The day dawned, beautifully bright & refreshingly frosty;
although not as cold as it had been, the previous morning. After the priority job of breaking the ice on all the water troughs, I busied myself with collecting kindling from the fallen branches of yesterday’s activity, warm work as the cold sun rose in a haze of amber over the wintry valley. Having collected a substantial stack of wood, I turned my attentive energy again to the chores; not returning to the house for breakfast until I’d finished.
Unfortunately, however, I discovered that breaking my hungry fast, would have to wait as the kitchen sink was well & truly blocked: a pool of grey, murky water floating the half-full washing-up bowl like a miniature Titanic stranded in a squalid sea. With a resigned sigh, I rolled up my sleeves, donned a pair of stout rubber gloves & set to work on what transpired to be a mammoth, mucky job – the blockage beneath the sink was only the tip of the icky iceberg! Lovely.
Paul & Barry had arrived to resume work on the Dairy Complex site; busying themselves with digging out the massive banks of stone & earth which years before had acted as the holding tank for the farm’s mill race; the water held in a pool before being forced over the wheel which was used to grind corn for animal fodder. I was very sad to see the walls go; however they rendered the land otherwise unusable; & there truly was nowhere else left, to put the new building.
I took the guys a cup of steaming, creamy goats’ milk coffee with some rich, sugary shortbread wedges – just the thing for cold afternoon as by now the temperature was dropping rapidly. I hurried back indoors to stoke up the fire, nearly setting light to the house in the process as a great, burning log tumbled out of the woodburner in a spectacular shower of sparks; but thankfully only plonked harmlessly onto the flagstone floor below.
I carefully wrapped Tony’s Christmas presents, before he arrived home from Damascus; as I suspect there will be such a flurry of activity before Mum & Dad’s arrival in a few days’ time I will not be granted the solitude to do it otherwise. He returned at about 9pm & we engaged in a long, involved discussion; catching up on business, life, the universe & everything. Conversation & minds duly exhausted, I again stoked up fire for the night before wearily making my way up to bed; snuggling thankfully together, against the cold.