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Friday, 26 February 2010

mud, moles & misery

What MISERABLE weather! Uploaded a photo (taken today) of yellow horse's field, so that you can admire the awesome scale of the mud hazard around the gate. When fetching him in after lunch today ( he can't stay out any longer in the howling gale, and driving rain) the mud right across the paddock is ankle deep. I don't know how its going to dry up enough to be usable. If you enlarge the photo you can just see yellow horse doing excellent impression of mud covered hippo, sheltering under far hedge. He was most unhappy to be dragged from this relatively sheltered spot until he realised that he was being invited to exchange it for a warm and straw filled barn. When the flash of realisation hit him he accelerated swiftly to the gate, dashed through and hurried into the shed. Dry and warm. What could be better. Oh yes, the large bucket of carrots and feed that were also waiting.
Also showing a photo of the backyard. I can't call it a lawn, as over the years the kids, dogs, chickens et al have given the green stuff so much wear its just a patch of scrubby grass really. However, it has now been taken over by one of my favourite creatures, he of the velvety coat, and huge front paws and claws. I like moles, indeed, I think they do a terrific job. I have, over the years, even handled a few, rescuing them from cats and dogs to dig another day. They bite like fury, and have loads of sharp, sharp teeth and I bear the scars. This fellow in the back garden is not showing his whiskery nose above ground, and I am extremely reluctant to deploy the metal mole killer trap that lurks in the porch, but I do wish he would push off so that we can repair some of his damage. He's throwing up two or three molehills every night and its only a tiny garden space, which currently resembles a moonscape.
Egg production has recommenced, despite the desperate weather, and there are at least a couple of blue eggs, and a couple of my favourite dark brown eggs every day, as well as the usual egg coloured eggs! Selling well in the pub, so big boy lining his pockets once more with proceeds of sales. He has set 50 eggs in the largest incubator, which is now clicking and whirring in his bedroom. Therefore, in a week or two the kitchen will be filled, once again, with the deafening sounds of 50 chicks desperate to be fed! I can hardly wait.....
The Aga has died, soot has appeared in the burner chamber, and its not looking good. Aga engineer coming in a week or so, but in the meantime the kitchen has changed from the warm heart of the house to a cavernous, freezing space which takes no prisoners. It is almost necessary to 'fleece up' prior to entering, and meals are being taken by diners wearing full outdoor winter wear (just some slight exaggeration going on here, not much though.)
Went to see Julian Clary last night at the local theatre. Sadly only half tickets sold. It was, however, a wonderful show, a gentle, chatty evening of wit and wisdom, with not one swear-word. Much fun had by all who made the effort to attend.
Dining our with The Ladies tonight. Talk, talk talk. Yippee!
High tides forecast for this weekend, along with this howling gale, which MIGHT mean some coastal flooding. Preparing rowing boat just in case!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

unexpected visitor

Grainy photo of a recent visitor to the peanut feeder - a woodpecker! Photo taken by the big boy, who sees the bird almost every day - i have managed to miss it every time so far! A less welcome visitor has been a huge and macho grey squirrel, who doesn't bother to delicately pick the peanuts through the mesh, he simply rips the feeder apart.

Today after work the weather was really lovely and mild, so having rushed home I dragged the yellow fellow in from his mud bath, brushed off the worst of the filth, and took him for his first spin for about 12 weeks! I anxiously anticipated a few fireworks, and a lively outing, but I was wrong. He behaved impeccably, the lightest and politest steed you could wish for. I genuinely think he was pleased with the change, delighted to be out and about again, and grateful for the chance to prove his worth. All went off exceedingly well, and he was rewarded appropriately with extra carrots!

Work at salt mines continues apace as we ready for another busy season. The winter rest period seems to get shorter and shorter (or am I just getting older and older?).

Thursday, 11 February 2010

birthday boy

Today big boy started working at Chartered Surveyors. First day duties were moving sheep at Louth Cattle market all day! He had a great time, especially as it was his 19th birthday! Guess he kept quiet about that whilst penning sheep with a bunch of Lincolnshire farmers. Can't believe its 19 years since he was a newborn. That slipped by quickly. Still cream crackered from mammoth journey to look at Lancaster University yesterday (400 mile journey). Luckily baby boy liked it, though we thought it was very 70's. Very academic staff however, all published, just a long, long way. Leicester visit in couple weeks, I hope we all like it....

Sunday, 7 February 2010

not sleeping in front of the TV!

My Dad, fed, watered and entertained, allegedly relaxing in front of our TV, to watch Antiques Roadshow. He is absolutely sure that he didn't fall asleep, and disturb other viewers with his snoring, however, the evidence is clear. He saw none of it. We have now packed him off home with food for tomorrow, hoping that he doesn't fall to sleep again on his journey.


One prisoner captured and subdued.

Saturday, 6 February 2010


Just off to Sheffield for an Indian meal tonight - a long way to go for food, but worthwhile for the company! Next wednesday pottering up to Lancaster University with youngest chick for History Department meet and greet. We are worn out with all the travelling. For us home birds its proving to be a busy month.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Count Arthur Strong

Just setting off to Lincoln (again) to see Count Arthur, who appears weekly on Radio 4. Have seen him before, is gently funny, and looking forward to it. Sadly, pretty tired after yesterday's mammoth journey, and barrowing concrete up and down salt mines all morning. Day off tomorrow, so trying to keep jobs list small to enable some resting to take place. However, yellow horse got new shoes today (one had fallen off somewhere in the mud) so some riding seems likely, even though jockey old, stiff and not too keen. Horse appears to be quite ready to make a start with Spring training, so I guess its going to have to be faced. Have not sat on him for about 3 months, so hoping his memory is long and he doesn't mind. Can barely remember where I have put the saddle (out of the way) so will have to get it dusted off tomorrow. Always tomorrow.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

all change!

Big boy has progress from terrible bar job, to lovely factory job through Lifesaver for Butlins, to dogsbody at local Chartered Surveyors. Today been to Harper Adams for successful interview for place on Chartered Surveyors Honours degree course (2011). So, now hoping to stay with Willsons (Chartered Surveyors) until August, when he does quick HNC in Scotland in 30 weeks (Commercial Fish Farming), then summer 2011 recovering, before he goes off to Harper for 4 year REALM degree and professional qualification thing. Looking much happier now he has found his way, and feeling like a real career now in his grasp. Its been a bumpy journey, but looks like he has found his own harbour.

It was really funny at Harper because all the young people looked just the same, farmer coats, wellies, muddy jeans, shotguns over shoulders, mud covered rugger teams etc. Slight shortage of the female form, but he will be too busy to notice methinks.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

young and beautiful

My big boy, and his cousin Em, all ready for Young Farmer's Regional Ball on Saturday evening. A good time was had by all, and no sick buckets were needed. Marvellous.