Wednesday 10 April 2013
I find it hard to believe I’ve not blogged for such a long time, but I’ve been proof-reading Steph’s dissertation as well as an assignment for a friend on a management course, running things at the farm, receiving visits from the girls, getting another cold – YES! another one, and of course, going off to The Manor House Hotel in Okehampton. Sadly there was no creative embroidery, but I made a rather good enamelled brooch for me, an olive oil bottle for Gordon and mugs for the girls with their names on them. I know they’re both pretty grown-up now, but you can’t beat a mug with your name on it – or can you? Steph liked it whereas Alex liked it so much she left it behind when she went back to Cheltenham although oddly enough she took the Easter egg I put with it. Of course, this could mean she liked it so much she wanted to keep it exclusively for when she’s here?
I’m off on Friday with a friend who has a static caravan near Durdle Door in Dorset; she asked me if I fancied a weekend away as her husband’s off canal-clearing. When Gordon started to pull his ‘I’m being abandoned’ face again I reminded him that my friend and her husband had invited us more than once to go and stay as a couple, but he’d kept making excuses.
Mind you, last summer was nothing to write home about.
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Thursday 14 March 2013
Early tomorrow morning I’m off with my craft group to the Manor House Hotel in Okehampton like we’ve done for the previous two years. This year I’ve given it a bit more thought and am hopefully organised with ideas of the crafts I want to do. I have a picture for inspiration with creative embroidery and peel-off stickers for sand-blasting glass as well as a few photos on a USB stick in case I decide to put something on a mug, coaster or something similar. I also think I’d like to do a bit of silk painting so have been swotting up on good ideas on Google.
I’m taking my swimming costume (which rarely sees water) in case I fancy a swim. Personally I can’t see it happening as I’m a bit like a cat when it comes to water, but I’m also easily talked into things so might be persuaded if others are going. Unfortunately I don’t possess a pair of trainers but anticipate using my recently bad back (which is much better by the way) as an excuse not to take part in anything too strenuous such as badminton, but I am taking my camera so will be quite happy to wander off with it should the weather be good.
Gordon will be here and Dan has agreed to work over the weekend so I’m sure they’ll be fine. I’ll be back late on Sunday evening so will catch up with you all next week.
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Tuesday 9 March 2013
The girls came home with their partners on Friday evening to a steak supper excellently prepared by Gordon who has completely hijacked the kitchen lately after discovering he likes to cook. On Saturday evening we had a gathering with friends and family and I prepared a buffet of a roast ham, a massive piece of beef, roast potatoes and bits to go with it. There wasn’t much left afterwards and the meat was eaten in bread rolls for breakfast on Sunday morning.
My sister and her husband joined us on Sunday for a roast beef lunch and we spent the rest of the day lounging around chatting. Alex’s partner Mike celebrated his 30th birthday so there was even more cake following two from the day before – one for Steph and one for my father since they share a birthday. By the end of the day we decided we’d definitely eaten too much beef!
There were lots of birds around the feeder in the afternoon as well as one really persistent blue tit that spent most of the day fluttering up and down the window before landing on a twig in the planter outside, walking to the top of the twig, flying away and coming back again within a few seconds. I’m pretty sure it’s looking for insects against the glass, but this has been going on for weeks now and starts as soon as the sun comes up. Consequently I’m woken every morning by the sound of a small feathery body hitting glass! I took a few photos through the window of both the blue tit and a rare sight in our garden, a woodpecker who’d come down for the peanuts.
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Friday 8 March 2013
Yesterday was Stephanie’s 21st birthday. She went out celebrating and I pined for the loss of my ‘baby’. I even had a dream about her and Alex the night before when they were toddlers. I’m not saying those days were easy, just that I kind of miss that unconditional love that toddlers give you. I’m fortunate in knowing they both still love me but now they’re adults in their own right so love other people too. Having said that, I’m thrilled they’ve both turned into such gorgeous, independent creatures. Steph was spoiled rotten by her boyfriend with countless presents and a cake yesterday and both girls plus partners are coming home this evening so she can be spoiled by everyone else. I’m really looking forward to it.
My back problem is now reduced to a feeling something like a cross between pins-and-needles and cramp down the back of one leg. I can hear my grandmother’s voice about how the pain has ‘travelled’! It means I limp if I walk quickly but I’m sure it won’t last forever – at least I hope it won’t last forever!
We sent a steer away a couple of weeks and he was collected at the beginning of this week so is now tucked away in our two garage freezers. Gordon was convinced we should find another freezer from somewhere but we’ve managed to get it all in the two. There are burgers and sausages as well as a fresh supply of steak which we haven’t had for a while. Oddly enough, this batch was labelled with such things as ‘pot roast’ and ‘chuck’ which I have to say doesn’t mean much to me, but the butcher explained that was just another name for brisket! I know how to cook brisket, but am strangely worried about cooking a pot roast. With the Aga it all gets cooked in much the same way anyway!
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Saturday 16 February 2012
Are you humming the song now?
I’m still waiting for my back to become less painful. Last night we went out for a meal with my father, his partner, my sister and her husband and by the end of the meal I had trouble standing again. I feel about a hundred and fifty. My sister suggested perhaps I should find some form of exercise to ease it – well, I think I found that this morning with the milking. It hurt like mad when I started but after reaching under cows for an hour I was starting to limber up. Once I stopped it stiffened again so unless I make milking a full-time occupation I think I’ll just have to carry on waiting for it to improve on it’s own. A visit to the doctors has been suggested, but they’ll probably just tell me it’s muscular and to take ibuprofen combined with painkillers so there’s not much point as that’s what I’m doing already.
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Thursday 14 February 2013
Firstly, Happy Valentine’s Day. There, I’ve said it. I was determined I wasn’t going to, but wherever I’ve looked on the web today there it’s been: hearts, roses, cupcakes (when did that become romantic?) and various cutesy fluffy things. We ‘did’ our Valentine’s Day yesterday as Gordon was convinced that every restaurant in the vicinity would be fully booked today and he’s probably right. We went out for a meal, ate too much, he complained that his steak was definitely not rare as requested and we came home again for coffee. I think next year we may even give it a miss altogether. If there was a Valentine’s Day equivalent of ‘Bah, Humbug’ we might just use it.
I’ve had a blood test and apparently my thyroid results are ‘borderline’ which means I have to have another one in three months. I had a letter from the doctor which explained absolutely nothing so rang the surgery for clarification but they were unable to help although they did give me the option of a doctor ringing me back. I’m assuming if it’s a problem they’d want to see me sooner than in three months. It might explain why I’ve been so forgetful lately though – or could that just be old-age?
I put my back out last Saturday (another old-age related thing I suspect) and have been walking around like Max Wall since then. The pain has travelled up my back during the week and yesterday I could barely stand although the pain disappeared when I was sat down. Today it’s easier so I’m hoping that by the weekend I’ll be back to normal. My sister and I went to Cheltenham on Monday (with the aid of strong painkillers for me) to meet the girls for lunch. It was so good to see them again and we also met Nellie, Alex’s ten-week-old kitten that Alex is training to ‘fetch’. She’s like a dog, tearing off down the hallway after a ball, bringing it back in her mouth and dropping it for Alex to throw again. If the ball isn’t picked up straight away she even taps it closer with her paw! She’s very sweet.
We’ve had a couple more calves, one last week (a bull calf) and one this morning (a heifer). I hurt my back feeding the bull calf but it wasn’t his fault as I twisted it climbing into the pen. The heifer is called Tiny after her mother and we’re calling the bull Junior as his mother is June. He’ll probably stay here to be reared for beef and to keep Felix company when he’s a bit older and needs to be separated from the heifers. We also sent a steer off for slaughter this week and are expecting the meat back in about three weeks. As usual we have very mixed feelings about this, especially since this chap was an orphan so was bucket-fed from the very beginning, but at least we’ll know what we’re eating!
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Tuesday 29 January 2013
This morning we discovered our first calf of the year, born in the night. It’s a girl! Her name is Charlotte and let’s hope she’s the first of many, although we suspect she may be a lucky ‘hit’ on Ferdinand’s part. Having said that, the vet checked over another cow this morning and predicted she’s about five/six months pregnant so he was still ‘functioning’ as late as June/July although obviously not fully functioning otherwise we’d be seeing more calves than we have so far. It’s a start though.
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