Yesterday after work Gordon announced he was going to water his roses. This came as a surprise since I didn’t know he had any. I knew I had some growing in pots until I got round to planting them in the garden but in my absence he’d gone ahead and planted them himself, thus turning them into HIS roses although he’d somehow managed to lose the labels so now I don’t know which one is where. He’s not particularly good in the garden, usually restricting himself to mowing the grass (whilst complaining) and digging occasionally when really nagged into it, but for a country boy he’s pretty rubbish with plants and flowers. To add to my surprise he’d decide to wander round with the weedkiller too.
In a completely separate incident (I think) it seems I won’t be growing foxgloves this year. The conversation ended with him protesting “well, how was I supposed to know they were foxgloves – they look like weeds”. He therefore sprinkled them liberally with weedkiller and that’s the end of them. Maybe next year?
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My friend Caroline (the artist) wanted to take photos of hares, but didn’t know where, so I mentioned we have them here. I’m not one hundred percent convinced she believed me, but she came on Tuesday with her camera and we set off around the farm. Didn’t see a single one!
She was a bit disappointed until Gordon, always the voice of reason, pointed out that the best time to catch hares (not literally) was very early in the morning or in the evening, so she set off again on her own since I was helping with the milking. When she came back several hours later she was very excited to have seen and photographed a group of three hares and a fox, not together, obviously. After some discussion she asked whether she could come again and we arranged that her husband could join her here later so we could get a takeaway.
On Thursday we both set off with our cameras at five o’clock. Our ‘silent hunting mode’ was slightly wrecked when Lola tracked us down and bounded around for the next couple of hours, but on the plus side she did stir up a few sleepy hares and when they weren’t outrunning her (easily) we were able to take a couple of shots.
In this time the sun went down – very dramatically, it has to be said – so we were able to get a few good sunset shots too.
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I’ve started going to a craft group during the day organised by my friend Myra once a month in a nearby hotel owned by her brother. Most of the time we make cards but in order to do something different she arranged for someone to show us how to make Easter cake decorations from fondant icing. As you may recall, my favourite place in the house definitely isn’t the kitchen, but I wanted to go along for the experience – I’ll try anything once (well almost anything except maybe bungee jumping which I have no urge to attempt).
Much to my surprise I was rather good at it. I seriously didn’t expect to be and I don’t wish to blow my own trumpet too loudly so here are the finished products so you can make your own mind up. I enjoyed myself so much that I may even attempt it on my own.
My first effort. It’s an Easter bunny obviously and stands about three inches high.
Easter ducklings. Aren’t they cute? These are smaller and are only about an inch tall. Steph reckons the one in the middle looks a bit angry but I poked too big a hole for his eye which gives him a slightly manic expression.
My third ‘project’ is the chicken on the left. I didn’t like him so much, which is why I didn’t take a photo of him on his own, but he looked better once his beak was snipped open.
I’m not sure I’ll eat them although I don’t know what to do with them if I don’t. I may even have to bake a cake!
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I didn’t realise I’d been gone for such a long time, but I can’t believe March went by that quickly. At the beginning of the month we celebrated Steph’s birthday here with a party in the evening. We were also celebrating dad’s 79th too of course and as usual it was a combined gathering.
The past week has been taken up with work. Daniel departed on his holiday to Thailand and is expected back at the end of April. He wasn’t going to go at all as he didn’t want to leave us to cope on our own even though his partner and several of his friends had made plans, but we told him he’d be silly to pass up an opportunity that probably won’t come his way again. In the meantime we’ve become foster parents to the lovely Lola and although she’s coping well, it’s plain she’s missing him. There are lots of long sighs and a fair bit of whimpering – I know how she feels. Milking is fine when done twice a week as there’s a light at the end of the tunnel come Sunday evening, but at the moment I’m milking every morning for the next month and twice a week at least in the afternoons when Gordon has to ‘bed-up’ the animals. The last time I milked this regularly was about eleven years ago before Daniel came to work with us. I found it hard then and I’m a lot older now! Roll on the day when they can go out into the field – hopefully by the end of this week.
Our main herd started calving this week too. The first calving didn’t go well and the vet had to be called to assist one of our old girls. It wasn’t a good calving and she’s down now. I think she may be despached this afternoon. To add insult to her injury she had a very large bull calf. The second cow to calf was easier, but also had a bull although the third has presented us with a heifer this morning.
Bring it on.
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When I started to feed the cats this evening there was no sign of Thomas. This is very unusual for him as he’s always clamouring for food come six o’clock. I asked Gordon if he’d seen him today and although we both thought hard about it neither of us could recall seeing him all day. Owners of old cats will understand that little moment of dread when you wonder whether he’s taken himself off to die especially since he’s so old.
We both called him – pretty much a waste of time as we know he’s as deaf as a post, then Gordon looked outside in his favourite haunts while I scoured the house. I eventually found him in the only room with a closed door upstairs – our guest bedroom where I keep my craft stuff. He was fast asleep on the bed and gave a little jump when I picked him up. The door to this room was open for maybe an hour yesterday but the door to the hall was probably open for five minutes while Gordon replenished the log basket.
Good job we missed him or he could have been in there for the next week! I know that cats are often stupid, but Thomas should get a medal.
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