A wet Monday, Black Friday and Family weekend. 

Monday: What a bloody horrendous start to the week weather wise, got a good soaking this morning despite having my full length rain coat and wellies on, the wind was blowing and I managed to get wet knees, how is that possible? I had a hat on too, though I detest wearing hats I felt that it was preferable to having frizzy hair all day, the trouble with hats is the different dimensions they turn your head into, I forget I am wearing it and bash into every door frame we have, knocking it sideways then the rain that has collected in the rim goes down my neck! It’s wet, windy and muddy, just disgusting, I shall not be going out there again until it’s necessary. Made leek and potato soup and a fresh loaf of bread. 

Still raining in the afternoon so ordered a couple of Christmas presents online. Started raining even heavier so lit the Rayburn ate my soup and decided to sit down and a) do the crop rotation plan for next year and b) go through the seed catalogues and write down my order, I am hoping that they do Black Friday again this year as I got them half price last year a saving of around £60! It is easy to get carried away when ordering as there are so many varieties of each crop, I managed to control myself though and go for high yields or early cropping (I have impatient customers) I also decided to go with outdoor cucumbers and tomato this year as I find I have more success with the extra plants I plant out than I do with the ones that are carefully nurtured indoors. I like to try something new each year and have gone for banana squash this year, mostly because I listened to an interview with a squash farmer around Halloween, they were talking about pumpkins but when asked which squash you should try she replied with banana squash, as I had never heard of them they had to be the ones to go for 😀 I am also trying out purple mange touts 😜

We have a phenomenon going on here, flies, they keep appearing from god knows where indoors, my guess is they have hibernated somewhere and when we light the fire they warm up and crawl out. We attract flies, not because we are grubby 😋 but because of the nature of the place, horse, duck, chicken shit = flies, but these are doing my head in, not many of them but about 4/5 a day keep appearing, they are very dozy and therefore very annoying but also easy to swat, never had the problem before and hope it stops soon. 

The afternoon feed time came around quick and I got myself suited and booted, different coat though as this mornings one hasn’t dried out yet 😝

Smoked fish for tea and an apple pudding of some sort if I can be bothered to make it, depends how wet I get or if there is more to do outside than I planned for, i.e. clearing up after flooding, if not I will dig around in the freezer for fruit and crumble mix. 

In the end I got a small apple pie out the freezer for John and some left over bread and butter pudding for me. 

Tuesday: Not a bad morning to begin with, mild and not raining, I won’t say dry because it’s very soggy underfoot. Longer than usual routine this morning as I put in fresh bedding for some and cleaned out others, the trouble with the ducks is they just make a poo mat, put in fresh bedding, they flatten it with their webbed dirty feet then poo all over it, the chickens are a little more refined. noticed new rat holes under the front chicken hut, however the rain has also puddled up there so I am guessing they won’t stay under there very long. 

The eggs numbers have slowly started to declined, to be honest I had expected that long before now so we are doing quite well really. 

Came indoors to change the bed linen and do a bit of hoovering by which time it had started raining again, did the washing up and smiled at the activity of a large number of little garden birds all ferreting around in the gravel out the front, the rain must have washed up some tasty tit bits judging by the activity. 

Got an offer for coffee at the garden centre…..yes indeed 😀 so quickly put some washing on (the wash basket looks like an active volcano) and got the lamb shoulder ready for slow cooking, I will leave it on low while I go out and turn it up a little on my return. I won’t light the Rayburn yet as it is quite mild considering and with the oven on as well it would get too warm. 

On my return the afternoon slowly descends into chaos as often happens I find, not major stuff just a whirlwind of little things all rattling around and colliding such as the phone ringing, a delivery or the doorbell going all at the same time as I am trying to carry something heavy indoors or taking the eggs out or having a wee, this little scenario seemed to happen multiple times yesterday afternoon and I find myself swivelling on the spot not quite sure which to do first. Then a problem with one of the horses who had been bought in and rolled in his stable and got himself stuck on the ground, much banging and clattering before he manage to right himself again. Good job it’s my treat to myself night, a massage, bliss. 

Wednesday: A dry morning with a promising forecast of no rain ☔️ 

Did the morning stuff and also cleaned out my feed storage as the rain had driven in and there was a soggy, messy corner in need of attention before it goes mouldy. Its an old chest freezer, ideal for storing feed so the rats and mice can’t get in, not sure how the rain got in, it’s usually dry as a bone.

This morning it was the turn of the rabbits to be cleaned out, their pen is quite large and has a concrete path around the outer edges but dirt in the middle, this is fine except that they dig burrows and the dirt pile ends up blocking the opening of the door, so I scrapped off all the mud and put down some metal grid then covered with the dirt again so that they can’t dig anymore holes hopefully, they won’t thank me for it but it will make my life easier. There are five females and they lived quite happily for a few months then fighting began between the grey one and the brown one, this resulted in an eye injury for the grey one so I moved her out, it’s been a couple of months and her eye has healed so I tried her back in with the others but the minute she was in there fighting began again so I had to take her back out. If you have never seen rabbits fight, they are vicious towards each other, fur flying all over the place, no cuddly fluffy bunnies then 😝 I really must give them names, instead of the brown one or the grey one lol

The Sun made a great appearance in the afternoon much appreciated, although it does feel cold. 

Thursday: Crap nights sleep or rather lack of, dog began yapping at something during the evening and carried on well into the night, investigated but couldn’t see anything and he won’t be told to shut up! Rats scurrying across the tin roof most of the night, inspected poison this morning all eaten, need to refill, and topped off by Hubby grinding his teeth 😖 all in all not much decent sleep. Probably accounts for why I feel emosh this morning about Charlie moving out at the weekend 😭 

As well as the normal stuff this morning I scrapped off the mud from the POL hens floor, it is concrete and has a roof but the rain blows in the sides and then the hens walk in the mud and deposit it on the concrete, it soon builds up! Feel as though things are slightly out of control at the moment (rats) and the ducks not laying at all really need to get rid or cull the drakes so I am not feeding mouths that will not produce anything. Lists, that is the answer to get control back for me, make lists and tick the jobs off one by one. Cut the feed back a bit this morning as I don’t want extra lying around for rats and crows to devour. 

Made a list and it worked well, got me motivated, take pictures of the drakes and put up for sale ✅ burn rubbish ✅ put poison out under front chicken hut ✅ clean out quail ✅ put straw money out for delivery tomorrow ✅ get something out for dinner ✅ sort freezers ✅ muck up the bean bed and put down weed cover ✅ that last job was quite a big one, 5 barrowfuls of muck, shovelled up and moved from the back heap to the veg garden, by the fifth barrow I was sweating and had to take my coat off so……cardiovascular workout ✅ 

Had a quick look round the garden and delighted to see the tiny shoots of the broad beans beginning to emerge from the ground, they will be ready early next year, then water the veg in the poly tunnel, onions are sprouting and the other veg is doing fine. I noticed a fair few broccoli sproutings so went in the cage to pick them and the leaves on the sprouts that have been growing readily are starting to die back so a good time to pick them all off and harvest the sprout stalks, there are five in total, not bad at all. 

I did have some other things on the list that I didn’t get round to but there is always tomorrow besides I wanted to try out my new gadget, a wood burning pen/stick thingy. I had a spare chopping board lurking around and wanted to have a go and give it to Charlie and Macca for their new home, I was pleased with the results 😀


Friday: On inspection during my rounds this morning, all of the bait blocks have gone so I have put some more down. I was told a rat needs to eat his own weight in poison before it dies, hope there are not too many fat bastards down the holes otherwise it’s gonna cost me a fortune 😝

Off out to get my blood tests done then into town to do some shopping

Checked my e-mails and delighted to see one from Mr Fothergills for Black Friday, sat down and did my seed order, I got £75 worth of seeds for £45 plus free postage and packing, get in 😀

Saturday: A family orientated day today, moving day for Charlie and Macca, did the morning rounds while John went off to get the feed and then spent the morning moving Charlie’s stuff out of our house and into her new home, exciting times. John spent the morning cutting up yet more wood then we all spent a few hours round at the MIL as it would have been Johns Dads birthday so we raised a glass to him and ate some of his fav foods 😀

Back in time to light the fire and do the afternoon feed rounds and put the animals to bed an hour later.

Sunday: Feeling rough with a cold so John did all the outside jobs this morning and I stayed inside, did some cleaning and rearranging now that we have a spare room! Made some bread and a cake. I bet John a tenner last week he couldn’t get the eggs that the chicken in the duck pen had laid, she had managed to squeeze through a gap about 2 inches wide behind the duck house and laid about 8 eggs over the course of time, he came in with them this morning 😝 So I tested them and they were fine and I will use them up as quickly as I can, they have only been there a week so will be fine for at least another week. John did more cutting of branches and shredding etc then we went out for Sunday lunch at a local pub. Back in time to watch the last Grand Prix of the season, well actually I had a sleep 😴 and then feed the animals and get ready to go with the family to Blenheim Palace to see the Christmas lights which were absolutely beautiful, a ride on the carousel, mulled cider and hot chestnuts and now I am feeling festive 🎄

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