Friday, 25 May 2012

DIY hay bales, mozzie attack, and sun.

Wednesday. I had to do it. I had to retrieve my poor excuse of a sunbed which has been spending its time being used as a barricade to foxes and other predators in the doorway of the Middle Barn to keep the mother hens and their chicks safe. I had to rescue it. I had to go out in the sunshine. I had to soak up that sunshine. I had to snooze in that sunshine. And I roasted. Would have not roasted quite so much if I had removed my thermals, but I didn't want to take a chance, the sun having been very elusive for the last few weeks. It was lovely to have that roast. I could feel the heat entering right the way in to my bones. The downside was that lying on the sunbed put me at the same height as Bools and Gus. They stopped licking me when I growled back at them. The geese and hens kept their distance.
The mosquitoes have not kept their distance. The air is thick with them. In the morning I have taken to wearing my straw hat sprinkled with citronella oil. I am also am wrapped up with fleece, scarf, and long trousers tucked in to socks. It gets hot with all these clothes on, so I end up drenched in perspiration, but I am not complaining.

So what am I doing? Scything. A thought has just popped in to my head that I could perhaps wear my beekeeping outfit to keep the mozzies away from my skin. I might look a bit odd, standing with bee hat, bee suit, all in white, whilst honing the curved edge of my scythe, but probably no odder than being wrapped up as if for winter on a gloriously warm early morning in May.

I am doing well with the art of scything. Am managing to not lift the blade so much off the ground when I am doing the scything strokes, and even get into a nifty rhythm occasionally. I generally wheelbarrow the cut grass over to the Side Field where I can spread it out to dry, and when it is dry, wheelbarrow it into the Porch gateway there to be stacked up because I didn't know what I was supposed to do with it next. Anyway, an idea ventured forth in to my head last night, and that was to make some DIY hay bales. Now last year I had a go at making these using big plastic boxes and string, and they did work despite Hubs nearly falling over with laughter at my hay bale attempts. I didn't make many, just three.

.....well this was my first attempt!

I have made four so far, these two being the first. I think you will agree that they do look a bit better than my first attempt this time last year! And the hay is DIY as well, scythed and dried by moi, not like last year when I used the left over hay that a farmer had cut from our fields. So why are the bales perched up on things? Because I caught the chickens pecking at them when I left them on the ground.

I had a bit of a disaster yesterday. Upon examining the top tray of seedlings in the Tardis,  to see how much growth had been done since the morning, there was no growth because there were no seedlings to be seen. Gone. All gone. I couldn't believe my eyes. Just pots with compost in, that is all that I could see.

I had changed the cover that morning, taking off the tinted one and replacing it with a clear plastic cover. I thought it would encourage the seedlings to grow less stretched, become more bushy, give them the light that I thought they needed. I had reckoned without the force of the sun, for it had fried those seedlings into nothingness. This morning I put a towel over the roof, but a couple of pots still became fried, so I covered the whole lot in a sheet. Tomorrow I am going to rig up swimming pools in the trays that the pots are kept in so that the compost remains damp. Either that, or I go buy some young veggie plants from the plant sellers!

Our builders turned up today. Did a bit, then went off early, today being Friday when they always work for half a day. But the plumber came this afternoon. We have a shower. We can play with the knobs of the shower. We can stand underneath the shower. But we stay dry because it is not plumbed in to the water system yet. They also did some work to the loo. We can now sit on the loo and it remain firmly in place rather than tilting ever so slightly if we sit down on the seat with too much of a thump. It has been screwed to the floor, that is what has happened to the loo, plus it has its cistern now in place although, like the shower, there is no water in it, only in the bowl of the toilet, which we still have to flush by watering can. Still, it is soooooo much better than the porta potti we had to use back when we were living in the caravans.

Counting our blessings.... we can stand in the shower and make believe that we are having a shower, and we can most definitely sit on the toilet with more confidence. Plus the sun is shining so I can keep my DIY hay bale activities on the move. 

Hope you have a good weekend, and bye for now.


Horst in Edmonton said...

It is amazing as how the workers work in other countries. It seem that the native French don't want to work, but they complain very easily as to how they should get paid more and work less. Seems to be a little backward compared to how the economy is going there.

Horst in Edmonton said...

Love your Hay bales, good work Vera.

DUTA said...

Sunshine can be very pleasant after days of rain, and you did the right thing to go out and get youself 'roasted'.

Nice hay bales ( certainly compared to your first attempt)!
If we ignore the seedlings thing, you've got positive happenings on your farmholding now.

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

We had a whole day of sun yesterday and what a pleasure it was, problem was it has gone again today!! We managed to get the grass cut but no, I have not mastered a scythe yet nor am I likely to. I think you are just wonderful.

Yea I heard the first buzzing of mozzies last night, with all the rain we have had I am sure there is plenty of places for them to breed in :((

I am impressed with your hay bales. Seedlings, don't mention them to me mine are also going backwards, not a good year for the garden as yet. My cherry tree which is generally laden is extremely sad this year. What few cherries there are all seem to be split, thankfully I still have some frozen from the same tree last year. The plums do not look much better! Keep well and chase those mosquitoes away. Diane

Vera said...

Hello Horst, hope that hip of yours is mending and thanks for stopping by.

Duta, I do like that new photo you have posted up of yourself, and yes, it is nice to have a roast in the sunshine after weeks of rain, and we are still enjoying living in France.

Diane, I am still practising scything! Your fruit trees have taken quite a hammering this year, and ours have as well. C'est la vie! And those mozzies! Past 7 in the evening and they are out and about, so stay indoors and catch up with other things for the moment. Hope your seedlings catch up. Mine are late, but I suspect everyone's are. Have a good weekend. x