Last weekend, Boo got sick. She got very very sick indeed, and it turns out, though I didn't know this until Tuesday, that she had Norovirus. She is finally on the mend, but still a very fragile, unknown little girl, who can just do a little maths, or walk down to the barn with the dog, before needing to rest.
Our family has an unhappy history of post viral disasters, so this is one little girl who will not be rushing to get back to full performance. It will take as long as it takes.
It's been a time of concern for me, because having been away on the course, it was necessary for me to hit the gardens with a very big bat indeed when I got back, and I haven't been able to. Boo was more important.
I've done some seed sowing and a little planting out, but by and large, I've just worried about it. No one has yet set foot on the field garden, and I can see yet another delay in plan A taking place.
As well, our neighbour once again complained about the cockerel, and we had a woman from the council round for over an hour (this would be the council which can't afford to mend the roads or keep the libraries open) 'discussing' the issue. It seems if matey boy wants to lie in til 10 at the weekend, then that's his right and his privilege, and the bird's volume is the only deciding factor in whether he lives or dies. Sound monitoring equipment (think: roads, libraries) is to be fitted in his house to ascertain whether Professor Bhaer is too loud, or not.
It's been interesting though, because it's forced me to look life in the face, and tell myself the truth about the situation.
We are living through a depression, I do believe it will come to that, we haven't seen the half of it yet, and if peak oil and climate change pull together to fulfill as much of Revelation as they can, we will be mired so deep for so long - should the Lord tarry - that this little spot of bother will seem nothing.
I call myself a farmer out of sheer defiance. We rent land, we grow food, we feed ourselves and sell some surplus. I can call myself nothing or I can call myself a farmer. I choose farmer. At Ragmans, I told someone - you lost your job, and now you grow food for your family, run a community farm, and a transition group - hold your head up! You're not unemployed! You're a farmer. If you can't put it on your passport, at the very least, put it on your facebook profile!
Not long ago, I was married to a shepherd, but he lost his job in the vilest of circumstances, and now he drives a taxi. Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of work, and money to pay the rent.
Life is a struggle.. It is incumbent upon me to run our little farm, feed us all on very little, make do and mend, bring up two children, whose education through our own choice is not free, and keep a brave face on it.
The goats are hopefully all bred, albeit very late in the season, so we pray for a good crop of babies, and maybe one or two sales. There are one or two green things in the garden, and we have not run out of last year's canned things, yet. There is yet some pig and some hogget in the freezer. The winter has been so cold and dry, potatoes left in the ground by mistake and discovered now, are still edible! The mint will soon be up, and tea will be free!
Counting my blessings, one by one. And tonight, I made sourdough bread with spelt flour, and I realised I will never again make bread without having Ciara and Olivia with me in spirit! I undertake to teach people this summer, and to pass on the starter - it's a precious thing to do, and I can't recommend it well enough!
My lenten reading is Scott Savage's 'A Plain Life' - re-reading after a good five years - and memorising the beatitudes with him. My bedside reading is, for the umpteenth time, 'Miss Clare Remembers' - contentment is a boiled egg for breakfast, a good cardigan well pressed, the song of a robin, and the promise of another day.
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