Monday 5th Feb: Crikey when I looked at the date I wondered where the last 5 days have gone! Been busy this morning, finally got my welly on, I had to really as John is busy with his Mum so morning routine was down to me. I got the birds and rabbits fed and watered, cleaned out the front house floor, John did the boxes yesterday, then sorted the recycling and burnt the paper rubbish along with feed sacks etc. Then a few minutes in the greenhouse checking the seed I have already down and I used some clear boxes with lids, the type apple turnovers come in, to sow some lettuce seeds, I’m hoping they will work like mini greenhouses, inside the greenhouse. Then on to light the fire and get some washing on a bit of tidying up and putting away and then coffee time so I can write this up. I took a photo this morning, have a look at it and see what you can see, not much? Well there is a lot more going on here than you realise, the rabbit on the grass and the cat on the fence but the cat is not interested in that particular rabbit what she is interested in is the baby rabbits that at a guess are under the shed! The babies in the run are now moving about a lot exploring their surroundings, I’m guessing the others are of a similar age and doing the same, Molly certainly thinks there is something interesting to watch here and knowing Molly, she is thinking 💭 breakfast 😀 Unless I can catch them it will be natural selection situation I’m afraid.
Tuesday: Is it just me or is everyone’s life chaos at times? This morning was one of those mental half hours, Mia arrived early, that’s fine I have done everything outside and lit the fire, she sits to the table and eats her ready brek (which I’d had forgotten gets bloody everywhere and is a pain to clean up because when you think you have finished you find bits stuck to your hand) Ok get her down now she is cleaned up and I am having an omelette for breakfast so I start that, then the septic tank lorry turns up, gotta now get the dogs inside so I am shouting them before the lorry starts to reverse into the driveway, dogs locked away, Mia is crying as she wants something I can’t quite understand what, I think at this moment Peppa Pig will sort the situation out, the fire stick decides it’s not playing ball today, frantically clicking on it and it finally kicks into life, the phone rings (a customer of Johns) I talk quickly to the tank driver, the phone rings again (John, this time) meanwhile my omelette is still cooking, I make tea for the driver, put wood on the fire before it burns down too far, eat my omelette while I can smell the product of the tank emptying 😝 meanwhile Shelley is messaging as she is coming over to collect Mia and take her back to play so i am arranging that and then almost as quickly as it started, the lorry goes, Mia is still watching Peppa Pig and sanity resumes 🤪🤪
Mia went off with Shelley, John came home after collecting the feed and I decided to make a cake, I really like this Mary Berry recipe, it’s easy, doesn’t take very long to make, I put everything in the bowl then mix it up and it tastes great even when you alter the ingredients slightly.
Wednesday: I was hoping to have a bit of time in the garden today after doing the morning feeding etc but it’s too frozen 🙄 I couldn’t even pot on the blueberries as the ericaceous compost was frozen solid, my fault I asked John to put it out by the greenhouse, I should have had it put inside really. The aubergine seedlings have come up on the windowsill in the kitchen the problem now is making sure they get enough light so they don’t get ‘leggy’ so I have taken the cover off and the tray will get turned a couple of times a day especially when the sun is shinning. I have some mini daffodils (paper whites, which always remind me of a friend that I know loves them) in a pot that I was given for Christmas, they are also on the windowsill and the green tips are just peeking through. I find it an exciting time when everything starts to grow again but I need to beware as the temperature can plummet drastically as we have seen overnight.
I always think I would quite like a heated greenhouse for this time of year but it goes against my ethos, I can’t really justify it and keep looking for ways to heat it up for free. There are some good ideas online in various places it’s just getting round to doing them lol, one if making use of the muckheap and having a pipe run from the bottom of the greenhouse, through the heap and back into the top of the greenhouse though I’m not sure this would work entirely as warm air rises anyway so it would probably all escape through the roof!
So after getting the fire lit and looking at a few you tube vids I decided that the hot bed probably would work fine though it hasn’t really up till now, but that’s because the manure in it was fairly old and so cooked itself through. The solution was to put more, fresh stuff in there so I ripped up a newspaper and spread that, then some kitchen compost waste, tea bags, banana skin etc and finally some cleanings out from the rabbit and quail runs which should bring it back to life and raise the temperature. I also added a bucket of multipurpose compost and stood a black bucket filled with water on top. Looking at the dirt floor, which is always colder than anything else, it needs a layer of something on, either cardboard or even straw though I think I would find the straw annoying so I will opt for the cardboard as we have plenty of it about.
John came home late afternoon asking what jobs need doing 🤪 look around, bloody hundreds lol, you can start by collecting up all the buckets and cleaning them, I’ll use the power washer he says (any opportunity to play with a toy) I don’t think that is necessary I say just clean them with a brush or sponge, he sulks, ten minutes later he comes back in, I’m going to use the pressure washer as there are TEN buckets, TEN buckets oh well you better had then otherwise you will be there all week long, I roll my eyes and retreat, pretty sure that is overkill but if it makes him happy 🙄
Thursday: Phew what a day, busy, busy, busy, we did the usual morning stuff then started on tidying and clearing the back. John and I spent pretty much the whole of the day tidying stuff up, putting stuff away, throwing stuff away, putting stuff up for sale or giving it away and building a new worktop area and storage under. How long it will stay like that is anyone’s guess 🤪 but for now it looks like a clean, tidy, usable space. Oh and John and one of the liveries managed to catch the loose rabbit now that her offspring are able to fend for themselves, if we can catch them up we will, if not they will be on their own!
Friday: After winds last night then downpours during the night it’s sunny though a cold wind with it. Did the morning rounds and the bubble wrap for the greenhouse arrived yesterday so I am going to put that up this morning, I’m determined to get this greenhouse warm enough for an early start.
So I ordered 50m of 2ft wide (large bubble, they let in more light than small) bubble wrap and used nearly all of it insulating the greenhouse, it took about an hour, I haven’t done the bottom half just the sides and top to stop the warm air escaping. I really hope it makes a difference lol, it cost £25 but I should be able to reuse it again next year. Of course what I would really like is a new greenhouse lol, but replacing like for like would cost a few thousand so I am happy to limp along with this one until the wind blows it down 💨 it’s been repaired so many times and is not the best but it still works in a fashion, I will put one on my ‘dream’ list.
I got really cold and couldn’t warm up for the life of me, then ended up with joint pains oh the joys of Lupus 😜
Saturday: It’s cold and raining 😐 John did the birds in the front and I did the birds at the back, we relocated the ducks back to their original pen and will feed them inside their hut as it’s not really fair to keep them in the stable unless absolutely necessary. John then went off to sort his Mum out and I decided to make some pickled eggs as we have got plenty of them! I looked for a pickling recipe but couldn’t quite find one I liked so as usual adapted one, white vinegar, salt, sugar, juniper berries, coriander seeds and a pinch of mustard powder all went in, we will see how they taste in a few days 😀 a packet of crisps, pickled egg and a beer is supposed to be beautiful lol.
Got the Rayburn going early, she has been a bit of a pig to light over the last few days taking me nearly an hour to get her up to speed, it’s one of the things that I have a love/hate relationship with 🤪
We are finally getting round to clearing up some of the things that have been lying around for ages, yesterday someone came to collect some big sheets of insulated metal we were given (don’t like to say no lol) we didn’t really have a use for them so we passed them on to someone who does. Now just got to get rid of our old sofa and Charlie’s mattress and I can start making the front look attractive, I never could put flowers etc out there before because Kai would always dig them up, now he has gone I can 😀 I always wanted a lavender hedge out the front so time to put some plans into action.
It’s such a cold wet depressing day I decided I’m not doing anything except sit in the warm lol. I looked through all the old photos and can’t wait for the place to look spring like and warm again, I found old videos of little lambs, photos of the garden when it looks at its best, roll on better weather, it’s at this stage of the year it feels like it’s been winter forever.
Sunday: Cold again 😟 we’ve had wind, rain, sleet, hail and even a touch of sun all a 24hr period! I haven’t been outside at all today, John was up early and has done all the outside jobs while I warm the house, cook the dinner, do the chores lol. He is really earning his keep at the moment, 7 mornings and 5 evenings a week he is seeing to his Mum, in between he is fitting in the plumbing work and keeping up with his farm chores and doing a sterling job to boot.