood-kin. Oh wow!
Just off to make Hubs a sarnie... be back in a moment.
One hour plus later: sarnie's in tums, Internet been browsed as we munched, and, ...ah 'Tamwood Project' still awaits my attention. So, what is the 'Tamwood Project' all about?
Well, aways across the front field is a patch of woodland which is suitably quiet enough to be able to keep piggies in. The photo above is of the house taken from the start of this certain section.
Et voila! The woodland itself. This, then is The Project. Phase One: clearing of the fallen wood and general other natural detritus. Hubs has been busily engaging himself with said task. Manfully he has hauled logs hither and thither, snipped away at 'in the way' branches, found out that his chainsaw is useless because the portable generator is not meaty enough to drive it, hence the saw he carried with him. His arms are beginning to get quite muscley. Bless.
Phase Two: With saw in case more sawing needs to be done, and several green metal poles slung over his shoulder as well, plus mallet now in pocket, off Hubs goes down to the wood, with Gussy-boy galloping along as company providing it is not anywhere near dinner time in which case Gussy-boy's preference is to linger with me and Bools in the kitchen, in hopeful anticipation that some food might be coming his way and if he sits ever so sweetly and keeps looking at me I might forgive him for taking a nip out of Robin's hand, although Robin was poking and flapping his hand through the gate at the time of his being nipped. And anyway, it was more a case of sharp teeth colliding with the knuckles on the back of Robin's hand which made the blood run so effusively. I mean, Gussy-boy did not actually get a grip on R's hand. He could of, but he didn't.
But what, I might ask, is a grown man of some considerable height doing in regards to flapping his hand like he was trying to emulate a flying bird in the very face of a dog on guard dog duty, and wanting to make sure the 'guard dog duty' task was in excellent order so he could be fed as part of his reward. Gussy-boy, that is, not R.
Not to worry, though. R took it all in good part, and allowed me to mop up the rivulet of blood with a clean teatowel, although went a bit monosybalitic for a while, 'from shock' he said after he had been given a cup of tea and a piece of cake to recover. Bless.
Now were was I! Oh yes. Tamwood Project. Phase Two now in operation:
Et ici the green poles, some now in place.
And on they march, close to the river on the left, before they swing to the right and then come round again to make a large contained area. Well, it will be a closed area only Hubs has run out of metal poles. Not to worry, all will come in time.
It is in the Grand Plan of Hubs, that we keep Tamworth pigs here. He says they don't grow too big, and three should keep us going in meat. When they have their babies, that is. I think little piglets are the darlingest creatures, so I guess I shall be on yet another steep learning curve when it comes to despatch time.
We have been offered Vietnamese pot bellies, but Hubs is not enthused about them. Says they carry too much fat. So, tamworths it is. Or we might try the local black pigs, which I think look a bit on the wild side. Erring, then, on the side of the tamworths, I named this section of wood 'Tamwood' hence the 'Tamwood Project'.
Hubs is now nearing Phase Three: which is drilling holes in the metal stakes so that upwards of five rows of fencing wire can be run through the stakes, to which the wire will then be attached. Apparently piggies can be holy terrors about escaping.
The Station Field Project is now nearing completion. This is the site of the skirmish between me and the docks. The docks have won, I am sorry to say. Mostly because it has been so cold and wet here since Christmas, that it has been difficult to get onto the field to get the docks into a deceased state. Then all effort expired in me! Yes it did! Must be the end of the winter settling into my bones, because I have felt positively ancient recently. Have been aching all over, been creaking like old bed springs, and have now got the sneezing snuffles. Not to worry. Took myself in hand today, having got fed up with feeling elderly (well I am over 60), did some positive thinking, gave myself an hour of self healing, looked at myself in the mirror and told myself to stop being a wuz. Job done!
But re the Station Field Project: the field is now fenced, and the gate post has just been inserted. All by a delightful family of French people, the son of which is someone who we would give employment to if we could. This will be the field for the sheep. On the subject of lambs prancing all about the place - another steep learning curve I think, when it comes time for despatching them as well. But Val up in the Charente says that it gets easier as time goes on. Hope so. And I am looking forward to having a go at spinning, after Sara down at the House of the Camels, showed me her newly purchased spinning wheel. I made a right muck-up of having a go at spinning, but am sure that I will be able to master that skill in time.
And I think that's about it. Nearly time for bed, so I bid you a fond farewell for the moment, and hope that whatever challenges your life is laying down before you, that you don't give up but keep on having a go. x