Phew, what a start to the day!
I was out on the yard again at first light, checking the regrouped livestock to ensure everyone had happily survived the night; fortunately there were no casualties. However, a liberal scattering of white feathers across the Farmyard led me to believe the worst; I anxiously checked the hens, ducks & geese, fearing a fox had got in & murdered my precious poultry. But where the feathers came from is a mystery; all the fowl were thankfully present & correct. I can only hope that ‘something’ got one of the evil magpies which plague the ffarmyard; they chip open the hens’ eggs & steal chicks from other birds’ nests.
Thankfully, one of our neighbours in the village is an electrician; I managed to contact him while he was en route to a job in Newcastle Emlyn & he immediately came over to do a temporary repair to the milking machine’s badly damaged flex. I gratefully waved him goodbye & immediately set about restoring the machine, on which I carried out three full, deep cleans before feeling I could set it back up onto the milking cycle.
Grumpily, I put the girls through the parlour & for once they behaved impeccably; evidently picking up the ‘vibe’ that I wasn’t best pleased with them. I had intended to go out for the afternoon in order to get birthday presents for Mum & Erin; however I waited in as Dowi had mentioned he’d return if possible to replace the cable on the milking machine. Alas, he didn’t manage to make it; but whilst waiting I finished up my clean-up operation in the shed; then as it was such a lovely day I did some work in the vegetable garden, continuing to clear the beds & tidying up the greenhouse & hothouse for winter. The leaves are fast falling from the grape vines; & I retrieved the last of the tiny tomatoes although there are still some up-&-coming cucumbers, a crop of figs is swelling steadily & to my surprise, even the little alpine strawberry is still flowering. I plucked the last plump little pepper & watered my chilli plants as the ducks quacked & splashed happily in the pond behind me.
So ultimately, a day filled with relief as thankfully there was no real damage done in the parlour (except to my CD collection, some of which were unfortunately irreplaceable). During the evening, after breathing a big sigh on shutting the cottage door, I allowed myself the rare luxury of an hour’s television whilst starting a couple of batches of Cilrhedyn Chevre, which were set up with starter & rennet by around midnight (I had intended to do this the previous day – but the goats had, of course, drunk the milk I was going to use…!).
Commencing the creation of a fresh cheese whilst winding down is actually a surprisingly relaxing way to end the day – with the promise of that sweet-smelling curd to greet me as I lift the lids from the shining vats in the morning….ahhh, & relax.