Days like these...

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up early as I had unwisely perhaps booked to work early, from 8 - 11 to get hours in, and still have day left for farm and family.
Dragging unwell family from their beds and installing them in the plague ship sitting room, I was at my desk by 8. By 9.30 I had a problem. By ten I was with tech support and by then without internet at all on my work PC. 
Meanwhile gasping and coughing and croaking and suffering in the sitting room, my husband and daughters were just gearing themselves up to milk goats and feed horses.
I decided to do something useful and went out into the veg garden, where I dragged a three tine cultivator round the unoccupied beds, which have panned with the excessive rainfall, in the hope of opening them up and getting them to accept the next bout of excessive rainfall without just eroding away to nothing.
By this time I'm coughing and groaning as well.
The computer guy appears to be on holiday.
We had planned to go to the farm store to buy new wellies for H (late Christmas present) and think about her sixteenth birthday present, two days hence.
Everyone was too ill.
As we stoke up the wood burner and make hot tea, there is a phone call. Our sheep have escaped and are wandering around in Charlie's rape crop.

Our sheep, I might add, are currently on Wansdyke. Wait while I find you a picture.

This is the one. It's up high, and today is not a nice sunny day like that.  It's cold and wet and windy. And some jolly walkers have decided to kick a hole in the fence to let their dog through. Into my pregnant ewes, but that's neither here nor there. And they've got out and are wandering around about in failing light and four of us bundled up like Russian dolls and toting buckets of sugar beet nuts and hampered by hacking coughs and the inability to breathe and the fast encroaching darkness are trying to get them back in.
We get them back in, which is not far short of a miracle.

Then noticing that the grass has gone a lot quicker than we'd hoped, we tote back down to the village to fetch bales of hay.

By this time Boo has faded and I have to get her home and wrapped around a mug of hot tea. H, whose voice has now all but disappeared and is wheezing like an old cart horse goes back out with her dad, who has a fever and is not looking special - to cart the hay back up the Harepath out to the sheep. It is dark and icy rain is falling.

Finally I get everyone fed and warm and I am now the last one up, sitting in peace and quiet, by the woodburner, very slightly unable to breathe, but content.

Many, many times we consider what it would be like to just pack it in, just stop. Sell the livestock, give up the dream, forget the lot and opt for central heating, paid holiday and sick leave - but funnily enough, it's never on days like these. When the battle's won, and everyone's dosed up and tucked up in bed, and I'm by the fire with my eyes closing, wondering if I can just card a little wool before bed, or knit a row or two, or if I will just curl up for half an hour with my re-read - The Deliberate Agrarian by Herrick Kimball - or if in fact falling over is now, at 9.45, the only option - these are the days I know I wouldn't change a thing.

The turning of the year

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Each year, I light candles in our lilac tree on the shortest day.

This year, as I lit them about 3.30pm, the hens were going to bed and the rain was beginning to fall, again.  The ground is waterlogged, the fields are lakes, the world is under water. We are on high ground, so we don't have to take to our upper rooms, or sandbag our doors, but our land ... lies useless and unapproachable.

We finally had to be out of our barn this week, and for the first time, poor Cormac is out 24/7 after a slight misunderstanding where it was absolutely a given that he would have a shelter - he has trees and is coping so far, but we need to fix that next week.

And our goats are also outdoors properly, fully, for the first time ever - or at least Linen and Lace are - and that's not going any too well either. They have a shed. They just haven't worked out how to use it.

We have fought bitter battles this year. I won't be sorry to see it end. But we're still standing. I said goodbye to my guide unit, kind of by accident.  We stood fast by the land and in God's grace, we won - and those who hoped to take it from us by maligning us failed to do so. They still attempt to take things off us - but by and large the things they have taken weren't worth having, and the things that matter they fail to win.

Powers and principalities.

2013 is going to be an amazing year for us. God willing, my beautiful, powerful, (soon to be) 16 year old daughter will go to agricultural college and begin to live her dream. My younger princess - who just had 2/3 of her uncut since baby days hair lopped off and looks amazing ! - will change schools and be out there in the big world. I will learn to work the paying job and leave room for the real work - of growing and nurturing, teaching, sharing and writing (no pressure then!) - and Neil will finally get a job which does not destroy us quite so much as this one.
As I type, the clock has ticked past midnight and it is Christmas Eve. We are about to celebrate the most amazing .... moment in history which changed everything.

I leave you with a friend of a friend, fresh from our carol service.

Shifting the Earth

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It's a particularly weird time for us at the moment.

As H nears the end of her school career - she was homeschooled until Year 7 (Grade 6) and has been in a tiny Christian co-op school from Years 8 - 11 - it has become apparent for various reasons that our stay in the school cannot and should not continue. So Boo will be venturing into the world of state school for the very first time, aged 13, after Easter.

We will see how it goes - Home Education is standing in the wings - but at the moment, it's what she wants to do. Today was the day we wrote the emails and made the decisions. They were  hard but necessary.

Now I find myself working nearly full time, and our very survival is more and more tenuous with each passing day - I wonder if we can keep this up, this mad, rural, land loving life. Or if we will have to give in, and go under.

We aim to pay it forward and have several gifts and blessings in mind at this time of blessing and of gift.

We have such an astounding, amazing life.  Whatever happens, we will be fine - we are anxious for nothing - but in the best of all possible worlds, we will hold on, and it will all come good.

If everyone, however poor, however challenged at this time of advent, decided to pay forward one great big gift, the biggest thing they can imagine giving, to someone to whom they owe nothing, just for the very good of us all - do you think the world would shift, just a little?

Little Fabric Basket Tutorial


Now, I promised some special friends I'd have a go at doing a tutorial for these cute little baskets I'm making as frugal Christmas presents - all I have to do now is come up with some natty things to put in them.

Anyway, apologies if it doesn't all quite makes sense - please pass it along and if you make one come back and let me know how you got on - with a link to a pic, please!

First, I have a sheet of card. It's one of those corrugated jobs out of a craft pack. White is good, but I didn't have any left! So I've drawn a 15cm square, and then four 5cm strips alongside.

This is what they look like, cut out.

Now this is some fabric salvaged from an old (very, very old) summer dress. You might have something that's an easier shape. Its folded double, with the right sides together.

Put the card on the wrong side of the fabric. Using a ruler and a pen (you can use a special fabric pen, or not) you need to mark 1.5cm at the top and bottom, and the outsides, and then 3cm between the strips, and divide that down the middle.

Draw round them, making sure you have a 1.5cm seam allowance all the way around each piece.

On any spare bits, cut strips - I just used the width of the ruler which is 4cm.

You're going to need 8 strips, for the ties. It doesn't matter if they're exactly the same length, as long as they're the same width, and long enough to tie into a bow.

so here's what you've got - two sides for each piece of card, and eight strips for ties.

Secret Weapon. I do consider that this may in fact be more of an ironing project than a sewing project! So get your iron good and hot and have your spray to hand.

Each of the pieces cut out to fit the card, needs a 1cm edge folding over and ironing down firmly.

Just check that your card will fit in and there will be just a teeny bit left.

Iron every single one like this. Yes, it's a lot of ironing.

Keep organised and make sure you've got two fabric pieces for every card piece.

Now the ties. Fold over at one end to neaten.

Fold the sides in like this, and press. 

one end is still unfinished.

You've also folded all those ties in half, down along that centre line, and pressed again. I forgot to photograph that part. Anyway, this is what you've got.


So now on with the sewing. The ties first. Sew straight down the middle. You don't need to match up too closely - there's room for a little country charm around the ends! But what you do need to do is be neat with your sewing.
Double sew the beginning and end of each seam and carefully cut the threads close. There are a lot of loose ends - the first one I made looked like it needed a haircut!

Here they all are. Double stitch at each end and clip the threads.

Now you're going to sew the basket itself. Place the card centrally on one fabric square.

Match up the other one over the top

I pinned the corners just to keep it straight.

Then sew neatly a scant couple of mm from the edge, keeping everything sandwiched neatly. You shouldn't need to sew through card.

It's not the end of the world if you do catch the card, but you should be able to avoid it.

Now you're going to do something similar with the sides

Match them up.

But on the sides, you're going to put a tie on each side, about one fourth way down. Put the unfinished ends inside the sandwich.

I found it easiest to just pin like this. Then sew all around, just the same as the base.

So you've got all these pieces, all sewn and ready to go!

And you just need to put them all together.

Line up the edges of one side piece, and the base. Make sure the ties are placed like this. Sew along the top seam. Don't sew quite to the corners, leave a 0.5cm gap.

Attach the second one, keeping the ties in the right place. Make sure your seams are all on the outside.

Again, you should be able to miss the card entirely. I like my seams on the outside, they make a nice corner - but you can put them inside if you like.

Number three. Remember to leave a small gap at the corners.

Last one.

Tie a cute little bow at each corner.

And you're done.

Simple living?! If only!

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 As what ever poor glimpse of summer we had faded from the sky and mornings began to be sharp, and cool, and with that unmistakeable sniff of autumn, we sat, still unsure of what was going on about so many things.

With still no word on our main plot of land, we had a small field available, but were losing our yard, and our goat buildings and yard.

Autumn was well and truly with us before we started to figure out the complex web - who goes where, what can we keep, how can we keep it.

Still no frosts so still a few runner beans about, when we decided we could keep the ponies where they are. We just need a whacking great field shelter. So I got a new home based job and Neil drove a few thousand more taxi miles.  With the go ahead from that particular landlord, that meant the goats could possibly move to the new field.

 And the wind chimes (and associated bean canes) still upright (before he equinoctal gales) when finally finally we found out that we can get another three years fbt on the larger part of the field, though a smaller part will be on a one year rolling tenancy.

So somehow, on three sites, four or five if you count the sheep grazing, we are still in business. By the skin of our teeth, and not without cost. I think I came near to really serious illness, and I'm still in pretty poor shape. The uncertainty of nearly a year seems an unnecessary cruelty.

However, on we go.  It won't be easy, as we have had no crop and no income off the field for a whole year, due to the weather and the uncertainty.

Carry on we must though. All hands on deck. A few new ideas. A very special offer of help to re-establish the very special hay meadow.... but we're fighting now, and winter is coming.

In the midst of all this my computer crashed and though it is now mended, in the process, I locked myself out of the farm blog. Hey ho. So I can't access anything, and I need a new Etsy account. Because my first blow in the fight back is to stock the shelves of my shop - spicy primitive hearts sewn and ready to go!

Goats at Shows (to the tune of Girls on Film ….)

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(cross posted on the farm blog)

We’re building up to showing our goats – very low key stuff, probably only the youngstock classes, not the milking ones which are hot competition!

We hope to keep you posted, and if you would like to come along and learn more, or join us on our adventures via the website – please feel free to ask questions and explore this strange new world with us.

We are not scary. Remember, our first two goats were given to us by a very big bloke who was not above decking anyone who mentioned meat value.

On Saturday, at Dorset County, I approached a showing lady in the hope of finding a good stud goat for my remaining six breeding does.

Unfortunately, I must have worn the wrong tee shirt, or something. Either way there was a bad smell under her nose, and she saw fit to dismiss me with a telling off. Her loss, and also, her boy’s loss, because my girl goats are the best!

This has taught me a valuable lesson. Please – if you don’t know a thing, if you’re not sure where to start, if you think you might make a fool of yourself? You know what? Join the club! Oh wait. I can’t say that, I’m obviously not IN the club! Join the fringe. Come and ask. Get stuck in. I don’t know all the answers, and chestnuts is not about standing aloof. Shout out. We can run a goats for beginners day. We can all ask stupid questions together. Let’s do it.

Additional material for my faithful Hedgerow Posse: while posting this, I have discovered a spider the size of a small hamster on my stairs. In line with Holmgren's 10th Principle of Permaculture, 'Use and Value Diversity ' I am leaving him/her there and sloping quietly off to bed. Never say I do not suffer for my beliefs :)

Engraved upon my heart

Me, I'm not a Mary girl, I'm an Elizabeth girl.

By and large, if I could be remembered for having said anything, I'd probably have gone with Liz.

I have the heart of a man, not a woman, and I am not afraid of anything.


I pray to God that I shall not live one hour after I have thought of using deception.

and some who know me might think

God forgive you, but I never can.

has a ring about it too!

but apparently, Mary is famously supposed to have said:

"When I am dead, you will find Calais engraved upon my heart".

And I think, when I am dead, you will find 'Tinker's Bubble' engraved upon mine. If I had lived a braver life, been less conformed, been less afraid, I would live at Tinker's Bubble . If they'd have me.

I'm mildly obsessed with the Bubble. Six years ago, a friend clipped and sent to me an article from The Times colour supplement, about Mary Durling, I can't share it with you now, because The Times charges for online content these days, but I folded that paper, and it has been book-mark and talisman to me these six years. It says pretty much what the clip above says.

The sheer dogged determination, the certainty, the courage in the face of adversity, and the value placed upon simplicity. The knowledge that living hand to mouth is A GOOD THING. It's used these days as a slur, but to milk the cow right before you make your baby breakfast porridge? My days, it's sublime.

The walking lightly, the kindness, the tolerance, the forbearance.

I know, I wouldn't fit in. But what a glorious dream.

Just to know you CAN

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As long time friends will know, I'm all about doing it yerself - God sufficiency - self empowerment - cutting out the middle man and DEFINITELY kneeing the supermarkets where it hurts.

There are different categories of 'stuff you can do yourself'.

There's the stuff that is good, but a bit fiddly and time consuming. I would put homemade pasta in this group. It's great to know you can do it, and it does taste just delicious, but it takes ages, makes a mess, and boughten pasta is like THE  quick standby for supper when you kind of forgot to come in from the garden, have three hungry people to feed, need to bottle feed a lamb, sort out the homework/netbook battle, get people to youth group, and ring the farrier about a horse who lost a shoe.

There's the stuff that is a no brainer. Bread. With or without a bread maker, once you can make bread, the occasional bought in loaf is a travesty. It's quick, it's easy, there are a bazillion ways to adapt the process to your circumstances, it tastes amazing, it is a blessing on all who grow or bake or serve or consume it, it reminds you of the sacred nature of bread in so many cultures, and its hard earned stance between life and death for many people and tribes.

There's the skills that are handiwork's heritage seeds. If I don't darn that sock, I will forget how to darn socks, and worse, I will forget to teach my daughters to darn socks, and indeed, they will never know to ask to be taught to darn socks, and that glorious, noble skill will fade forever into the mists.

There are the badges of honour. Making shoes. Making hats. Actually making and using personal sanitary protection, nappies, and all that jazz.

There are the questionable standards. Laundry gloop. Yes, you can make it and it's cheap. It's not especially environmentally friendly, and you do end up with uniformly grey clothes and towels, but whatever.

So here for your enjoyment this evening are:

Five things you never knew you could make for yourself ...

Knitting Needles

Your Own Font

A Greenhouse


Padded Envelopes  

I would really love to see you post links to your finished projects. I'm sold on the knickers, myself!

A Goat Story

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This post from our farm blog a while ago - for anyone interested in keeping goats:

Since we have one or two goats for sale – and the fewer the better as far as I’m concerned – the more I can keep and breed the happier I’ll be – I thought I’d write a few words about buying goats. It won’t be definitive, but it may help you decide if that’s something you want to do right now.

Firstly, be aware that other than in very exceptional circumstances, you should have at least two goats. They are herd creatures, and unhappy alone. So, you’re going to need two, and we’re going to assume they’ll both be female.

You really don’t need to keep a male goat for a good long while. They smell strong and can be difficult to handle, so stick to two ladies – and that way while one kids, you can keep the other in milk, and not have to forego your morning yoghurt.

Do you want purebreds, or will a cross breed do? If you want a specific breed, do you need her to be registered, or will a generic ‘type’ do you? Unless you want to show, registered stock are not necessary, and to my mind, if you start to mix it with the fancy, as the showing fraternity have been called, you will find yourself paying a lot of money for a few prized characteristics which – when the rain is pelting down in February and you are milking in a shed with a leaking roof and making cheese while your socks dry – will not matter to you in the slightest.

The type of breed you go for also doesn’t matter a lot – obviously make sure it is actually a dairy breed! – which would encompass (British)/Saanen, (British)/Toggenburg, (British) Alpine, Anglo Nubian and Golden Guernsey. Choose goats you like, character and milk yield are more important than breed.

Cross breeds are generally healthy and robust and often have high milk yields – I certainly wouldn’t rule them out. My number one rule with goats is, don’t be precious.

We were given our first two goats by a couple who had lost their bit of rented land to a Country Club development . They advertised them in Trade It and the guy – who was quite big – almost thumped a couple of people who enquired about the meat on them. They were old and without provenance, but we loved them. Amber was British Saanen – ish, and Minty was somewhat between a British Alpine and a British Toggenburg. We went to see them on the way to our holiday destination and asked our 6 and 3 year olds ‘would you rather have goats or holidays?’ They chose goats and a good job too.

So, what IS Permaculture?

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A question I am often asked!
And as today, which is already tomorrow, I am slightly banjaxed, I will offer you an intersting summing up, from the Designed Visions website.
Designed Visions comprises four permaculturists, including my Diploma Tutor, Aranya.
This is as good a summing up as any.

Has anyone considered an Introduction to Permaculture course?

We had one planned for last year, but it fell through for all sorts of complicated reasons. I'm definitely up for rescheduling, though.

Any takers?

Simply Loving the Land.

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There is such an imperative in the air.

We've had a busy and tiring day, but we have achieved much, and if there is one thing I love, sisters, it is working as a family. Can I get an Amen?!

We are under intense pressure, right now, but it brings out the best. Late, late in the season we planted a big half acre patch of pumpkin and beans, now only God and the weather can decide if they grow and give us something in return, or if it was all for nuthin'.

Today, after they got up early and rode, and after an extended stint of room sorting, the girls pitched up down at the field and spent a couple of precious hours weeding. This is not, you know, Margot Leadbetter in her rubber gloves weeding. This is like, Alien meets Day of the Triffids weeding. After we ploughed the old market garden, it gave birth to some serious weeds.

In fact, the half we didn't get to plant is Nettleopolis. But. In exciting developments, we have decided to IGNORE the wretched feudal barons. I am working on suitably Medieval curses. A plague on both their houses. So. The other half. We have been ... netting ... for ... PIGS!  Yes, the return of the oinkers.

So Neil strimmed and post bashed and electric fenced while we girls hoed and cultivated and generally nettle bashed and found amazing bits of flint and wondered if they were hand tools and wondered if Phil Harding who after all only lives down the road might be convinced to come and have a look at our plot. Tone.

Tomorrow (or when time allows) I do believe it's time to clear the turkey pen.

Photos will follow - just getting the hang of a new camera - ill gotten gains from the sale of a small grey pony, who, before you weep too many tears, has gone to live in pony HEAVEN as he was sold to top-smart dressage yard lady where H works, for her daughter, and he is now like, a PRINCE of a pony.

A small but significant thank you to Jules - for reminding us that what we were perhaps taking a teeny bit for granted, is someone else's wildest dream.

To bed now - up far too late, working on something to offer to anyone who might like to like to live and love simply on the land.

Pass It On?

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OK, so just replying to a fellow blogger who is looking for a place to do what we do - that is to say, live on the land, give her children the childhood they deserve, grow things, maybe keep livestock.

Jules at Classroom Free is wanting to up sticks to the sticks, so if anyone can help her, get in touch.

This brought up one of my backburner plans. I have long considered writing a book (e-book?) about our experiences, and offering advice to anyone who would like to do this living on the land, wonderful outdoor childhood, good food and outdoor life thing - and who doesn't have the money to buy a property, or the right kind of connections, and who must do it from a standing start, seemingly against impossible odds.

I'd really appreciate feedback on the idea - would you buy such a thing? Would you have done when you set out?  This is just a beginning idea, but it's one I've been nurturing for quite a long time, so - I'd love to get some feedback, to help me to decide whether or not to type 'Chapter One' at the beginning of blank Word.doc !

*Edited to add ...

I am really not being the best and most faithful blogger of late - yet again resolve to correct this! - lots going on. I have got a new job (yes from home) which will be taking up about 15 - 20 hours of my week, and am trying to pack in as much work on my permaculture diploma as possible before training begins next week. There is a separate website being concocted for my diploma journey which I will make public when there is anything worth reading on it!

I am also toiling to try to rescue something from the house veg garden, after our bizarre weather this year, and we are still trying to do SOMETHING with the field, despite STILL not being able to clarify what is going on, exactly.

We also have new land to rent, and are losing our lovely barn for the horses and goats, so will be doing a lot of moving around, probably at the last minute. So bear with me. Change is at hand.

Hay, baby

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We made hay. Oh yes we did.
In a manic rush, we moved 500 small bales in one day. It was a day that lasted until 3am the following day, but it was, nevertheless, a day.
We do have pictures but I also have a bad back (no? you do? who'd a thought it?) so the pictures will be delayed.

In other news, I was confined to the horizontal today but gladly, it was cross country day at the Olympic 3DE so I was forced to watch the lot. Nicola, Mary, Zara, Tina and William, YOU ROCK. So proud to be British, so proud of those amazing people, and those glorious horses, all of them superstars but especially especially the gorgeously wonderful Opposition Buzz. (High Kingdom's pretty lovely too though.)
Opposition Buzz - Photo : Katherine Begley

Tomorrow, the world!

Sun, actually


Finally, the sun shines.
Work feels like a special blessing. Both daughters work in the sun til freckles dance across their noses - Boo's slightly bruised from a tumble from a bucking horse! - and for the first time in literally months, we get chance to work under a blue sky, slug tepid water against the heat and feel like we are actually getting somewhere.
This is our house garden, and as you can see, we have islands of cultivation in a sea of waterlogged weeds! This is a permanent bed with butternut squash and runner beans. To the left, pallets and black plastic still protect a bed which would normally, by now, be packed full. To the right, weeds choke the onion bed - I did actually have a go at that later!
Everything is SO behind. There are spaces where there shouldn't be, and I scratch my head and wonder what to put in where - to make the best use of the late summer and maybe autumn to stock the shelves - what can I get to grow in the time that's left?
While I cooked supper - a home made pizza with a medley of garden veg and lots of cheese, with a hot potato salad with yet more garden veg, and a few olives I truly did not grow - and a green salad from the garden, followed by raspberry and white chocolate muffins, (the raspberry crop is so poor, last year's 3l bags going into the freezer are a distant dream! Enough for a  batch of muffins is a good day!) Neil and Boo went down to the market garden, and planted, in hopes of an Indian summer, seven rows of dwarf French beans. That's a lot of beans. If they grow before frost comes!
I am so thankful for my lovely daughters, their health and strength and the skills they have gained over the years - a twelve year old who milks her two goats, cartons up the milk, washes up the dairy, and then rolls up her sleeves and clears new garden beds is not run of the mill! A girl who then goes down to the field and plants up 500 odd beans is truly outstanding in her field. With a bag of bean seed :)

I had plans to write an informative and educational permaculture post, but obviously, that was not to be. Trivia it is then. I am now aching in bone and weary of spirit, so as the house quiets around me, sleeping girls turn in their beds, and we all look forward to the sabbath rest - I'll say goodnight. Sleep well.

Weird Week

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A week of little hurts, and strange days.
Mostly all my days are strange at the moment!
We rushed and dashed, and tried to do too much. I tried to help and found I hadn't.
We planted more seeds in the rain, and I tried as I planted to bury in the wet clay the slight stinging of careless distance.
It rained some more.
We went to see an abandoned farm, we dreamed, and came away, and realised the dream was not for us.

For my extraordinary daughter, H - because she loves it :)

Downland Rain


Long, lashing gusts of rain slew across our fields, day after day after day.
The promise of the rainbow becomes greatly significant.
The field is thigh high in thistles and needs topping. The tractor does about half a length and then the filters clog up. With wet thistles. In permaculture we say, the problem is the solution. In this case, it would appear to be quite the reverse.
So we wade through the thistle to move the sheep, legs wet and scratched through denim. Head into the wind, my glasses awash, the seams of my good boots beginning to leak.
The sheep go onto the trailer quite well. They would, it's dry in there.
Nearly blind sheepdog works by command only.
In the picture, Neil strategically places electric netting, to channel the sheep into the trailer. With the wind and the rain eternally in his face.
This is the longest winter we ever had in summer.

Big Girl

Didn't take a photo :(

Boo has  been offered the ride on the most awesome pony.
We got the call today - the people who sold us Cracker have a 14hh jumping pony who needs a rider. They are so impressed with what she did with Cracks, they have offered her the ride on the pony, tack, rugs, the whole kit and caboodle. She went over to ride him today and did such a good job, I was SO proud.
She was jumping him in a field which is (past) ready for cutting for hay, and he was bounding thistles on his approaches and landings, and he still jumped like a dream - she was all lit up - and it never hurts to be told you did SUCH a good job, and someone is SO impressed, they want you to ride another one for them.
Jack will probably arrive with us some time next week. En route to the stars ;)

Walking in faith and victory

So we're there. Breakfast table. I'm buttering bread for sandwiches - home made sourdough rye, pastrami and salad, since you ask. Neil's reading. Murray M'Cheyne calendar, we use. Deuteronomy 20. Instructions Concerning Warfare.
And aside from this, yesterday, because that's how it happened, he cultivated a half acre of field. Like this.

Does that not look good to plant? Although some earthly little suit is refusing to give us an answer? Would you resist the urge to plant?
So, it's done. A bulk order of seeds, amazingly late in the season (but hey, so far the season's been a wash out. How far behind can I be?) has been placed.

And Deut 20?

Going to War

1When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3He shall say: “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. 4For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

I am not afraid (as the children's chorus says!) cos I'm walking in faith and victory. I have to find a way to fence the plot, to plant the plot, to keep it weedfree and fed ... but I can do that. It's what I do.

Right now, we have to fight.

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