Today was a very special day:
not because it was the final of the Rugby World Cup, with England playing South Africa; but because it was Mum’s birthday. However, unforgiveable clutz that I am, I was two days out of kilter & had organized her a lovely bouquet of richly-scented flowers to arrive on Monday, instead of today. What had confused me even more was Michelle’s call as it was her little girl Erin’s birthday party, & they’re coming to stay on Monday. As Erin’s birthday is two days before Mum’s, I naturally believed that I was still ‘on the ball’. I feel bad enough that I haven’t been able to get to see Mum this week because Tony has been away in Bishkek & I’ve had to stay at home to look after the Ffarm; but now far, far worse than that, I’ve messed up. And it doesn’t look likely we’ll get away to visit Mum & Dad this week as we have a busy few days ahead with friends to stay, Nanuk’s kennel complex being delivered & an important business meeting on Thursday. I’ll just have to try & sort something out, for next weekend: so can we treat you to a (slightly overdue) birthday lunch next Saturday or Sunday please, Mum?!
So, another beautiful Autumn day; some warmish sunshine & the woods alive with movement & colour as gentle breezes begin to tease the many-hued, curling leaves from the swaying branches. I’m looking forward to seeing friends Michelle, Neil & the children again over the next few days; in fact Neil has never seen the farm when the leaves are on the trees so it should be a real treat for him to see it at one of the finest times of the year. And they always seem to bring wonderful, warm weather! However last time they stayed, little Aderyn (one of the goat kids) broke her leg – so they kindly stepped in & took over ‘cook & bottlewasher’ duties as we rushed off to the vets’ – let’s just hope this visit is a little less fraught with incident.
I was delighted to find that the marvellous alchemy which is cheesemaking had worked its’ magic overnight; my little vats were no longer swimming with sweet, white milk but had been transformed into perferct white moons of silky curd, floating in their cloudy skies of whey. As I lifted the lid from each vat I was greeted with the tantalising waft of candyfloss-scented, creamy curds, light & delicious. I carefully ladled it into moulds & covered them with cheesecloth, leaving them to drain over the next 24 hours when I’ll carefully remove them & salt them. But I was singularly impressed by the high yield of curd – let’s see what sort of cheese it makes!
Tony came home by evening after a long flight, & after coming to say hello to the animals he settled to watch the rugby as I cooked supper. However, the dog’s frantic, excited barking alerted us to a problem – the sheep had manged to push open the little gate to their pen & were exploring the delights of the enclosed hen houses! I couldn’t believe it, I just don’t seem to be having any luck where shutting doors is concerned at the moment. However, I always make sure there are several layers of security – for example, the sheep are enclosed inside an inner pen in a larger shed; & the gate to the larger shed is also shut. Should they somehow manage to get through that, the farmyard is completely enclosed; yet if they were to perform a Houdini feat & get out of the yard, the gate at the top of the drive is LOCKED. Get out of that, you little devils….!
Well – was it a try, or not, folks? Tony maintains that as he’s Welsh he’s wasn’t really interested in the Rugby; but I’m sure even he was excited at times. Such a shame they lost; but to make it to the final is no mean feat. Well done, chaps.
But far more importantly – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MUM!!!!