Slumber’s mantle still covered the Ffarm….
but across the darkness, the windchimes dangling from below one of the hanging baskets on the end of the Long Barn chorused a confusion of jumbled notes, proclaiming the buffeting breeze’s movements as they twisted & turned on the restless night wind. Dawn’s half-hearted light revealed that at least the grim rains of yesterday had been forced further westwards by the pursuing winds which howled like banshees in the chimney & left only a high, thin layer of cloud – like the cendre rind on a Selles-sur-cher cheese – in their wake; until that, too, succumbed to disperse & reveal a cool blue sky holding a tentatively apologetic, opaquely-glowing apricot sun.
We tackled the chores with gusto, relieved that the goats could at last spend the day in the sunshine grazing the fragrantly-herbed, lush lower pastures which lead to down the edge of the ancient woodland. As the sun spilled over the fields & I rustled up a quick, simple lunch, Tony painstakingly put the finishing touches to our renewed planning paperwork so that we could once again look forward to enduring the agonizing wait for our application to be picked over & scrutinised before – hopefully – its’ ulitmate approval in a few weeks’ time. We opted to deliver our revised application by hand rather than risk the rather erratic postal service as we’d already had to wait a week for the detailed drawings of our proposed building to arrive, despite the fact that they’d been put in the First Class (overnight) post, days ago. Nevertheless we are very excited by the plans as the prospective building looks superb & will blend in really well with the general locality & especially with its’ immediate surroundings, being made completely of wood (fortuitously cut from sustainable forests, making it carbon-neutral) & sporting a plum-dark, slate-coloured roof.
After this excursion we called in to visit our friends & neighbours on the hill – Janet & John – with a dozen fresh eggs & an excuse for their proffered welcome cup of tea & a chat; after which we hurried down the drive to commence the evening chores, walk the dog & cook a homely supper of our seasoned, succulent milk-fed pork served on a bed of fragrantly-herbed wholegrain rice with fresh-picked, ffarm-mixed veg: a bite of broccolli, a cut of cauliflower, a crunch of carrots & a scattering of deliciously sweet, newly-podded peas.
Bath time, with some indulgently relaxing lavender oils & the lovely skin-softening olive oil soap which Tony had discovered in a small shop down a dusty side street in Aleppo; then finally, thankfully, & so to bed; snuggling deep beneath the warm duvet to dream the seemingly impossible dream – that of finally having our own working dairy….whilst out in the darkness of the wild, windy night Silli silently focuses her single, eagle-yellow eye – that glowing orb of moonwashed fire – & pounces precisely on another hapless brown field mouse; as in our nightmares we toss & turn about those faceless, grey men who are putting our very future in the balance with their cat-&-mouse game of considering our best-laid plans…..