Another rainy, squally day:
so much so in fact, it has removed some of the surface of our driveway down to the ffarm (which is about half a mile long – so that’ll involve some pretty major repairs by Yours Truly with a rake, spade, another half-ton of gravel & grimly-gritted teeth as I struggle up & down the hill). So it’s been a day for some indoor work, whilst dashing between rainstorms to walk the dog, feed & care for the animals etc. As ever, bouts of beautiful sunshine – encouraging expeditions out-of-doors – were punctuated with pouting, pendulous clouds, eager to discharge their watery burden every time I hoped I might get a chance to tackle the tangle of weeds which could formerly be identified as the vegetable patch (it’s got that bad). I’m desperate to lift some more potatoes & get in amongst the beans; however the weather just hasn’t been kind enough. And whilst I’d love to paint the inside of the lambing shed, it’s just too damp in there at the moment. Tony finally got around to one of those ‘cannot-be-left-any-longer’ domestic DIY jobs, moving out the old tumble drier & erecting a simple set of rustic shelves between the kitchen units, onto which I’ve put some wicker baskets for storing fresh fruit & vegetables rather than having to traipse all the way into the Cold Room in the garage every time I need some carrots or whatever. Meanwhile I’ve started my major overhaul of the kitchen; however the mess has inevitably spread into the living room….so I’m sure visitors must look for the hole in the roof where the bomb came through, it’s that bad. Ah well, it must all be immaculate, by Friday….!
I continued my background research for my next article for ‘Smallholder’ magazine: Part Two of the first article is being published in the forthcoming magazine so I need to ‘get my skates on’ if I’m to make the copy deadline for the next edition. There just aren’t enough hours in a day, unfortunately….! This time I’m writing about Christmas at Ffarm Fach & want to include a bit about the local traditions in which we participate. And of course, about last year’s terrific feast, with its’ centrepiece multi-bird roast – a plump goose stuffed with a wild mallard: delicious, but the preparation of the goose was more than we’d bargained for, being one which we’d killed & dressed for the table, ourselves.
On the FMD/BTV disease fronts, the gloomy news prevails: FMD has been confirmed at another premises within the Protection Zone, with another suspected case in neighbouring Hampshire (let’s hope it’s another false alarm – or it really is getting out of control); & another cow has been found to be infected with Serotype 8 BTV on the same farm as the first one, just what everybody dreaded would happen but hoped against hope that it wouldn’t. Let’s hope the farming industry gets some good news, some time soon….because goodness knows, we could do with it.