Tuesday, 7 February 2012

By golly gosh it was flippin chilly here yesterday, which was mostly due to a howling freezing wind which cut us to the bone when we went out to look after the animals, and did the same indoors as it drove its way through every crack and hole it could find to get at us. I had a hissy fit in the kitchen with the frustration of trying to do domestic stuff in a kitchen which was colder than my freezer (probably wasn't!) and huffed my way off to the electric blanket in the bed to feel thoroughly sorry for myself. Which didn't last long. Just a couple of hours. Enough for me to have a nap. Enough to get warmed up again. Still gave up with being in the kitchen though.

Hubs, meanwhile, had dozed in front of the log burner which was really ineffective at producing heat. It was going its best, I think, but the wind chill factor, via the drafts, was too great. It was with relief when night came and the wind fled somewhere else. We warmed up then, just a little.

This little lot, though, did not seem to mind the cold. They were out in the Side Field all day, our thinking being that it would be easier to get them back to the Paddock should the weather worsen. All are well.

Spotty, (second lamb from the right) and White Socks (far left) are the most distinctive lambs. Both are boys. (Above photo)

Spotty is yelling for his mum here. Needs a tipple no doubt.

And here is the dad, Jacob, of the breed Jacob:

We woke up to snow this morning. No good for letting the sheep out on to the fields. Try telling them that, though. Gave them lucerne, maize and hay. Kept them quiet for a while. Now they are moaning. Another translation issue here. French to English or vice versa is do-able via using Google Translator. Google, as yet, do not have a language converter for Sheep speak to Engligh. Would be very handy today. Had quite a raised voice at them when I went to give them some hay, believing them to have eaten the lucerne, only to find that they had nibbled the best bits and left the rest. I walked away, yelling over my shoulder, "You eat what you are given here". I think my grown up children would remember my insistence, when they were young, that 'they eat what they are given'. I can be a hard task master sometimes!

The snow is quickly melting now, but the wind has returned. It sounds fiercer than yesterday. Hubs is in hibernation mode and asleep on the settee, and the dogs are in their normal position roasting in front of the fire. All are gently zizzing. All are waiting for their lunch. All are hoping, probably, that I do not have another hissy fit which results in them getting dog biscuits and a sandwich.

The chickens have just got up. Two elderly bantams stayed up in the tree until mid day, Orpy and some of his hens stayed in the half height hut beneath the tree, peaking out occasionally to see if the snow had gone, the other soon-to-go-to-the-pot cockerel was with the rest of the hens hanging out in the Tall Barn. None seemed to want to risk walking over the white stuff.

The trio of pigs slept in the brick cabin last night, presumably because it had a reasonable layer of bedding, the wooden cabin's bedding quota having been used by them to make a sun terrace. I explained to them that this was not a good idea, but, again, translation difficulties made the language conversion not do-able. I refused to give them extra bedding, as I considered it a waste of effort if they were going to move it all outside.

Off to the kitchen now.

Monday (today): Well we survived the freezing weekend. Now we have skating rink conditions. It makes for interesting excursions outside....will I, or will I not, fall over on my butt so I walk with doddering caution  when outside, which is easy at the moment as the cold weather seems to pulling the plug on my energies. All I want to do is sit down and sink into slumberland. I hate it. Reminds me of the time I had my strokes. When all energy expired. When I nearly was an angel strumming my harp up in the heavens. To combat that tiredness I joined a local gym. Figured that if I was to pass over then I would be fit enough to play a stonkingly big harp. Well obviously that didn't happen, because here I am writing to you. But when I feel a heavy tiredness I do experience a mild rush of panic because it reminds me of that time of ill health, 'Is my body giving up on me' being my main stream of thinking at these times.

The sheep are out in the Main Field today. Not sure if they ought to be out there, but they go stir-crazy in their Paddock and barn and keep on moaning about how mistreated they are, with a 'What the hell do you think you are doing keeping us locked up' attitude.

The chickens are in the Sheep Barn, raking up the straw bedding and cleaning out the poo. Bless them. They do save me a job.

I have cleaned out the sheep's long trough, which was full of hay but which had been used as a dormitory and toilet by Jacob. Disliking waste, I donated the pile of soiled hay to the pigs who plunged their snouts into it with gusto. Chickens last seen in the nearly empty trough cleaning out the remainder of poo and maize. Teamwork, that's what we have here.

Retreated back to the house to unthaw hands and toes. Weather forecast says minus 4 tonight. That's not too bad. Didn't look at the rest of the week. Take each day as it comes, that is my thinking after depressing myself with reading the long range forecasts.

Oops, must sign off. My head has just tilted forward and laid itself down on the desk. Sorry to have chatted on for so long. Promised myself that I would write a shorter blog, which, for some reason, I do not seem to be able to do...........zzzzzzzzz.......no, Vera, you will not drop of to sleep. You are a student smallholder. Your smallholding needs you. Get up on your feet.....Go Do!!!!!

Some of the gang out front, by the Sheep Paddock, having a jolly rake amongst the hay bale that died.


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am really grateful that our house is warm and we really do not have to many problems with wind sneaking in. I just went out to feed the wild birds this morning, throw some ashes on the compost heap and bring some wood in. My hands were so painful from the cold!! We still have about 6 ins of snow all over and no sign of it melting yet. Our neighbour did some shopping for us yesterday in a neighbours 4 x 4!
I do not envy you with a cold kitchen. The lambs are so cute, I love them. Diane

Vera said...

Hi Diane: our snow did not last long and was gone by mid day, but it has been really cold, with minus 9 forecasted for tonight. Not to worry, though, our electric blanket keeps us warm!

Jean said...

Thank goodness for the electric blankets - what ever did we do before them - leaky hot water bottles I seem to remember.
Your lambs are sooooo cute, I bet they are very cuddly.
I know what you mean about a previous illness - you never forget what it felt like to be so ill. You must be very fit now, looking after all your animals and land.