Rats, puddings and pumpkins ðŸŽƒ

Monday: Did the usual routine and found yet another quail dying, so I got the indoor cage ready and transferred the birds that were left inside, I have no idea why they are dying there are no physical signs of injury or illness, so it may be an external factor such as stress. I will be able to monitor them more closely if they are inside, they seem fine then just go downhill and die within a day, it could even be bad breeding but as yet I haven’t got a clue! The duck eggs have gone even further down in number 😝 the older ones at the back that have been moved only laid 3 this morning as opposed to their usual 5, that sometimes happens when they have moved home so hopefully it will pick back up, I still only got 1 egg from the new ducks. Busy morning sorting out doctor appointments and booking in my flu jab, also had my laptop chap come out as that has gone kaput, it’s getting old now but limps along from one failure to the next lol. Then off out for lunch with my sister and cousins for some much needed down time. Back in time to light the fire and get dinner sorted (bubble and squeak) out to feed the birds and collect the eggs, feed the dogs and the day is nearly done. 

A phone call from my laptop man and it’s not good news the hard drive is knackered and unrecoverable that means all data lost 😫😫😫😫😫😫 it also means I will have to spend tomorrow with my fingers crossed that the external hard drive has a recent back up otherwise I’m dooooooooomed captain. 

Tuesday: Well what can I say, my day went from bad to worse! The hard drive on the laptop as you know was knackered, that meant trying to retrieve information that was supposed to be backed up on the external drive……….nope 😖 I managed to retrieve enough enough to lower my blood pressure but still it means I have some inputting to do. After spending a day trying to download programs onto a spare laptop, which took foreveeeeeeeer, so I decided to buy a new one, meanwhile my granddaughter came to visit and in the space of 10 minutes chaos happened. Sam went out to do the afternoon feed and collect eggs, I stayed inside, I had bread in the oven, Mia in my arms, an egg customer at the gate waiting for the 4pm egg collection (at 3.45), Mia promptly threw up straight down my cleavage, the phone rang and the bank Fraud office had cancelled the business card thinking it had been nicked, f**k my life. At times like these I wished I had more to puff on than a vape stick!!!! Ah well tomorrow is another day and as Shelley said ‘at least your life is not boring’ no it’s not but I would like something in between ‘all or nothing’ a steady flow of problems and solutions would be much appreciated, I guess that’s where the darker evenings become a good thing, shut the door on the day and relax, until the next situation rears its ugly head. Consequently there was no dinner ready for the evening and I very dared anyone to even wonder what we were having 😜

Went out to get a bit of shopping after shutting the birds up for the night and the lane had fog pockets all the way along very eerie.

Wednesday: Looking after Mia this afternoon and early evening so I need to be organised early, got the feed routine done, sorted out what we were gonna have for dinner and got a bit of ironing done. I also got started on the Christmas pudding, I have made my own for years now and although I vaguely follow a recipe, I also chuck in whatever takes my fancy or what I have in the cupboards, first step is to get all the dry ingredients together and put them In a bowl along with spices and citrus zest and juice and then a good gluggin of whatever alcohol I’m am going to use. This year I have used some of the rumtopf together with traditional brandy, that will soak over night, then it has long been tradition in our house to stir the pudding for luck so that’s exactly what will happen once the rest of the ingredients go in. The stirring is something I have carried with me from my primary school days, our school cook (a jolly round, rosy cheeked lady) used to bring the pudding out for the whole school to stir, three times one way then three times the other and make a wish, when I had children and started making them I decided to do the same and we do it every year, this year the grandchildren will have a go though they are more likely to try licking the spoon lol.

Joshua arrived with his mummy and then Mia and her mummy, so grandchildren take priority, well they will only be little for a short while and so you have to make the most of it don’t you 😍 

The days are getting colder and the nights colder still but the rain seems to be staying away for the time being, this time last year the fields were already rather trashed but this year they are still nice and green with plenty of grass covering them and we have a warm weekend forecast so Winter will seem a lot shorter this year hopefully.

Thursday: To be honest I didn’t even realise it was Thursday until I’d seen that I’d already written Wednesdays notes lol. I thought today as I always write ‘did the morning feed routine’ I would photograph it as I went round so you can see who and what I am feeding.

First stop on this foggy morning is the cats, Molly was nowhere to be seen but Diesel was waiting in the feed room for his breakfast.

Then onto the Geese and the ducks in the back paddocks, also fill up thier water buckets.

After that back to the feed room to fill up the bucket for the new ducks

Back to fill up feed buckets again for the chickens in the orchard and the front paddocks, I added some poultry spice to their feed this morning as it’s a bit damp and gloomy.

Feed the rabbits and Aaron the Pekin and his one eyed girl friend, you can see that the rabbits have dug their own burrows despite the lovely home John built for them.

Then onto the main laying flock of chickens, top up the water, feed them and scrape off the overnight poop from the floor (this gets done everyday)

Let the geese and ducks out then, back to the utility room to get the dogs breakfast and take any eggs I have collected and wash them ready to put out. On the way back check the quail who are now indoors.

Back inside for a coffee or two 😝 and decide what is on the agenda for today. 

I need to put in some fresh bedding for some and others need cleaning out so that’s what I will be doing this morning probably. I realise how lucky I am that my day is more or less entirely my own, I decide what to do or not and when to do it, however it does mean that I need to be self motivated to or nothing would get done at all 😋

The sun came out and so on such a lovely day it would be rude not to work on the veg garden, I did a bit of clearing, the courgette have all but finished and the rhubarb has now started to collapse, I needed to cover up the cabbages as something has been eating them , probably pigeons, chickens or both, I won’t get anything for my hard work if I don’t salvage them now. I also planted some broad bean seeds, some outside and some inside in pots just in case the seeds outside get eaten by mice before they have a chance to grow, I covered them with mesh so the chickens don’t scratch in the fresh earth and dig them back up. 

Then back indoors to do a quick hoover, get the fire ready for lighting later and sort out what’s for dinner, a couple of steaks I think. 

Friday: Flu jab day 🙃 and get my blood pressure checked as it was high at my last hospital appointment, well guess what, it’s even higher! 😝So sod the farm and lets go for lunch, I did opt for goats cheese and beetroot bun, chips with no salt 😟 

Usual jobs later in the afternoon and also the annual stirring of the Christmas pud mix followed by 5 hours of steaming it! 

Though you can hardly tell the difference the picks are actually one of Shelley and Josh and one of Sam and Mia! 

Saturday: Feed and let out then fill up all the rat bait boxes with poison blocks, this was after I went to let the ducks out and saw a rat sat by the door, I picked up a handy brick and lobbed it missing it but it ambled off further down the outside of the hut so I picked up the brick and lobbed it again, direct hit, however it didn’t kill it but the rat was slow so I am guessing he had been feasting on the last lot of stuff I put down. 

We had an idea that the rats were living in the compost heap as the dogs are very interested in that area most days, so we decided to move the heap build a new raised bed there. It took a while before the first rat came scuttling out and would you know it the dogs caught and killed it, a big fat one got clean away to the stable block but the dogs caught a second one a bit later, who knew they would be good at ratting! We spent all day moving vegetation at various stages of decay and were just left with a good pile of lovely compost which is now mostly inside the walls of a new bed. We found a good couple of pounds of potatoes growing in there so that was a bonus. The problem with the heap I think, is that I covered it with a tarpaulin instead of letting the elements get to it, that left a nice dry, cosy home for vermin 🐀

Hubby picked up 25 new POL hens this morning ready for sale and by 10am we had sold the first two.

Heard an almighty racket from the stable block after the horses had been taken in, ran round to find one of them had frightened himself while tied up and pulled the ply wall clean off its frame, luckily no harm done to animal or otherwise.

The ‘kids’ have been busy carving the pumpkins and making Halloween goodies to eat

Sunday: Mostly a repeat of Saturday, back breaking stuff, we must have moved around 4 ton of compost, riddled and bagged up around 1 and a half ton, moved a ton to the new heap after it was riddled and filled the new raised bed with the rest of it, raked, shovelled, barrowed, tidied and eventually finished. We didn’t see any more rats today, any that were left have probably moved on, will have to wait and see where they start making themselves known. The new compost area has been relocated so that we can get the tractor in to turn it, we have so much that we need a big bin and it needs to be turned regularly so that it rots down fast. It is one of the gardens little miracles, you put old vegetation in a heap and it turns to soil, a marvellous thing 😀

Hubby also turned the muck heap with the tractor, it is very dry, needs some rain on it lol, but it can wait a while 😋. He also repaired the piece of wall the horse ripped off yesterday and fixed the back door so that it actually closes without having to lock it, all in all a fabulous, if hard, weekends work. 

And now the darker nights have arrived 😔 boo, that means everything needs to be done and dusted by 5 o’clock, I’m not one to wish life away but roll on the shortest day. 

If you are getting your broomstick out, make sure it has a valid mot 🎃👻Happy Halloween. 


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