Monday: Animals all done I decided to get started on trying a pork pie except that I’d forgotten to get the trotters out of the freezer to make the jelly, never mind the pork needs cutting and mixing with herbs etc and leaving overnight to soak up the flavours apparently so I will do it in stages. Lit the Rayburn earlier this morning and got on with jobs, sat down with a coffee and thought that smells a bit hot, go in the kitchen and I haven’t moved the lever over to heating so flames are now going up the chimney and that’s not good, shut down the spin wheel, shut down the thermostat, shut down the flue damper and hope for the best 😝 Normally I have a perfectly executed routine, got it wrong this morning and after a slight panic the flue temp begins to go back down thank goodness 😅
Made some leek and potato soup and put a lamb shoulder in the slow cooker
Went out in the afternoon to do the feeding and collect eggs came in made a cuppa and the electric went off! Bloody brilliant, phone the electric board yep it won’t be back on until 8pm, not such a problem except that the fire is well stoked and the heat building up in it has nowhere to go, panic, shut everything down click it over to cook open the oven door and the top plates and hope that is dies down quick enough to lose the heat that is building. I have 6% on my phone battery, next to nothing on my vape, I can’t start the generator, next door phoned to say she needs to use the paddock that the boughs have come down in tomorrow morning so they need clearing and John has gone off to fix the pump of a little old lady who has no heating bearing in mind the temps are due to plummet dramatically tonight ( at this point I should insert a round of expletives but I’m trying not to stress 😝😜😛) Thank f**k for good old fashioned candles and a lighter, at least I can see where I’m going. It’s still warm enough in the house obviously as all the heat is coming out of the oven 🤣🤣 but I really hope they get it fixed by 8 or it will be twenty layers of clothing to wear to bed. And today is one of the very reasons I began writing a blog, so I can look back and laugh (oh how I will laugh, probably, one day, maybe) One consolation, it’s pretty sitting in the dark with candles although most of them are scented and the mix of perfume is a little heady 😏
While I still have battery on my iPad I may as well keep typing after all there is nothing else to do, how the hell the women did cross stitch in medieval times by candle and firelight I will never know and I have a new found respect for anyone that lived pre electricity, that would be not only a long night (it is pitch black outside and only 5pm) but a very long winter to boot. Although I am imagining now that when the lights etc all come back on it will be an attack of the senses to begin with, a blip, then glare and beeping noises all around, not sure which one I prefer, get away, obviously I prefer the convenience of modern life but it’s nice to take time out even if it’s forced upon you. It’s very quiet also, not a sound, except the ringing in my ears that is tinnitus of course which is also why I like a bit of noise going on usually. I’m rambling now, it’s the loneliness 😂 it’s dark (very) it’s quiet (very) and there is no one else here except me, now my mind is working overtime because that could be the very opening scene of a horror movie, doesn’t help that I caught up with an episode of The Walking Dead today 😩 hurry home John, if you can’t find me I will be huddled in the back of the wardrobe, hiding from I don’t know what 😝
Note to self: try starting the generator in the daylight on a day when you don’t need it that way you will be prepared for when you do!
The evening hardly went much better, it was Johns Mums Birthday so we needed to get over to see her, temperatures had plummeted and the roads were treacherous to say the least, we stopped at Shelley’s on the way and charged my phone, the vape stick was charging in the van on the way there. We were going to go in the car which I couldn’t really understand as John had used the van all day it was defrosted and he was able to get it out, the car on the other hand was still covered in a layer of snow including the roof which I made him get off before I would get in it, however the car was not going anywhere it refused to move over the lumpy snow so we got in the van, picked Shelley up and went to Johns Mums. Stopped for a cuppa when we dropped her back off and then set off on the icy roads home, it was a slow but successful journey. Up to this point we had no dinner as the lamb was in the slow cooker and the electric was off when we left, luckily by the time we got home it was back on but the lamb was cold, so there was one sausage and two rashers of bacon in the fridge we dined on those lol, but the bread I had made the other day was now mouldy 😜, oh what a day. I made sure that we charged the torch and the phones, vape, and the back up charger pack just in case the electric goes off again anytime soon, I will make bread in the morning and hopefully tomorrow will run more smoothly 😀
Tuesday: A brand new day 😀 still snow covered and in fact more treacherous than yesterday as the temperatures plummeted down to around -7 the back roads are lethal it’s like an ice rink in the lane. I wrapped up warm, wool socks, iso therm wellies, 2pairs of gloves, a woolly hat and a long feather filled coat I was given, even after a couple of hours outside I was still toasty and warm even my toes 😀 Managed to get water done last night so only had to break the ice this morning, I also fed the wild birds again although I still need to put water out for them. Someone got stuck in the driveway entrance so went to help push them out, they were abandoning their mission and going back home, sensible plan.
Then I did a mammoth session in the kitchen, 4 dozen mince pies, give or take one or two for quality control purposes 😝 most will be frozen otherwise they won’t last long with John around! Two pork pies, I followed the recipe and it was not too hard but I didn’t seem to have enough pastry for all the meat mix I had so I quickly made more pastry, they are still cooking at the moment and the trotters are on the Rayburn hopefully making the gelatine that will go inside when they are cooled. I have no idea how they are going to taste or turn out but I wanted to try. I also made bread while I was at it and both ovens were going flat out in a round robin of things in and things out. The lamb from yesterday is back on in the slow cooker and smells amazing today.
Wednesday: Seems like a long week lol, before I went to bed last night I tested the jelly that will go into the pork pies, not setting so I heated it up with some gelatine and put it in the fridge to see if it will set this time. Success, so I reheat it to thin it and wait for it to cool and fill the pork pies and put them back in the fridge to set, I sure hope they taste good for all the faffing, I probably won’t try again but wanted to give it a go at least once. The trotters that were supposed to make the jelly went to the dogs, I did read up about using them but most agree that you need to heavily flavour with herbs etc for them to be palatable, the dogs were happy 😀 After doing the rounds which was a precarious affair because it’s part ice, part snow and part mush, I took the unprecedented decision to close the driveway to customers until it’s safe to walk on. I almost went arse over tit more times than I can count on both hands and can’t risk egg customers falling over. I would have got the shovel out but as I said a lot of it is still solid ice and I would be chipping away for hours so easier to stop people coming in until later when hopefully it will clear.
So the first thing that happens is a customer decided to ignore the notice and come in anyway! It’s entirely at you own risk I say rather rattled that they have chosen to ignore my notice 😤
Thursday: Did the morning rounds, a bit of floor cleaning while I was at it, although it’s difficult to clean the floors when the hens won’t venture out very far I did manage to get most of it done. Then it was time to get lots of little things done that have been nagging me, clear out and tidy the food cupboard, the ironing pile, put the rest of the nuts out for sale which frees up the side in the back room ready for Christmas goodies, generally putting stuff away and checking what presents I still need to get 😝 turns out quite a few! I am way behind this year not helped by the snow and the ice interruption, the ice is still making the driveway tricky but we have had a few customers today so hopefully the cars going over it will break it up a bit. Did the afternoon feed and collected the eggs (still poor in numbers even though I have wormed them) got some dry wood in for the fire, put some more rat poison down, darn things are still around.
I did think I wouldn’t achieve much today as my hands and elbow were giving me problems last night and this morning but after popping a few ibrufen they were fine thank goodness as I don’t have time for bits of me not to work 😜
I bought a second hand fridge yesterday as other little built in one is not big enough for ‘occasions’ like Christmas and Charlie and Macca will be moving back in at the end of January to save a bit more for a deposit on a house so we need extra fridge space. John kindly picked it up but deposited it in the driveway this morning from the van declaring it was to slippery to carry it across, I waited all day and by 5pm I had waited long enough so I dug out the old heavy sack truck, which was heavier than the actual fridge, and proceeded to huff and puff across the ice and get the fridge in the back where it is going to go. My point is twofold, first a moan that I am always last on his list while he is out rescuing people from their plumbing woes and secondly I’m not the type of woman who ‘can’t do it’ I have to reassure myself of that from time to time 😜 although I will leave it to him to level up the feet, after all he is used to lying on the floor to ‘fix’ stuff!
Friday: A cold wind this morning to go with the half frozen half slush ground 😜 I did the rounds and cleaned out the ducks in the process, then cleaned out the geese after everything else was done.
After the afternoon feeding which I did a bit earlier today it was time to go round and meet the others to surprise Mum with mince pies, mulled wine and a rendition of We wish you a merry Christmas on her return from Australia 🎄🎄
Saturday: Got the rounds done quickly and early in order to go and do the dreaded Christmas shopping 🛒 not many folks about at 9am so that’s good we rattled round and picked up a tree then back home by 12.30 😀
John went off to pick up some corn as we had run out and then set about the tree boughs when he returned home. I did the afternoon feeding and discovered the damn rabbits have dug out again, honestly they find the tiniest bit of earth and excavate the escape routes. Down tools John we have to get these back in, except by dark we couldn’t find one of them so she is going to have to take her chances in the ‘wild’ 😜 I really need to get their floor sorted but it’s a big run and consequently a big task not made any easier by the fact I can’t shut them in anywhere, but its getting ridiculous and needs to be a priority, but so are the tree boughs and Christmas preparations 😝
Sunday: Apart from quickly helping John this morning with the rounds I have mostly been ‘doing christmas’ the tree is up, half the presents wrapped and a bit of cleaning done, just got a few more presents to buy and some more to wrap and I will be ready, well that side of it anyhow. We have guests over the holiday period so got to have everything in hand or I shall be preoccupied.
John was busy all day outside, cleaning both the front and the back chickens, a bit more on the chainsaw with the trees, helping me get the Christmas tree in and standing upright etc.
I think I will end the blog here for this year, all that remains for me so say is thank you for reading and have a VERRY MERRY FESTIVE SEASON and I will see you on the other side 😜