Always look on the bright side of life!

What a week we have had, hence the title, if we didn’t have a laugh about it, we would certainly be very down! Actually it wasnt so much as a bad week as one bad day, and I did check on the calendar that the Friday wasnt the 13th!

The most awful discovery on that day was that one of the lambs had fly strike, shearing off the fleece around her bottom we discovered maggots! I had suspected the day before that she may have a problem as she was stamping her back legs and flicking her tail. We quickly discovered via the internet what was to be done and also that it can strike very quickly and so not to feel too guilty. Today the maggots are all gone but she has a shaved behind that looks a bit sore but much better than it was.

Staying on the subject of ‘behinds’ we picked up some day old chicks last Thursday and they went under the lamp, on Friday we had to wipe their bottoms as they had developed ‘pasty vent’ which can happen when the lamp is not at the correct height, this causes the excretions to dry up and block the vent, after which they can go downhill very quickly.

Then there were three other bits of news affecting various members of the family, nothing serious, just things you don’t want to hear on a day that has already gone wrong! Hubby is having a holiday from his regular day job in order to fit the new Rayburn, it was a very exciting moment when it arrived and it is such a lovely piece of kit we have decided that it needs a name and will be known as Rosie. Before Rosie was installed we had to put down some self leveler on the floor, a nice runny mix that does what it says on the tin, unfortunately it ran through the kitchen wall, where it was supposed to stay and into the bathroom all over the lino!! Add to that an accidental fire while he was soldering some pipework, he shouts ‘ get some water quick’, then ‘quicker than that’ and you can see how the week has gone :p His excuse is that it will give me something interesting to write in my blog!!!!!!

On the up side, the freezer is filling up nicely, in fact I need to look out for another small chest freezer as a spare, which we can use as and when necessary. I have picked lbs of plums this week, the windfall apples are coming in thick and fast and the runner beans are yielding about 3lbs a day, the Autumn raspberries are not as forthcoming as I would like but if I keep freezing the small amounts I will soon have enough to make some jam. I mentioned an Autumn feel in the air last week and I don’t think I was far off the mark, it was quite chilly early this morning and reports of a light frost have reached my ears! The squirrel was spotted this morning in the nuts trees (another early indicator) and so I need to keep a close eye on those and get to them before he does 🙂  Blackberry picking season will soon be upon us (already is in some areas), I love to go blackberry picking, not only are they free, which is always a bonus, but I get to spend some time wandering along the country lanes at my leisure under the pretence of  ‘working’ 🙂

The onions, shallots and garlic have now finished drying out and are hanging in the back room, although quite what I am going to do with about 20kg of shallots beats me! They will easily last well into next year and I think everyone will be getting pickled onions as a Christmas pressie whether they like them or not! Some of the garlic will be going into bottles of Olive Oil and left for a few months to mature , it is then a delicious oil for dipping or for dressings, the longer you leave it the better it gets. I like to make a few bottles so that I always have one on the go and one ready to use. I have also bought my cheap bottles of Vodka to make Blackberry Vodka, a very easy (and unlike the pickled onions) a very much appreciated pressie. The Vodka, Blackberries and a small amount of sugar go into a jug for a few days, stirring once a day, then strain and pour back into the Vodka bottle and leave to mature for a couple of months, easy peasy 🙂 Sloe gin is made in the same way or you can use Blueberries for a treat. Fruit flavoured alcohols are very fashionable at the minute so why not make your own.

The baby rabbits are 5 weeks old now, that’s nine mouths to feed in total and they go through a lot of food! Luckily, the courgettes are growing faster than the rabbits can eat them,  they are also getting plenty of Kale and windfall apples to supplement thier dried food, and they love marigold flowers and a selection of herbs, so as I cut them back, I feed them to the rabbits, I love it when nothing goes to waste.

I hope you all have a good week and that we dont have another Friday like the last one!

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