Wednesday 8 September 2010

Time for a change

With their normal field of the day now reduced to dried grass because of lack of rain, we decided to put them on the Front Field, which is has lush green grass but no fencing. Not wanting the girls to go off down the lane on a jolly, Hubs took a deep breath and bought some electric fencing to make them a temporary paddock. Good idea, we thought.

And it worked! Trouble was that the girls were not fussed with their new grazing. After first munching everything growing except the grass, they then spent the rest of the day complaining that they did not like their new patch even though they could get back to the Sheep Arbre for their afternoon nap. 

So what they did was keep on yelling at us their dislike of the situation, parking themselves up by the Paddock gate which was just beside the office. Hubs has had his head buried deep in data work the last few days. Needs to concentrate. Even I keep a low profile, taking cups of tea and slices of cake to keep him going. Difficult days, these, for him. The smallholding needs him, but bills have to be paid so at the moment he has to work, via the Internet, with the UK, doing a job which is mentally taxing such that he gets all twisted up in knots sometimes. Not to worry, though. The company he is working for is gradually falling on to the ground, so change is on its way for him, which in itself is a nagging background concern. But then we take ourselves off round the farm which always has a re-energising effect on both of us.

Anyway, the sheep were shooed off back to their temporary grazing area by an irritated Hubs, and there they stayed for the rest of the day.
And it became a precious moment for me towards the evening. There I was, picking up the acorns from beneath the oak tree, Gus and Bools looking after me as per usual. To my left, the sheep were grazing,  some of them now chomping their way through the compost heap. Also on the compost heap were some of the hens. Oh so up to the heap the White Cockerel marched, scrabbled up to the top, kept on going upwards onto the back of one of the black speckled hens, did his male duty, then slid himself off her and back down the heap, job done. The other hens were in the Veg Plot to the right of me. Off the White Cockerel went to see what they were up to.

And in the Tam Paddock Tess and Max waited for the acorns which I was harvesting for them. For a rare moment all the animals were surrounding me. Lovely moment indeed.

Oh and I must just mention the meat thing again. Yummy yums! Had some lamb cutlets at the weekend from the recycled sheep. Pot roasted them first, then into the oven to finish off. They were absolutely delish and even I had a second helping. It is unlikely that I will ever enjoy meat from other sources now, and if you have a parcel of land on which you can also make a small farm, then do it! But a word of warning: once you have got used to the work and responsibility of looking after animals, then you will become addicted both to the life and them.

Bbrrrr! Sitting here writing this blog at 6 in the morning. It has been my habit to rise early, and do jobs and other stuff, in the nuddy. Oooh, but it is a tad on the chilly side this morning, and methinks that I will have to think about ordering some new thermals for the winter ahead. For the last two winters I have worn pretty lacy thermals, which are very feminine but absolutely useless in regards to keeping my bod warm. So this year I am going to order some man-type thermals. They will not be very nice to look at, especially the long-johns complete with loo-opening, but needs must. I am also going to make some long cotton petticoats, after having found my box of winter skirts, which were not findable last winter so I had to go through the winter wearing two pairs of summer cotton trousers at the same time. So long-johns, long petticoats, long winter skirts, boots (just ordered), several layers of jumpers, topped off by a homemade crocheted wrap. Methinks I will look quite the farm-girl! 

Oh so now the chickens are kicking up a fuss, wanting to be let out so they can get on with their day. The sheep are still asleep, but will be heading out to the Station Field as per normal, Hubs having given up with trying to coax them into staying on their new pasture. Bools is giving himself a wash round at my feet. Gus is tucked up in the house, as is Hubs in the Bedroom Caravan. Those two, and the sheep, are not early risers.  Max and Tess will get up when they hear me, every hopeful for a handful of acorns. 

And I am getting more 'goose bumps', so bye for now, and I hope your day is a good one.


Diane said...

TYiu are right it certainly is a bit cooler this morning, but we have had 19mm of rain over the last two nights so I am very happy about that. Diane

Vera said...

We also have had plenty of rain, Diane, for which we are also grateful.

French Fancy... said...

I hope we get a photo of you decked out as the French rural look woman - only once the longjohns are in place obviously.

I feel for your man having to sit indoors staring at the screen when there is so much he would rather be doing on your land, especially with the weight of forthcoming work changes hanging over him. Here's looking forward to the day when he can be on the land all his working day.

Roz said...

Best you get knitting yourself some legwarmers with all that lovely wool you sheared Vera!! Could you make me some too!! Its a shame there are so many signs that summer is turning to autumn - I am not looking forward to splits in fingers and frozen toes. Lets hope summer isn't done with us yet!!
The piggys look well xxx

Vera said...

FF: Hope your new job is going well, and I will indeed post a photo of myself in full winter-time regalia!

Roz: Autumn is most certainly arriving this year, unlike the previous two years when summer went straight into winter. Have you got some fingerless gloves? Only I could crochet you up a pair and send them off to you in the post if you haven't. They were an absolute blessing for me and Hubs last year, and I would love to make you a pair if you don't have any. 'Frozen toes' - well I'm sorry but you will have to deal with that problem yourself!

Anonymous said...

Hello Vera,
I'm in France just now, in my role of "Clerk of Works", and it's true that summer is fading fast. Our grape vine is thick with excited birds having a feast, and I've made pears baked in spiced wine today, a real winter pud!!
I like the sound of your Little House on the Prarie outfit, and I know that multi layered "must keep warm" feeling only too well.
Best Wishes,

Vera said...

Hi Ondine: Summer is indeed fading fast this year. The last two years it has lingered on well into October / November, such that we haven't really had an Autumn. But this year we didn't get much of a Summer, instead we are getting to experience Autumn, which makes a change I suppose! Hope you are well, and enjoying the harvest of that grape vine of yours. And that 'winter pud'- sounds very yummy! Ah, so you multi layer as well! So you must also do Little House on the Prairie as well in regards to outfits!

Anonymous said...

Hello Vera,
I've perfected the Russian Peasant look, all black and grey, but I think that it can quickly be converted into the French Peasant look with the addition of a top layer of one of those brightly coloured cotton wrappers from Gamm Vert!!