The topic this week has to be water in its different forms, firstly because we spent a lovely weekend by the sea, courtesy of our daughters for our Pearl wedding anniversary. We went to the Cary Arms in Babbacombe, Devon, a five star boutique hotel and if you ever get the chance or the inclination I would certainly recommend a stay there. The setting is picture perfect, you couldn’t actually get any closer to the beach without being on a boat, the room was large and comfortable, the food was superb, the staff were efficient and friendly and the private terrace overlooking the bay was a treat each morning when I got up early to watch the Sunrise. We took a stroll along the quiet, pebbled beach on the first morning before breakfast and you could have been in the Mediterranean  it was that idyllic!

The next batch of water was the rain, we desperately needed it and so (unlike me, I know) I am not going to complain, not about the downpour watering the garden and the fields at any rate. My complaint came when water started pouring through the kitchen ceiling this morning, great we have a leak in the roof, I went over to the stable block and the internal guttering is leaking, great, we have another leak, right outside of Jacks stable making the dirt floor a soggy mess, I turn to go to the bottom of the stable block and I am not sure yet if its another leak or if the guttering was just not coping, either way there is water gushing in and another soggy mess on the floor, the to do list for Hubby is already written!

Apart from the animals and birds all looking a little bit wet, they are much the same as normal, we have some new additions, three little piggies called Alvin, Simon and Theadora, they are Oxford Sandy and Blacks, a rare, traditional breed, so we were lucky to find them. The main reason for having pigs at this time of year is to use up the windfall apples and gluts of vegetables, they have been greedily tucking in to the fresh produce and when you watch them eat you know why they are called pigs, fighting over a piece of apple or banana is common. At the minute they are in one of the stables, they had not been outside at all since they were born although we will be transferring them to an outside run when Hubby gets to that particular job on his list!

Since I went away on Friday I have not yet had time to look in the veg garden, there is probably plenty of produce waiting to be picked but I was reluctant to get soaking wet doing it this morning, now at least I know I can easily feed the surplus cucumbers to the piglets instead of trying to find recipes for them. I did pick a few bits this morning very quickly, sweetcorn, celery, potatoes and an onion, to make a sweetcorn chowder for a friend who is visiting tomorrow, I hope she likes it. The egg number is slowly increasing from the laying stock but not back up to full production yet.  We have been selling plenty of the point of lay hens and wont be buying any more in until Spring now, so whatever is left will go into the laying pen with the others. I don’t think the new ducks have started to lay yet, they will probably all go at once and I will have more than I need, that’s the time to do some batch baking for the freezer.

I have heard that we are in for an invasion of hornets! I hope that particular rumour is untrue, we seem to go through stages of insects, the flies were an absolute pain during the sunny days, always a loud buzzy one flying around and dive bombing you while you were trying to watch the news. Then there are the wasps, you need close inspection before picking up a windfall or plum off of the tree, they might have got there before you and give you a nasty surprise, luckily I have not been stung yet, even though each morning when I am picking beans I am surrounded by the Bumble Bees searching for nectar. Spiders, of various hugeness, are now rearing their ugly little heads indoors as the days get cooler, Hubby was waiting for a scream from the general area of the toilet roll holder the other day when a one the size of a football (nearly 😉 decided to roost there, very mean of hubby not to remove it I thought, but I didn’t cry out, I merely gave the spider my best, bugger off back to where you came from stare, and lo and behold he was gone by the morning.  After that lot we now have the invasion of the earwig, they are on everything, I just had to eject one from the crawling up the inside of my trouser leg, to be fair, none of them are dangerous unless you are allergic, but I will be glad when it is too cold for them to bother coming out to play.

Cary Arms

The Cary Arms, a delightful little bolt-hole by the sea

Two of the three little pigs!

Two of the three little pigs!


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