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We have been shearing !
find out what we've been up to...

The day began at 5.45

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or it did for me, anyway.
However early we begin, there is a rush. Animals are fed and watered - I almost always get to see to my ducks, and usually the chickens as well, but with H at home on her extended post GCSE leave, she often does them now, after the ponies.
Then it was time to take Neil to work and Boo to school. She usually gets a lift, but needed driving in today.
It was grizzly and murky, headlight and wiper weather, especially across 'the top' as we call Blacklands, the stretch between us and Calne.
It soon cleared though, and I worked for a living until 12.30. I'm so lucky to be able to work from home, but it still takes up a lot of time I often wish I could use outdoors, or in the kitchen.
After coffee, a sandwich and a quick catch up with H, it was out to the garden, mainly to battle with weeds, which are growing faster than everything, now the sun has come out for a day or two.
I am not doing well this year, the polytunnel is shamefully unproductive and the garden still has way too many fallow beds.
Now that Neil is working in a more conventional job, H and I are learning a lot more skills around here. Today we hammered the small peening anvil into a slab of wood, and set about peening and sharpening the orchard blade of our Austrian Scythe. If this is all Austrian to you, take a look here, for more information.
At 3 I realised, as I happily hammered and ground, that I had to dash of to fetch Boo, who also didn't have a lift home today. As I walked toward the car, it was ticking. What ? I had left the lights on. All day.
The warning buzzer that lets me know the lights are still on when I turn off the engine and open the door, which as served me well all these years, has recently stopped working. I forgot I had lights on. Dead as a dodo.
Quick call to Neil at work, and he managed to borrow a car and go fetch her, come home and put the car battery on charge, and not only that, go back into work and buy a bike to come home on! (The bike purchase was planned, just the timing was wonderfully God breathed !)
After another spell weeding and hastily constructed supper, the car started an Neil took the girls off to church youth club. So I set too with the watering and the clear up.
By the time he came home, we'd had a call from the lady who has Calico, our anti social (to other goats) British Alpine, and she was worried about her being overdue, kidding wise. So we drove over to Rowde to have a good look at her. She looks OK. She's going to kid in a while, and it's either minimum two normal size or one giant, but she's fine.
We drove back over to Calne to pick up the girls and a friend from Youth Group. We took the friend  home.
Once back on these shores, it was time to sort out some of my ongoing works in the kitchen. Two gallons of elderflower wine made and put into demijohns (the elderflowers had already soaked four days). The cheese scalded and turned back into the press. The sourdough starter fed and rehomed.
Kitchen clean up took a while, especially with the cat helping.
Much needed bath, and ready for bed. 12.13.
And I was  hoping to fit in some diploma work. Maybe not today.

I'll leave you with three favourite reads of the moment:

Lovely Julia's Classroom Free Blog - this is where our beautiful Poppy has gone to live

Naomi's beautiful Tales from Riverside and especially this gorgeous post.

and discovered right there, the fabulous Bealtaine Cottage

Enjoy your wanderings ... and a good night's sleep I hope. I think I might sleep OK tonight.

The Kitchen at Midnight

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After a long day it's sometimes good to at least look across and see a LOT of work in progress!

From left to right:

  • Cheese, draining through muslin
  • Whey, for fermenting stuff
  • sourdough starter, new
  • (behind) soap, curing under a muslin
  • elderflower cordial, infusing, day 3
Tomorrow is market day, and we have yet to get a good picture of the market!
Maybe tomorrow will be our day.
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