Monday, 23 July 2012

Snakes in the field

Been chuntering like a train over the Front Field. Scything, that's what I have been doing. Done quite a swatch. Even bigger swatch still to do. Nine DIY mini hay bales we got off the field yesterday. That makes eighty three in the hay stack in the barn. If I keep going and do manage to get the fields cut, then we are going to run out of room for the little hay bales.

To test to see if the sheep will eat the hay I sometimes give them a spare bale to have a munch on. So far, they have partaken of what I have offered them. Not sure if they will like the new hay bales though. They are more strawy in texture. Need bedding though. They will do for that.

Am up early this morning. Up at the crack of dawn, only dawn has not arrived yet. Thought I would get a quick blog posted, just to let you know that we are still here. Spend most of the day out on the field or browsing through borrowed music books, or music sites, on the Internet. Seems like music is starting to play quite a part in our lives. Hubs wants to get his violin mended, and wants to get a guitar, banjo and mandolin. I have an electric keyboard and a bodhrum (small drum) but would like to learn to play a squeeze box. I always used to play only classical pieces back in the UK, on my piano, which was left there. Had a keyboard, which I used to play in an old church out on Sheppey Marshes (in Kent) which didn't have any electricity. For a while I played on an old pump action organ, but the peddling action to get the air into that organ used to puff me and the organ out so we would both be wheezing at the end of the hymn, hence the purchase of that keyboard. Didn't play it much in the UK though, but it has come into its own here, now I am without a piano. I was sad to leave the piano behind, but it would not have survived out here, but having been forced towards the keyboard has also made me leave behind the classical music. It would seem that I am moving towards daft songs, like 'I'm forever blowing bubbles', and folky type songs plus Irish and Celtic. Life continues to surprise me. I never thought I would be singing either. Did a solo verse of The Old Oak Tree the other day in an old church which had the most fascinating tromp d'oill ( don't how to spell it, but it is when something is painted in a 3D effect, in this case it was the huge ceiling and by crikey it was a marvel to look at). Anyway I sang a verse, and surprised myself that I could actually do it. I keep surprising myself. At 65 I find that a fascination too, that I am constantly doing things which I have never done before. Coming to France has given me that. Thank goodness we came. Thank goodness we took the plunge. And God bless Hubs who still has to spend many hours at his PC so does not have the time to discover his hidden selves but hopefully in time he will be able to do so.

Anyway, I have rambled on. Snakes. In the field. There aren't any. But there might be. When it is bright and sunny I am not so aware of the awareness that there might be snakes. But last night I was out as the day started putting itself to bed, determined to try to get the far corner of the field cut before I put the scythe and myself to bed. It was tough going. I am still working with a 40cm bush scythe which is not recommended to cut grass with because it is made of too thick a metal, but it is the only one we could buy locally so it has to do until my new blade arrives. The grass slides beneath the blade if it is not in the correct position, that is the problem, so I am cutting about 95% of the grass, making the recently cut field look like it is sprouting a sparse beard. Oh well, I'm doing my best. 

Anyway, snakes. So, like I was saying, I was out in the far corner. The sheep seem to have given up with going over as far as that. The grass is lush. Whoopppeee! Should manage to get some decent hay off it. However, snake-thoughts started easing themselves into my mind as I scythed my way into the thickness. But I so wanted to get the corner finished. But I didn't. My feet seemed to steer me and my scything action in a different direction, which was out towards much thinner grass stems. So I gave up for the day, taking pleasure in thwacking some tall 'ready to flower and then to seed' thistles along the way. Thistles are 'pricklies'. Anything can grow here, but not pricklies. They are thwacked.

Anyway, must close now. Dawn has come and I must go.


Horst in Edmonton said...

Koodos to you, Vera. 65 and still wanting to farm. Fantastic.

Vera said...

Horst, I have to keep on going on!

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

Vera you never cease to amaze me. You just seem to get more and more energetic. Apart from our relatively small garden, compared to all your acres, which I enjoy working in, the only main energy goes into cycling. It has taken me a while to get going this year but I am back up to 35kms every two days. Long way short of what I used to do though!
I envy you being so musical. My parents were both excellent at the piano, but for some unknown reason I never had lessons. Probably because I was too involved with horses a bit later in life.
I am sure if there are any snakes around they will hear you coming and get out of the way. Take care and keep up the good work. Diane

Vera said...

Diane, it's true, I am getting fitter but then I needed to. But crikey, 35kms seems a fearsomely long way to cycle. Would like to do that but my knees and botty don't like the bike! But then, perhaps after all this scything, I might be fitter enough for those parts of me not to mind!
I never taught my children the piano, and I wish I had. My parents made me go to piano lessons. I am glad they did.
You are right about the snakes. That very same thought came to me when I was out scything this morning!

Happy cycling Diane.

rosaria williams said...

Just one thing: Holy Cows! You are strong and determined, discovering all the talents you have, and working so hard! Holy Cows!
At 65, I had maybe a fifth of your energy; nah, a tenth.

rosaria williams said...

p.s. wear sturdy shoes for sure, so snakes don't bother you, so you have plenty of protection from all that hard work.
I'm worn out just reading about it.

John Gray said...

I do like the way you write vera... you write , I suspect , just how you think!

Vera said...

Rosaria, sturdy shoes I do wear, and I am sure you had as much energy as I have but you just used it in a different, and probably more sensible, way!

John, you are right. My writing is what is in my head, heaven help me!

DUTA said...

You and your Hubs discoverig your "hidden selves" in south of France. That's great!

Hope you never encounter any snake, human or zoological in the fields or elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

From Astrid
There are a lot of snakes in my area(NSW,Australia).Harmless pythons and treesnakes have been in the house and under the house(the houses here are on stilts,due to seasonal flooding).Poisenous ones have been in the garden.Once I lifted an old pile of grass clippings,to find 6 babies of red-bellied black snake.I quickly put the mulch back on top.I have come across other snakes when scything,but they just want to get away.Most snakes will clear the area when they sense the vibration of scythe activity.They are not really a problem when left alone,and allowed to get away.

Vera said...

Hello Astrid, I was working on that thought as well, that snakes will prefer not to be in the vicinity of things happening which to do interest them! Thanks for stopping by.