As can be seen by the clock, it is 6.30 in the morning, and I am the only one up and doing. The rest of the Coe contingent are still tucked up: Hubs in bed, and Bools, Gussy and me are in the office. The rabbits are in the house.
"Rabbits? What rabbits! You've never mentioned rabbits before!"
Ah, but I have. I have said that I wasn't fussed about keeping them, that they were to stay outside of our living accommodation, and that I was going to have difficulty with not lovey-doveying them.
Anyway. Bools is zizzing away on the carpet, sort of all twisted up. Can't be comfortable for him. Gussy, is tucked up on his bed by my chair. He is zizzing as well. That leaves me with my tea and toast, so thought I would have a chat with you.
Crikey, but its been manic here. No builders, thank goodness. There was a time not so long ago when we were not happy when the builders were absent, but its OK now. Gives us time to catch up with ourselves. Most of the busyness is going on out in the fields. Sheep arriving soon. Dock weeds are still growing with vigour, but so too is the grass now we have had some rain. Given up digging up the docks. Ground went too hard, then the docks put down deeper roots so not a hope in hell's chance of getting the ***** things up. Sorry about that bit of swearing - it was only a mild swear-type word, but docks make you do that. Swear. Cuss. They drive you to want to do anything at all to get rid of them.
It's been so manic here that I caught myself looking forward to next year's winter shut down. But only for a moment. It is surprising how much one can forget the chilled bones, the loss of feeling in one's toes, and the fingers so cold that it is hard to get them to do things. But it is a slower time. Now, everything is working fine, fingers, toes, and everything in between. Just as well. Spring is springing into life. Loads to do.
It's been manic here because we are living a farm-type life. Growing things. Seeds. Potting. Soil shifting. 'Where the **** did all those weeds come from. They weren't there last time I looked" being a frequent thought in one's head. Sorry about the itty bitty word of naughtiness again. The thing is, that things have a thrust on them when spring arrives. Everything must grow. It has a force. It is unstoppable. Where once there was clear earth, turn around, and goodness me, it is covered with plants all hoping to park themselves up on this nice clear patch. The very same patch of earth which was earmarked for planting those seedlings which are threatening to over-run the potting 'shed'.
It's been manic here because we are being fenced. Back field, front field, and front paddock-which-was-supposed-to-be-my-nice-lawn. Can't afford the grillage ( wire) to go with the fence posts, but at least the posts will be in place so that Hubs and me can finish the job when money permits. We have been pushed on. With the sheep arriving, and being so heavily infested with docks in the Station Field where they were supposed to graze, this has pushed us into having to get the other fields fenced. Which means that we will probably spent another winter sleeping in the caravan. Not to worry. The fencing needed to be done.
It's been manic here because Tam Wood needs to be finished, Hubs having ordered the Tamworth pigs for mid summer. Fencing nearly finished, grillage left to be put on.
It's been manic here because Hubs has got to get the rabbit hutches sorted out. Rabbits? What rabbits! These rabbits:
So, Sarah, bless her, screeched up in her car late evening last night. "Here are your rabbits" she said with gleefulness. (Sara lives in the House of the Camels, down the road, and has animals of various sorts. She opens to the public from Easter to September)
"Rabbits?" I said.
"Yes, the ones I was speaking to Lester about the other day".
Oh those rabbits. From the mum of the boyfriend of the young lady who exercises Sarah's horses. The same mum who purchased a boy rabbit and a girl rabbit a while back, with the intent to have rabbits to eat. The very same mum who fell in love with her rabbits, and couldn't do the dastardly deed of recycling them. So she now has ten. With the number rising as we speak. Rabbits are keen to make progeny.
So two have been donated to us. They are in the dog kennel. On my kitchen table. Because Bools and Gus who do wake up occasionally would simply love to have a go at recycling the rabbits themselves. And Hubs's cooing over them, and " Aren't they sweet, and oh look they look so pretty," and other besotted comments he has made, does not bode well for him being able to recycle them either. Time will tell. Funnily enough, I seem to have the more sterner attitude, the 'We are living on a smallholding, and this is the rythm of life. We look after our animals, give them a good life, and then they enter the cycle of life' type of thinking. But that is probably only the case for the moment. Hubs is already talking about extending the 'flock' to make a breeding 'herd'. (What do you call loads of rabbits. Any ideas?)
But: Bestest of all: They eat docks. Yes they do! They eat docks!
And this is the boy rabbit and the girl rabbit, in their newly decorated temporary home, and the boy rabbit, bless him, is eating a dock leaf, of which there is an unlimited supply out in the fields. They are four months old. And so they become our first farm animals.
Also contributing to the general state of manic busyness: Hubs is still working all day at his PC for a company in the UK, doing a job which is intensely stressful to his head but pays the bills. And I am still working at writing, self publishing, and sorting out a shop for my Internet website. Meanwhile, the mini-farm is demanding more of our energies and seems to have taken on a life of its own.
Life is good down here in South West France, just north of Tarbes, east of Plaisance, by the River Adour. Life is good.