Friday 19 December 2014

Dearest Smeggy......

Just wanted to share with you this: that I have a cooker now working. No, not the Rayburn, but the SMEG which has stood in the hallway, still in its cardboard box, for months. Now it is working. It has lots of rings, several ovens, is cream, clean, and sparkly. It will not stay that way for long, not once I start using it.

But first I have to read the instructions, and overcome my terror of it. I know I am being silly, but ............ Apparently two ovens are fan assisted, but you can have half a fan, bottom fan, all fan, etc..... All I want is to switch the SMEG on, not have to worry about what bit of the fan to have on as well.

It would seem that I am being ungrateful for this step forward in the saga of me getting a 'proper' kitchen, and please believe me when I say that I am as pleased as anything to have a decent cooker to cook with. The old calor gas one has been slowly failing, with only three of the four rings working and even they do not work to their full capacity, making the cooking of food a slow and arduous job. I have, on occasion, felt like flinging the thing out of the door.

But now it is me and SMEGgy, learning how to get along with each other, our first engagement being cheese on toast this evening. And oh what a treat is to have a grill, and one that lights up too!

Now, the reason why I chose Smeggy was because it has sufficient gas rings to cook various things at the same the pot of dog food, the pot of pig food, the kettle, our dinner, the pressure cooker, etc...... It also has two ovens ( I did not know about the third until just a few minutes ago, and I did not know they were fan assisted either until just now) which will be handy when I cook for guests. But more that anything, the SMEG chose me, just like the kitchen kept on about wanting green floor tiles.

So what happened was this: I liked a friend's cooker, and saw the same cooker in a local electrical shop, but could not justify the expense of buying it at the time. Months passed, and still the cooker stayed on display. Then on one particular day I had an urge to go and have a proper look at it, thinking that soon it would become old stock and perhaps even become out of stock. So I took at look at it, and was dismayed to find that the quality of the cooker was not very good, and then my feet started walking down the rows of other cookers on display, and then they suddenly stopped in front of the SMEG, and without any proper look at it, quite clearly 'This is the one' came into my head. So we bought it, but without not really knowing exactly what the cooker could do.

Not to worry, I shall start exploring its potential tomorrow, I have to, because the old cooker has now been sent to its eternal rest, bless it.

And Lissie is with calf, being a week overdue, but Bonny was done again by the nice AI (artificial insemination) man.We have dispatched two male piglets, one more go go. It is still mild here but damp. It is surprising just how much mud can be made just by it being damp.

And I have got a proper cooker! Wahooooo!

So am off to read the instruction manual, and then have a trot around YouTube to see if anyone has posted anything up about the SMEG which might help me understand how to use it.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

The piglets, and more bacon.....

And another slab of pork turned into DIY bacon,

It might not look like the shop bought bacon,
but it tastes far better.
The meat was wet brined for five days
(salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves)
then firmed up in the freezer so I could cut it into slices.
It is the best bacon I have made so far,
and had inspired me to have a go at making ham.

Today we start on the long task of getting the male piglets into the freezer.
We have tried to keep them separated,
but piglets being piglets,
well, we did not win that battle.

But since we were going to 'do' them in January,
we are only a month early,
and they have had a gloriously mucky time out in the paddocks,
so we feel that they have had a good life,
albeit a not very long one.

Upon observation of the rear end of the males yesterday,
I noticed that the bottom of  the testicles,
which are clearly visible on a pig,
not underneath and hidden
but slap bang on the lower part of their rear end,
that the testicles on one of the male piglets
was filling up. 
This is not good.
It means that he is becoming sexually active.

I also noticed that the little minny on one of the girls piglets
was looking pert. 
It means that she is also moving into sexual maturity.

And another thing:
The voices of all the piglets have broken,
like teenage boys do when they reach a certain age,
from high pitch to low pitch,
that is what has happened to all the pigs, except one,
but even then the normal ear splitting squeal of that one has deepened.
The loss of the squeal is a good thing though,
it was driving Lester nuts as he prepared their food trays,
but now they grunt, which is much better,
although does signify the advancing maturity of them all.

So yesterday we decided that, come rain or shine,
we would start the slaughtering of the males.
And then we have the four goats to do.
And a sheep or two.
It is now the time of the meat harvest,
which is the emotionally hardest of all the various harvests we have here.
But it has to be done.
It is the cycle of life.

That's all for today, folks.
The day is moving on and we have lots to do.
Hope you have a good day,
and sending blessings to you all.


Friday 12 December 2014

The bed kept calling me back to itself today.....

My bed kept calling me back to itself today,
twice it did so,
and twice I answered its call.
Anyway, it was a lot warmer in bed,
what with the electric blanket being switched on,
so I was roasty and toasty and snug.
But on the whole it was day of not a lot happening,
except that we had a family pow wow about the kitchen units,
with Himself deciding that he was going to make them himself,
then deciding he wasn't going to,
then deciding he was.
So nothing much happened today,
even lunch was recycled five day old soup.
First day: carrot, stock cubes, DIY cream, sweetcorn, and celery.
Second day: to the leftovers of the previous day was added a tin of tomatoes, some DIY lardons,
more stock cubes, and the rest of the sweetcorn.
Third day: to the leftovers was added the remainder lunch, which was potatoes cooked in farm milk, added to which was lots of garlic, the remainder of  a Heinz tomato ketchup bottle and a jar of DIY tomato soup.
Fourth day: remainder added to DIY pork meatloaf (from the freezer), together with a slice of DIY pig's head rillard (also from freezer) to form a rather tasty mush, which was added to rice.
Fifth day: remainder fried up again, eggs added to make egg fried rice and leftover soupy pork mush.
It was very yummy.
The soup is now all gone,
and I miss having the pot of soup on the go,
carrying it forward from one day to the next.
It made a fast lunch,
and I could slide all manner of things from the pantry into it.
Tomorrow I shall start another one off,
and I must also rescue the slab of belly of pork which has been soaking in brine all week.
And now the trees are dropping their leaves
we can see the snow capped Pyrenees mountains in the distance:
Saying bye for now,

Thursday 11 December 2014

Getting into the zone with a piglet.....

"Stand there, and guard the fence",
this was the instruction hurled at me by Lester,
as he rushed off to get his tools from the house.
So there I stood,
with three mucky piglet boys milling about at my feet,
with all of us sharing the joys of paddling about in mud,
it now starting to rain again,
and me without a coat,
and the wind starting to lift the hem of my skirt,
I can't say that I felt in the most joyful states of mind.
But on guard I had to be.
So what was I guarding?
The hole in the fence,
or to be more precise,
the hole UNDER the fence,
made by these same boys,
thus giving them a possible escape route from their paddock,
back to the mum sow and the little sowletts.
It would seem that the darned electric wire did not have enough welly
to zap those boys enough to convince them to stay put.
Good job we arrived when we did,
otherwise they would have bust through again.
But I must say that trying to keep three boy pigs,
who were not yet full grown by a long way,
yet had the strength to give me quite a barge if they had a mind to,
well.....I must say that I did feel a teensy bit of panic,
mostly to do with not wanting to find myself flat on my face,
in the mud,
and the wet,
and oh strooth, 'hurry up Lester',
that is what was on my mind.
So I stooped down and rubbed the backs of one of the boarlings,
and then played along his spine with my fingernails.
And then I gave him a tickle behind his ears.
And he stood dead still,
no movement,
well at least one of the lads was stopped from making a dive under the fence,
that is what I thought as I continued giving him my attention.
And then his rump collapsed.
And then all of him collapsed sideways,
totally in the zone,
that is what he was.
Ah, but no!
Quick as a flash that little ****** recovered,
seemingly re-energised by my attentions,
and he jack knifed himself towards the fence,
under it he went,
by now squealing with full force,
because he was receiving mild zaps from two strands of electric fencing,
plus I was trying to grab hold of his plump, solid little body
but could find nothing to hold on to,
so could feel him slipping away from me,
and oh so here was Lester walking towards me,
trying hard to contain his irritation
because I was not able to keep the boarlings in the paddock,
even though I did my best,
and it was raining harder,
and we were getting wetter,
so, quite simply,
we gave up,
and let the other two boys back in with the others.
And the kitchen is needing our attention because our builder friend will be back soon,
and things need to be done before he does.
And the pig paddocks must be sorted out because the boys are growing,
and we don't want them getting on board the females,
and we are feeling that we are sort of going round in circles,
but not to worry,
I am sure everything will sort itself out.
At least the dishwasher is back in place,
at least the place is not festooned with piles of washing up waiting to be done,
and we are going to plank the bottom of the fences,
which will stop those little hooligans from going under the wire,
and I had a very happy hour late afternoon today,
out in the big field,
digging up some of the newly growing thistle plants,
which are starting to make quite a population of themselves here,
interspersing this activity,
with breaking up some of the numerous cow pats
donated on to the pasture by Bonny and Lissie,
who may or may not be expecting calves,
but we shall know shortly.
There are a lot of joys to be had,
that is what I thought as I wheeled the wheelbarrow back home in the dusk,
with the dogs bouncing around me,
and Lester walking towards me in the half light.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Frolicking pigs, chatty geese, and kitchen tiles

Here are the geese stopping by, yabbering away at us through the window,
telling us to "Hurry up,'s time for supper"
And oh what a mess they make of the window
because they sort of dribble as they peck at the glass,
leaving  spitty streaks all over the it. 

And the rottweiller girls, having a late afternoon romp,

They have turned out to be the best natured dogs I have ever owned,
with a tendency to bark at anything which is benign and irrelevant,
and stay silent when they should be barking.
Anyone arriving at the gates are viewed as possible playmates,
and are greeted with much love and affection.
Guard dogs they are not.

And our floor tiles, which are not quite the colour they look in the photo.
And today I walked over them for the first time.
I cannot tell you what a treat it was to walk across the kitchen floor,
without having to watch where I put my feet, 
in case I tripped on the tarpaulins underfoot.

Did you know that pigs can romp?
And throw their hind legs up in the air like a frolicking cow?
And be so joyful that they bounce?
And then be so thankful that they come across and say 'thankyou'?
Well they do,
because this is what mum pig did today when we let her out of her pen,
and into the veg plot / pig paddock. 
The electrics are still not working,
but we needed to give her and her piglets some room to move,
so out they went. 
It was an all round joyful occasion.

And tonight's moon,
on the rise.
It is a clear night, so it will be cold.
Not to worry, the duvet  is still working, 
and tonight, should I feel the urge to go to the loo
I can walk through the house to the bathroom,
instead of having to go outside because the kitchen is blocked off,
the only way into the house being through the front door.

Bye for now,


Monday 8 December 2014

Sunday lunch!

It was a lovely day yesterday, with warm sunshine and blue skies, 
but with a sharp wind which prevented any layers of clothing being taken off, 
just my thick cardigan, the rest stayed put. 

Even so, myself would have preferred a day spent not too far from my bed, 
but the piglets had tunnelled under the fencing wire out in the paddocks
 and were now all together again, 
which was a delight for them, 
but not for us. 
Having observed the males starting to practice procreation methods on each other, 
it was not going to take them long to realise that they were practicing on the wrong sex.
Time was short.
We have already experienced an 'accident' happening,
when we were slow in separating male and female piglets.
Nature is a driving force,
that is what we have already learnt.

Since separation is the only method of birth control in the piglet world,
we had to get the fence sorted out.
It is a strong fence, but we had not had time to get the electric wire up,
so that is what we spent the day doing.
Not many hours did we have though,
because once we have done our farm chores, we only have about four hours to do other work.
So no time to cook, or eat, a proper lunch,
just cheese sandwiches, apples, and slices of cake.
No time to put the kettle on either,
so all was washed down with cold water.

It is surprising how tiring it was being outside all day.
We were finished with all farm chores by 5.30 pm 
and were had a late lunch, 
(just a bowl of soup)
Too tired to do anything sensible after that,
we browsed the internet on our respective PC's
(we don't have TV),
by 8.30 pm we were in bed.

I seemed to have solved the duvet problem,
(all seasons duvet, and the two halves kept slipping apart)
I  'borrowed' some of the fleece fabric I had bought to make new dog blankets with,
and anchored the duvet to the bed by using the material as an over blanket.
A warm night's sleep, that is what we have just had,
which is good,
because we have not finished the fencing yet,
and it is raining,
and the job has to be done,
because of the sexual urges of the male piglets,
not forgetting that there is also a kitchen waiting to be worked on as well,
so outside with our rain macs on,
that is where you will find us today!

And Boolie pretending that he does not know that there is a plate of food at the same height as his mouth!


Saturday 6 December 2014

Sniffling, and we hit minus one!

Well the thermals are piling on now....
minus one tonight,
and the flipping new goose down quilt is being a bit of a rascal.
What it should be doing is keeping us nice and warm at night.
What it actually does is the opposite....
it is two quilts in one....a thin summer one and a thicker winter one,
to be used individually,
or not,
depending on the time of the year and the temperatures inside and out.
Minus one outside tonight, nearly the same inside,
there being no heating on indoors,
because we don't put any on.
Oh we have electric fires,
but do not seem to be able to make ourselves switch the things on.
And the wood burning Rayburn is still work in progress.......
but........the floor tiles are done.
OK, so they don't heat the place up,
but they do warm us up inside because now we can get on with getting the Rayburn sorted out.

But the darned quilt.....
what happens is that the summer and winter parts refuse to become a whole.
What I mean is, that the two quilts do not like being buttoned together to make a whole, 
preferring to be apart, that is what they want to be,
which means that they slide off each other,
like a couple who do not want to breathe the same air.
It makes the bed cold.
Or hot,
Depending on which part of the quilt / quilts we are under.
Not to worry,
spring soon be here, just got to get through a bit of chillyness,
and as long as I keep my big toes warm.
(they can go nearly purple in the cold and get chilblain itches so socks and boots on all the time now, except in bed, when my other half takes over the foot warming duties, bless him)
and keep my scarf wrapped round and round my neck,
then the cold is do-able.
We are, after all, living in a house rather than a tent and gazebo,
which is how we spent our first winter here. 
It is, I think, that experience which has hardened us up in regards to the cold.
However, and I do not want to keep banging on about it,
but that new duvet set was supposed to ensure us a warm night's sleep.
It isn't, and so I have developed the sniffles, perhaps a cold, or might be the dust in the house.
Either way, I have a feeling of vague unwellness upon me,
not sufficient to take me to my bed,
but enough to remove all energy and motivation from myself. 
So we had lunch out today.
It was nice to sit in a tidy space,
and eat other food,
and be warm.
Tomorrow is supposed to be chilly, but dry,
so instructions issued from Lester for tomorrow are:
- we need to get the pig paddocks sorted out again.

A week ago........

Lester had managed to separate the girls from the boys,
his plan of making gates and walkways to move the pigs about having now seemed to work:

Boys in one paddock, mum and trainee sows in the other.

And then we became diverted onto the house to get the kitchen floor tiles laid,
so the paddock fencing was not electrified, and the pigs knew this, and broke through the separating fence, and now Mum and all are together again. But the boys are getting frisky,
and have been seen to already practice their reproduction techniques on the girls,
which is not good at all, so out we must go tomorrow, to separate the pigs again and get the fence fixed.  We could do with a lollopy day tomorrow,
but not to worry, it will be nice to be out in the fresh air, which might convince my cold that it doesn't exist.
Meanwhile, we feel ten steps behind ourselves, but also ten steps ahead, and all at the same time!

And little Ditsy being caught, yet again, raiding the pig food buckets....

.... and Lissie just about ready for bed.....

..... and Bonny almost asleep on her feet.....

.... and the mists rolling in over the fields....

.... and so signing off from down here in SW France....

Sending blessings to you, 
and wherever you are in the World,
 hoping that your duvet is working efficiently for you.


Thursday 27 November 2014

Evacuating the house.......

So why have we evacuated the house?
Has some dire emergency made us leave,
has the recent torrential rains made the river rise to the brim,
and then some more,
thus making us part of the flow of the river?
Nothing so drastic,
although the river is rising,
but has not overflowed yet,
although it is going to,
because the river beach has not been removed by the river men,
which will lend height to the river,
so that it can then heft itself easier on to our land.

Not to worry,
it is the life of a river property,
and we would rather be here by the water,
rather than be somewhere else. 

So why is the house been evacuated?
Well, in truth, it hasn't been,
not really. 
It is just that the 'proper' kitchen has had it's floor redone,
because there were some slightly bumpy bits
in the cement we laid on the floor a while ago.

The actual surface of the cement was flat,
but the joins weren't,
so a liquid compound has been laid on the floor
to even out the surface.
It will take a day or so to dry.
And whispering ever so quietly,
that the floor tiles are going to be laid next week.
We need to get straight.
The temporary kitchen is a bit of an uphill struggle to work in,
oh it would be alright if I was just cooking supermarket food,
but we need a farm kitchen,
because of the amount of produce processing which needs to be done.
Not to worry,
I can manage.

we can't travel through the 'proper' kitchen
to get to our living accommodation,
which is the half barn,
because the doorways to the kitchen have had to be blocked,
so that the floor can dry,
and the dogs can't romp over it. 

So we have to come out of the house 
go long the front of it,
 and in through the doors of the half barn.

Yesterday it tipped down with day long rain.
We all got quite wet doing the mini commute.
Won't be for long, though, 
that is what I kept telling myself as I continually mopped the floors.

And then one of the freezers failed, but it had died a few days before,
only I didn't know that,
but I finally paid attention to my intuition,
which had been guiding me to sort out the freezer for some time.
So I did,
which was a good thing because the meat was saved.
But not in its frozen state,
oh no,
all of it was well on its way to being unthawed,
Not to worry, not much in the freezer anyway,
but it needed to be urgently cooked and processed,
which only added to the unwieldiness of the day.

So we went out to lunch,
and then back for a nap,
and then I practiced my finger exercises on my digital piano,
then I did lots of piano accordion practice,
then I did some YouTube but got bored,
so I did some knitting and patchwork,
all of which were totally unrelated to farm work,
but made me feel better. 
And thus ended my day.

And now it is the morning of the next day,
and it is not raining, so a dry mini commute into the house,
only I thought I ought to be careful as I went in the front door,
just in case one of the dogs had had an 'accident',
but too late,
the thought should have arrived a couple of seconds sooner,
the soft squelch under my foot telling me that this was so.
Ah well,
the day can only get better,
that is what I told myself as I cleaned my shoe off on the grass.

I shall be all day in the temporary kitchen,
so I must fill my head with positive thoughts,
that I am no longer battling away in the camping kitchen of the caravan,
and that the 'proper' kitchen is on its way to getting done,
and that soon I shall have a stove which works,
my current one hardly working at all now,
which means that cooking food takes an age,
and I shall have an oven which has more than one shelf in it.
I shall not mention the sink I don't have....

Actually that's not quite right,
because I do have a sink, but it is still in its box.

The b'rillarde update from the last blog:
All is now sliced and frozen.

Things I have learnt:
- that one does not give a morsel of b'rillarde, (made from head meat)
to one's husband as he wakes up from his night's sleep, and before he has had his tea and toast.
- that perhaps to introduce the morsel later on in the day would have been preferable, once he was more awake.
- that it was not very adult of me to do a flounce and a huff because his enthusiasm towards eating the b'rillarde was not matched by my enthusiasm for having finally finished the task of making it.
- and not to mind that he laid down the challenge that if he had to eat it then so would I.
- that it was good of me not to carry out my threat to give it to the dogs.
- that it is not the taste of the b'rillard, but the thought of where the meat comes from, that is what we need to get past.
- that the several hours of my sulking subsequent to the b'rillard episode was a waste of a couple of hours of my life,

I am now off on my bike ride,
2.5 is now the distance I go,
not sure how far 2.5 is, probably kilometres,
but I am still no wiser because I am still in 'inches, yards, and miles' mode.
Haven't bike ridden for a couple of days because of other things happening,
but feel the stiffness coming upon me,
so need to pedal today.
Now up to 700 rotations of the pedals. 
200 are stretch and bends,
the rest I go as fast as is comfortable to do so.
It is making a difference.
It is worth the effort.

So bye for now,
and thank you for sharing time with me.


Thursday 20 November 2014

Tim's B'rillette

Dawn this morning,
the rising sun turning the hills to rust-red.
It was stunning.

comment posted by Tim
upon my request as to what to do with the pig's head

"Anyone know how to make pâté?
Found a pig's head down the bottom of the freezer,
spent two days slow cooking it,
so that it disintegrated into a mush of meat and bones,
that way one cannot distinguish exactly what bits go where,
which makes the task of sorting everything out easier,
makes me less squeamish.

I have one pot of bones, one pot of meat for the dogs, one pot of meat for us.
Thought I would have a go at making pâté.
Anyone know how to do that?
Or else I can mince the meat up,
and lose it in a pie or something."

And Tim said:

"Get a block of Saindoux [lard] and stir your meat and "shut up and eat it" into the lard...
simmer in the lard for around twenty minutes and season to taste. 
Pull any big lumps of flesh apart with two forks and stir it back in...
hey presto! You have B'rillette...
half way 'twixt Brawn and Rillette.
Use as rillette"  

"Righty-o Tim", I thought,
"will give it a go".
And I have, 
and this is what I did:

From the fridge, I took bowl of chunks of head meat from a cooked pig's head:

Cut / shredded the meat into smaller pieces:
(Boolie pretending he is not interested in the meat related activity going on above his head)

One packet of lard.....

...from which I took a third....

....and that went into a saucepan to melt,
my thoughts being melted fat would be easier to mix with the meat...
Also added two chopped onions, two cloves of garlic, and some spices...

When all softened down, tipped the lard mixture back into head meat,...
and gave it a good mixing...

Another third of lard put into pan and melted,
but over a low heat,
as didn't want a burnt bottom,
which is something I have a tendency to have quite frequently,
because I do have the habit of wandering away from the stove
when I should stay and attend to what is cooking.

So I kept turning over the mixture,
then flattened it to see how much lard there was in proportion to the meat.
I thought that the melted lard should sufficient to almost cover the meat,
but not be enough to drown it. 
When the lard gets cold and sets,
it should glue the meat together,
I think.

The mixture looked on the 'dry' side, 
so I added some more dollops of lard.
I have now used up all the packet of lard.

At fifteen minutes simmering, the bottom was sticking,
so I stopped cooking the mixture. 
Gave it a pat.
Decided not to add any more lard.

Had a nibble on a bit of meat. 
Was as bland as anything,
so in went some allspice, salt, pepper, and mustard,
and then some more.

Then into lined tin...
and done!

It will go into the fridge once it is cooled down.

Two hours later:
Now in fridge.
Not set though.
I think that I should have got the pieces smaller,
and perhaps I should have put the mixture into jars,
rather than a tin.
Not to worry,
all will be revealed in the morning when I get up,
because I am off to bed now.
Clean sheets, electric blanket, and my husband,
all in a heap,
what could be better!

So thanks, Tim, for giving me an idea to experiment with!
Lester will either be having B'rillette on toast for breakfast,
or the dogs will be having B'rillette on dog biscuits,
at least it will not be wasted.

And leaving you with a last look at that stupendous dawn:


Wednesday 19 November 2014

Bonny, cross eyed, and AI'd

Meanwhile, was a wet morning

...and the first of the winter hay supply had to be brought into the courtyard...

..... everyone in for the day, although we let the sheep out,
they don't complain, even in the wet,
neither really do the cows, 
although there is dissent between Bonny and Lissie,
because Lissie is in season,
and needs to mount someone, anyone,
and Bonny being the nearest thing to a bull, well......
but Lester can be a handy target as well, 
especially if he is bending over to pick up her poo prior to milking her.
(he does not like to have squelch beneath his feet when milking)
Apparently the sight of his bent over bottom ignites within her a passion.
But he did not become squashed beneath her amorousness.
As she reared up to get to him, he sidestepped her. 
"Phew! It was close though", he said.
Meanwhile Bonny is keeping clear of Lissie.
The AI (Artificial insemination) man is coming today.

So one of the winter projects is to clear this big bramble hedge.

It was hanging over the fence, taking up almost two metres of land.
I have been working my way along it for the last three weeks,
cutting between 200 - 500 snips of bramble per day with my secateurs.
It is a long job. 
I find the best thing to do with big jobs is to do a little bit each day,
sort of 'nibble' at the task in hand,
making it into bite sized pieces. 
And I count.
One snip, two snips, etc. 
Stops my mind from thinking that it wants to be somewhere else.....

Late morning, and Lester off to get the car MOT'd.
Expecting a big bill, 
But the car passed, 
some work to be done, but not too much.
We shall keep it now, not much point in trading it in.

The AI man came.
Lissie became quite cross eyed as he did his thing, 
but then so would I if I had aplastic covered arm
go entirely into my nether regions.
She took it like a trooper though,
just lowered her head,
and looked slight dazed.

Meanwhile, the rain is making the ground sludgy.
This is the alley between the home paddock of Mum pig and family,
and the veg plot paddocks.
It is very squelchy.
Not to worry,
the mud is not up to Lester's knees yet.

...and he can still just about walk on the paddock.
Not sure how much longer he will be able to do that.
Mum pig and piglets are surely earning their keep,
and already the top layer of grass has mostly been ploughed up
and muddy puddles are appearing.

Well that's all for today.
The sun did come out,
and I did sit out in the sunshine for a while,
doing some knitting,
but really sort of dozing,
which is hard to do when sitting in an upright chair,
the tendency to fall off  during mid doze being quite likely.

Message to self  for 2015
Do buy yourself a sun lounger!