Water, water, everywhere!

The Farmer sits in the kitchen by the nice warm fire with her head in her hands, the sky is heavy with, as yet, unleashed waterfalls of rain to accompany the previous 24 hour deluge. The farm is slowly disappearing under a vast volume of water and the animals must make thier survival decisions quickly! Ha ha not quite but it feels like it this morning, the rain is relentless and no amount of wet weather gear is going to keep you bone dry in this, I had my long waterproof coat my waterproof leather boots and my leather hat on, still got wet at the back of my legs. The hat is the type that the Aussies wear and I know why they have corks all around it, not to keep flies off but to remind you where the edge of your hat is is that you don’t keep bashing it into things.

As already mentioned Rosie the Rayburn was lit during the week, I think we timed it just right, although the first meal cooked in her was disappointing. I had put some braising steak in at about ten o’clock and then added veg later in the afternoon but I don’t think enough heat was generated because it was only just edible despite smelling great. Subsequent meals have been great though and on a day like this it is lovely to be able to keep the kettle simmering for a cuppa when you come in from outside.

The contrast in the weather today compared to Saturday is drastic to say the least. We had a beautiful day and we were lucky enough to have a day off and go to the races, we left Mum in charge and my middle daughter and her BF kindly came over and gave her a hand. It was great to have a day off and a thoroughly enjoyable day at that, although Lionel Ritchie was supposed to be playing but cancelled, shame as we had a great view of the stage and it would have been an awesome finish to the day.

We must have had quite a bit of Sun in the past week as on one of the days I decided to do a bit of blackberry picking. I don’t have to go far as there are some very prolific bushes on the perimeter of the farm, I picked three big punnets within an hour and they were sweet, and plump, probably one of the best years I have encountered. We always used to go blackberry picking when we were kids and I always took my kids picking too, the blackberry is one of natures finest little packages and free, which is a bonus. There are plenty of them this year, which in some circles would indicate a hard Winter ahead, however I think it is more likely to be because of all the rain we had during the Spring and Summer, being a late fruit they would have benefited enormously from that. I have noticed that the birds are stripping fruit quite quickly though, my plums were one, and the elderberries and sloes are another, maybe they are storing up now because there have not been many insects around during the wet summer. When I had finished picking I set about making Jam which is one of the best things you can do with blackberries, I picked the few apples that I have on the tree this year and decided to make Apple and Blackberry Jam, the apples have a high pectin content and help to set the jam very easily without too much effort and no disappointment 🙂

We finally got round to worming the sheep, hurrah, I had quite a sense of achievement when we had finished, strange how little things can give so much satisfaction. We took the advice of an old hand and made a triangular pen with the hurdles to catch them one at a time in. You drive the sheep into the corner and shut the gate behind it and because sheep like to move forward you have them nicely caught in order to give them the wormer. I thought this would be like giving the dog or the horse wormer, both usually protest and spit a large portion of it out, not the case with the sheep, they actually liked it! Why don’t they make every wormer that easy to administer, or maybe the sheep are just a bit stupid, who knows. Having got them cornered it was a good time to take a look at thier feet and check for any sores and cut back any excess hoof. We also checked over the under bellies to make sure there was no fly strike and then they were let go back into the flock ( oo I am getting carried away now as there is only two) one day maybe and I feel that I would be more than able to keep up some good husbandry after completing our first ever worming and sheep pedicure! They are now ready to go to the Tup whenever are called for and fingers crossed he does a good job.

A rainy day is a baking day in this establishement and it is definitely raining today! A chicken dish of some description will be going into the oven and I think a cake will be well received on a day like this, probably a Victoria sponge with the fresh jam as a filling. I will probably do a bit of batch baking as the rain does not look like it is going to let up at all for the next few hours 😦

Assuming it does stop raining at some point and we don’t get washed away in a muddy torrent of water, I will be back next week 🙂

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