To hear such a sound in the middle of the night is quite a freaky experience. To know that that chicken is in egg laying mode sitting in the dark up a fig tree is equally as freaky. Not sure why I feel freaked out, but it just seems that something in the world is not quite right, that certain things should happen during the day, and other things should happen at night, that's all.
I mean, what is that chicken doing? Practising her clucking sounds ready for the time when she can get down to egg laying because she can't get to sleep? Or is she dreaming about laying an egg? Or is her body system prepping her to lay an egg even though chickens can't see in the dark and should be on a flatter surface rather than balancing on the rather thin branches of the fig tree to lay an egg? Such thoughts, then, have been going through my head this day.
It is very cold now. Minus 2 during the day, even though the sun is shining. Out in the Courtyard it is warm enough to sit, albeit still having to maintain the winter layers of clothing, but the wind chill is high.
I have just given the sheep, who are out in the Front Field today, some hay, and also broken the ice in their water trough. They are thirsty girls now they have more hay and alfalfa in their diet. In an hour's time I will have to go out into the Sheep Barn and Paddock, and fill the hay and water containers. I am not going to pick up the sheep poo on the ground and transfer it to the veg plot today. For one, the poo will probably be frozen to the ground and so will prove to be unmoveable anyway. And two: it is too cold!
I have also picked some mangel (sugar beets) for the pigs supper, and donated a stalk of brussel sprouts and some handfuls of last autumn's harvest of acorns to keep them going meanwhile. I can't do anything much indoors because the place is full of sawdust and brick dust from the building work. Can't do any laundry because the water hose to the washing machine is frozen up. Might not even be able to wash up (hooray) because Hubs has just said the tap in the kitchen looks like it is starting to freeze as well. Can't do any veg plot work as ground is frozen. Could do bramble cutting but am not.
So what am I doing? Sitting at my PC obviously because I am writing a blog, .....
......but previous to that I had been plugged into the BBC Radion 4 via the Internet. And I was listening to a play......
.....and this is my desk. To the left is a pile of notebooks which hold my writing work plans and reminders. All remain closed today, and have been since January really. Should get back in the saddle with writing, but I hit a wall with it all and am at the moment of the opinion that writing it a waste of time. No doubt that mode will pass soon. It always has done in the past. Sooner or later I will receive a flash of inspiration, words will tumble into my head, and off I will go on another book.
To the right of the PC is my bottle of water which has cider vinegar added. Am quite hooked on cider vinegar and could be a cider-vinegarholic if ever there was such a thing. I blame it on my mum. She used to swig vinegar, and I have carried on in the same manner.
In front of that, to the right, is a nearly empty bottle of Diatomic Earth, which is excellent for worms and things in dogs and chickens, amongst many other things. It is there to remind me to order some more from over the Internet. it has been there for three months. Must get a move on with ordering it. Bools has an itchy botty which DE seems to cure.
The cup of tea and piece of cake is lunch. Have got some homegrown lamb (from the freezer) in a pot on the stove. Was going to make a roast dinner, but effort for doing so has whittled away, so a lamb stir fry it is going to be.
And the rest of the paraphalia is my patchwork sewing. A recent visit to a new friend inspired me to start off again with my patchwork, but hand sewing. Before I came here to France I used to do machine patchwork, whereby I cut up some of my large stash of material into strips and just went round and round until I had made a big chunk of fabric most of which went into making duvet covers:
......one is on the settee at the moment. Hubs has been having a sleep hence the white cover left at random. This is the room behind me. A tarpaulin is on the ceiling and more are on the floor, but it is cosy.
Bools and Gus are roasting by the fire, although Bools is looking fed up, him being bored with having to stay inside. Hubs is now up and working at his PC. You can just see him to the left of the wall unit.
I have on my feet my less muddy boots, the really muddy ones being left in the hallway. I get fed up with having to take my boots on and off so often will wear a pair indoors until dark, when my indoor shoes go on. I am wearing lacy thermal longjohns. Sexy they are not. Neither is my head gear:
....or my scarf, or my homemade cardi, or my six layers of clothing beneath them. I am still not overly warm.
Hope these littl'uns are warm......
Twins! One black one, one black and white. We now have three sets of twins, and one single lamb making seven new arrivals. The lambs have already made a little gang and often go and visit other mums in the hope that they can cadge a drop or two of milk. They also visit their dad, Jacob, but he either ignores them or gently head butts them away.
Meanwhile, back to doinf a bit of patchwork and maybe a short play on Radio 4....but oops! I have been chatting away for far too long, it is now nearly five o'clock and I must go out and do the Sheep Barn.
Hope you are keeping warm if you are under cold weather conditions, hope you are keeping cool if you are hotter climates!