Autumn, in July? 

Sitting drinking my morning coffee this morning, I could be forgiven if I didn’t have a calendar, for thinking it’s Autumn! I love Autumn it’s my favourite time of year just not at the end of July! What has happened to summer, it reared its head briefly at the beginning of the month and then went away on holiday. This whole year so far has been odd to say the least, as a consequence the green tomatoes on the vine are still green, the beans are trying to perform as are the squash but they are struggling. Only the fruit seems to have relished in the weather that nature has thrown at it this year, bumper crops of raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, cherries and apricots mean we will eat lots of lovely pies and cakes in the winter months, something to look forward to at least.

With a short or non existent summer comes the realisation that ‘winter is coming’ sorry couldn’t resist and that will only mean something to Game of Thrones fans 😉. I am already making plans for the run up to the colder months, trying to get the birds in tip top condition to help them through. They have been given soluble vitamins and cider vinegar in thier water and soon it will be time to give them all a dusting to keep critters at bay from thier feathers. Hubby’s new chicken house is brilliant, well I think so but the chickens are refusing to go in still preferring to go back to the old hut every night. Drastic action is needed this weekend to remove the old huts so that they have no choice but to take up thier new des res.

Bella the cat has been in for spaying, we locked her in a cage as per instructions the night before surgery, in the morning she appeared on the doorstep! After surgery we locked her back in the cage and tied the handles with string, an hour after being put in there she appeared in the stable block, somehow she had managed to get her head collar off, get out of the ‘secure’ cage and rip out a stitch in the process! She is now locked in the toilet, we should have called her Houdini, how she managed to get out of the cage (dog cage type) I will never know but we have always had difficulty keeping her locked in anywhere, I will be glad when she is healed and able to roam free again without the added worry of her getting in the family way. 

I have just started a 14 day process to make Glacé cherries, why, you may ask when they are readily available in the little plastic tubs in the shop, curiosity is the answer, to see if it works and if they taste better than shop bought ones which I am sure they will. It’s quite a long process although a fairly simple, repetitive one, I will let you know the result in due course. 

Hubby is off from his regular job for two weeks fairly soon so I have been busy writing him a long list of farm jobs, no rest for the wicked lol, we having fencing to finish and a whole load of little jobs to be sorted, things like realigning bolts on doorways and gateways. It is surprising how much everything moves over the course of the year, resulting in having to lift the gates or doors to shut them, this takes its toll on my arm muscles so I will be glad to be able to slide them shut smoothly with no effort at all, for a while at least. We bought some large water tanks back in the spring and they need connecting up to the others, this will enable us to save at least 6000 litres of rainwater. Most of it is used for the ducks but apparently I am having a pump fitted so that I can use it on the veg garden as well,that will save a bit on the water bill. I try not to use the hose to water the garden if I can help it, only when the plants are looking close to collapsing and needs must. 

I have already started to think about how I will do things slightly differently in the veg plot next year, the strawberry beds are going to be raised off the ground and the dwarf beans need to be higher up too. I am trying to make things easier for myself, as time goes on the difficulties bought on by the Lupus are more apparent, generally speaking kneeling down to pick produce results in pain and so the higher up I can get stuff the better for my health. 

On the whole life is good as they say, and over the past few days I have felt a contentment I have never had before, yesterday was my 51st birthday (woah, where did the years go) I have a grandson on the way, my health is good to middling and the weather is not too bad. My favourite book is Cider With Rosie and these are the type of days I measure against the feeling I get when I read it, if you understand what I mean, I think today will be another Cider with Rosie day, long may it continue 😎

Have a good week 😃

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