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Sunday, 30 January 2011

January - I blinked and you were gone....

Some friends have stuck at dairy farming and diversified into bottling their own milk. The result of the bottling process is an excess of cream, which they have also been bottling and selling. However, as the butterfat in their milk is rising they have so much cream the female half of the team has begun to make her own butter too. And here it is. We were gifted half a pound last night and are saving it for morning toast tomorrow. Can't wait. Therefore, if you wish to try home churned butter or cream so thick you can stand an army of spoons in it - contact Rich Pastures!!!!

I have also posted a photo of our oldest cat today, on a 'get it while you can' basis. He is so old I am surprised every morning when he turns up for his breakfast. He shuns the dogs courageously, even allowing a full body snuffle without running away. He still has a good appetite and a lovely temper. Think it might be time to start looking for a new kitten if we are to replace him.

Also, you will see that I took the camera out in my pocket whilst riding the horse today. After weeks of the yellow equine behaving like a complete loon when out on the roads, today he was an utter saint. Thought I might try to refine the 'through the horse's ears' style of photography. Or maybe, christen it 'horse eye views'? Perhaps not. We shuffled round a peaceful and picturesque 4 miles early this morning and both enjoyed our outing enormously. After weeks of hating the cold, wet and temperamental steed it was a pleasant change. Long may the sensible head continue.

And finally. Last year's Easter chicks are now laying eggs fairly regularly, and the eggs are like a rainbow of colours! We have blue, greenish blue, dark brown and honey brown. Absolutely delighted with output, just need to keep the fox away. The eggs look good enough to eat....oh wait a minute - we can eat them. Pass a spoon.

Farm life very quiet in absence of fridge monsters at University. Tidy, warm (owing to doors being closed) and restful its like being on holiday all the time. We wait patiently for the two cockers to come into season, at which time they will be paying a visit to the tiny poodle I want to be their boyfriend this year. Cockerpoos. Let's see how well they sell. That is, if the girls actually come into season. As they are both crabby and off their food I am hoping that's a sign. Can't think why.

The farmer and I had A DAY OUT last weekend. After a hearty walk through the lincolnshire wolds we made our way to Beverley (foreign parts) for lunch and dawdled home via a local nature reserve. A good day was had by all (included the dogs in our outing) and we are hoping to make a habit of a day out in the future. How times change! The farmer is now completely 'ploughed up' including the headlands. The plough is washed, repaired and tucked up until the autumn. This means that he is free to turn his attention to the renovation of a derelict cottage on the farm. He is waiting for 'building regs' to be provided then a start can be made. Quite excited about it.

We have hordes of barn owls out and about just now. Obviously I have no idea why but it is a joy to share our space with them, and I hope their hunting is successful. We disturbed a LITTLE OWL last night which is a much rarer sight. As usual my camera was not in my pocket at the time.

Hoping the weather continues its benevolence which is much appreciated in this neck of the woods!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

more later.

Just a note to advise that a car crashed into our telephone pole 8 days ago, and it has taken the full 8 days for BT to replace the pole and reconnect us. In that time we learned that it is very hard to do without the Internet and a landline. Uncomfortably difficult! Now back in the land of the living, with internet access and every other damn thing. Thanks be. Got big boy off to Scotland, still with the flu or something similar, but perhaps better than when he arrived home 2 weeks ago. He intends to spend June and July in New Zealand doing his work experience, and August in Australia doing 'travelling'. Oh boy.

Youngest returning to his education on Sunday. Then its just the farmer and me. And the dogs of course. Is it unmotherly to say I can hardly wait? Probably.

Have returned to work. Its cold. Its muddy. Yellow horse has his new shoe on, but I can't find any enthusiasm to rush out and ride him just now. Give me time, and perhaps a ray of sunshine......

Monday, 3 January 2011

2011 - buck your ideas up!

Can't help noticing that my arms have become very itchy all of a sudden, indeed, it feels like a small army of ants are crawling about under the skin. I checked the washing powder (Fairy non-bio) and the washing up liquid (Fairy as before), same perfume, same clothes, same moisturiser. To distract me from scratching off my skin I googled 'itchy forearms'. Oh dear. It would appear that any day now I am going to wake up as a wrinkled old prune of a crone, with not a mg of oestrogen to my name...... Not much help in terms of relief (suggestions vary from the wacky to the completely mad) but at least I understand why I feel so very scratchy. One of the many and varied symptoms of becoming old whilst also being a female. Ugh. Still better than the alternative....

Am also about cheesed off with being chief nurse down on the farm. Eldest STILL coughing and barking fit to burst, with a raw sore throat and varying degrees of headache. Things were so bad yesterday that we called the out of hours doctor service for a bit of advice. In a nutshell that advice amounted to 'stop wasting my time' and 'go to A&E if you have concerns'. Ouch. Second son is the beneficiary of half a course of antibiotics which I found in the back of the pantry. Only slightly out of date too, when I blew the dust off to look at the use by details. Luckily they seem to be for chest and throat infections (among other things), and something of a miracle has happened for him since he began taking them yesterday. Sadly they will run out too quickly. Hoping its enough to bring him to full health. The green sputum seems to have retreated for him anyway, which has made his life much more comfy. I know he should not be taking old drugs, however, I can't get him to a GP surgery for love or money, and he has been so ill for the whole of Christmas that I am desperate. Fingers crossed. And the Farmer. He says he feels quite a lot better today, enough to realise how very off-colour he has been throughout Christmas and the New Year.

What a festive period. Hot lemonade by the bucketful, packets and packets of aspirin, ibuprofen and paracetemol (not all at once I hasten to add), decongestants, throat sprays, nose sprays and lozenges. This house resembles nothing so much as a Chemist's shop. This bug (or bugs) has been hanging around making everyone miserable for two weeks. Its time for it to BUG OFF!

Fetched in the yellow horse for a second spin in three days. Now that the thaw has come I need to exercise the ants out of his pants too. However, following the trend as highlighted above he has cast a front shoe. Lost in the mud. Therefore, back out into the field he went, as he's no good with only three wheels on his wagon, and now we must await the attentions of the farrier. More thumb twiddling.

Cleaning at work tomorrow, 8 showers, 8 toilets, 4 kitchens, 13 bedrooms etc etc. Perhaps the activity will push the itchy arms to the back of my brain for a while! Would like to be able to say that I have innumerable SALE bargains, but I would be fibbing. Couldn't face the melee this year. Hoping I didn't miss anything too bargainish!

Hoping that January brings the builder who promised me a new shower room prior to Christmas. He didn't say which Christmas.

And to round off this tale of woe, here's a final story to cheer you.

Before Christmas the dishwasher decided that it would go a bit mad. It wouldn't switch off or complete a cycle. The man who mends the washing machine was duly telephoned and promised to come on Friday. He didn't. He was phoned again and said he would come the next Friday. And didn't. In order to stop me rushing to the shops to buy a new dishwasher, the Farmer telephoned a new advertiser in the Local paper. The advert went something like this: 'phone Frank for domestic appliance repairs, any distance, no callout charge etc'. Sounded Fantastic. Frank said he would come on the Saturday before Christmas. I couldn't believe my luck. And Frank did come, and he brought a burly mate with him. Frank pulled out the dishwasher, agreed it was the microchip, asked his friend to cop a hold of the other end, and carried the dishwasher out to his white transit van. Hoho, said the Farmer (and I), where are you going with that then? Oh, to test it of course, when I get the new part that will be £80 fitted and working. See you. And there you have it. In a nutshell. And we let him take it! No card, no details, no phone number (except for the one in the paper, which I have BURNED by accident). Has it been stolen in the boldest scam I have ever experienced? I think so. What fools we are!!!! Go on, have a laugh on us! Anyway, I'm in the market for a new dishwasher......