Friday 27 April 2018

Just got in from scything.......

Just got in from scything. Didn't cut much grass, just enough to feed the cows. They are staying in today. A farmer is coming to collect them later on this afternoon and they need to be milked before they leave. Keeping them in will reduce their milk yield for that milking. Lester is away to the UK for a week so the Bonny and Lissie are going to join another small herd of Jerseys for the duration. They will be back again the following weekend.

Bonny's back teats are getting tender, and she needs to make less milk so her udder does not get so drum tight, which is another reason why they are staying indoors. Less food means the cows will make less milk to put in those udders.Bonny has dainty teats. Lizzie has more robust teats because they are longer and bigger. Dainty teats are shorter therefore not so big, which means that it needs more activity on those teats to get the milk out, so Bonny gets fidgety when Lester is milking her. He has gentle hands, but she packs such a lot of milk into her udder that it takes a long time to get her emptied out. To keep her occupied I stand at her head and talk to  her, or make tuneless sing song sounds, patting her neck, scratching the back of her ears, or giving her face a rub. Yesterday she stretched forward and nuzzled my face, and brought forth her tongue to give me ladylike slurp. It was a moment of female to female oneness. This is smallhold farming at its best.


The grass this morning was sweet to cut. It is the front 'lawn' that I am having to scythe. Wet days, warm sun, and the lawn has now gone into a meadow, with fronts of tall grass interspersed with wild flowers, all now nearly up to the height of my lower thighs. And all soaking wet. We are still having rain. Small amounts, not hours and hours of deluges, but enough to stop the grass drying. So wet boots, wet legs, and wet skirt, that is what I end up with. Not to worry, it is warm enough for me to dry out after a while.

As I have said, I didn't do much scything of the grass today, even though the blade cut fast. The grass is in its prime state of growth now and nearly at its full peak of excellence. Soon the seeds will be formed and then the life of each individual grass plant will be done. And as I observed the various shapes and forms of the different types of grasses growing in our lawn meadow, I heard the cockerels of our chicken flock chatting to all the other cockerels in the neighborhood. And I lifted up my eyes and watched our sheep on the field across the lane, some grazing, some taking a nap, with the last lamb born being called by his mum to 'Come have a drink', which, with a skip and a hop, he eagerly did. Again, this is smallhold farming at its best.

Yesterday was Knit and Natter afternoon again. So there I was, on my way to the bric a brac shop where we meet. I had my satchel style of handbag across my upper body, and carried my project bag. In my project bag there is all I need for a K&N session: bottle of water, bag of sweets, wastepaper bin converted to a ball carrier (keeps the balls of wool confined to one place and stops them from rolling all about the place and getting into a tangle), and my immediate projects ( socks being knitted, slippers being crocheted, poncho (finished) and having its fringe put on), and finally a folder carrying the patterns for these projects. Not much will be done to these projects at K&N though, most of the time is spent in womanly debate about our craft projects, life and health problems, and other chatty topics relevant only to females and completely non-understandable by men.

So there I was, walking along a wide alley in between the backs of the village high street shops. Clad in my usual calf length skirt, floppy cardi, black knee high socks (stops me from having to fight my way into a pair of tights) and flat buckled shoes. I was not marching along at a pace though, just sauntering along, thinking that perhaps I should have put my Birkenstock sandals on because the shoes I had put on were making my feet ache because they had no arch support. (I have flat feet), so I was not walking as upright as I should have been. Not to worry, I was in a good frame of mind so I was not allowing the inconvenience of having flat feet to be too much of a bother to me. I am used to them. I have had them for over seventy one years now.

And then flying round the corner towards me came this magnificent specimen of young womanhood. Tall, with breasts that were still up high and nearer to her armpits than her waist, (unlike my matronly bosom), and a long lean body with legs which went on forever. And she was flying along along on those legs like a thoroughbred racehorse at full stretch, with her long dark hair bouncing along behind her. She was a vision of youthful energy. I should have felt old, but I didn't. Years ago I was like her once. Now I am me, decades older, with a life lived full of life experiences, some good some not so good, but all worth having experienced because collectively they make me who I am today. 

And so I enjoyed that vision of loveliness as she raced on by me, and  as I continued walking towards my K&N afternoon, carrying my project bag and satchel, dressed in my vaguely boho clothes, and in flat buckled shoes which were not what I should have been wearing but they look nice so I wore them anyway, I felt content in myself. Not for one second did I wish for a fraction of that young lady's energy. She has it all still to learn. Life has much ahead to teach her, just as it had me. Contentment with life has to be earned. Acceptance about what has been, that too has to be earned. I wish her well. 

:Life is a beautiful journey,........ if you let allow it to be so.

In love and light,

Vera x

Tuesday 24 April 2018


We have a lot of them, and don't they look so bright sunning themselves in the sunshine. 

However...... this is supposed to be Veg Plot One, and there are supposed to be other things growing here, like onions, leeks, chard, etc. 
They are still there, somewhere beneath the buttercups. 

I shall scythe another row tomorrow (sorry buttercups) which should get me alongside the row of onions which I planted last autumn. 

I love my scythe. I do not keep it very sharp though for fear of cutting myself on it, but it is sharp enough to do a good job of keeping things cut down.  There is something addictive about working with a scythe, but only when there is a length of greenery to cut, when a steady rhythm can be established, and the hips can get into a good swing.

It has been lovely to have a few days of sunshine. After the long and wet months of winter, my bones drank in the sunshine with relief. Not sure about what I am going to be doing about starting seeds off though. A bit slow on that front this year. Been a hard six months in more ways than one, decisions to be made for which there was no pain free solution, uncertainty about the direction of the farm, etc. Not to worry, we are finding our way through. Be glad when we are on firmer ground though. 

Anyway, just to let you know that we are still ticking along, but not in quite the direction we were.

Bye for now,