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Archive for June, 2010

Wednesday 30 June 2010

Do you remember a while back we had a discussion about the joys of internet searches and the weirdness that came out of them?  I think the conversation started with me buying more than one pair of shoes in a week, one pair of which were very gorgeous and were under the heading of ‘Shoe Fetish’.  This still throws up a surprising number of visitors all looking for shoe/foot-loveliness, although not of the kind I’m offering here no doubt!  Following on from that was a comment or two about other bloggers’ weird search terms including one for something like nappy domination, which brings in even more people to my site because – well, it’s there now, isn’t it?  In a comment.  Think how disappointed some people are going to be when they get here and find just me (really).  (See what I did there?)  I also (and oddly) get a regular number of people who are searching with the words ‘tractor graveyard’.  When I visited one of these waaaaay back (I’d look to see when, but can’t be bothered today) I didn’t realise it actually had a name and it was something I thought would be appropriate.  Who knew?  One of the strangest searches I’ve ever had was for something like ‘naked farmer’s wife in a tractor’, something which I’ve obviously never done (do you know how dirty those things get on the inside – yuck!), but I must have used all of those words at various times along the way.

Where is this going, I hear you mutter to yourself?  Well, I’ve just started reading a new blog written by a local lady called Jo and the blog is called ‘Slummy Single Mummy‘.  She makes me laugh out loud on occasions and although we have little in common now as my girls are grown up and poised on the edge of our virtual nest waiting to leap into the unknown (ahhh, traumatic image), she still makes for interesting reading.  In her post today she’s talking about being offered free samples of things that are directly related to the word ‘Mummy’, obviously automatically generated in some far-away computer to alert companies who are on the look out for blogging mummies and throwing lots of samples in their direction.  A while ago she reviewed Sex and the City 2 with an interesting assortment of links casually dropped into the conversation.  I wonder if anyone responded?

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Why?

Saturday 26 June 2010

At the beginning of the summer Gordon found me this piece of concrete pipe lingering around somewhere and filled it with topsoil and compost for me to use as a raised bed.  I planted things and am delighted to see how well it’s all growing.

Onions

Beans and salad leaves as well as carrots, beetroot, and spring onions.

We farm about three hundred acres of land.  This is my little patch for vegetables.  So WHY do the cats keep pooping in it and how the heck do I stop them?  They’re driving me nuts!

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I Was Ill

Tuesday 22 June 2010

But now I’m better.  I had a very hard-hitting sickness and diarrhoea bug which swept down on me at 3.30 am on Monday morning and knocked me around for about eight hours, leaving me drained and exhausted with no appetite at all and an overwhelming urge to sleep.  Boy, did I sleep!  I woke up when Gordon came to bed last night and thought I wouldn’t be able to drop off again.  Surely not, after sleeping the entire day away?  I woke up again at 5.00 am this morning when he got out of bed and thought that I was over it.  I woke up again at 7.00 am when my alarm went off and thought I’d better at least attempt to get out of bed in case I fell asleep once more.

Today I’ve eaten something and felt fine, albeit a little dizzy, but annoyingly wide-awake.  Now it’s late and everyone else is in bed.  I know Gordon’s asleep because I can hear him snoring upstairs, but here am I, raring to go.  I have to milk in the morning so I suppose I’d better have a bit of an attempt to sleep.  Daniel’s gone off to Glastonbury for the week for the Festival so it’ll be early mornings until he returns next Tuesday.

Hope I can sleep tonight.

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Slight Accident

Saturday 19 June 2010

Due to the number of cats that casually call our house their home we tend to have a bit of a flea problem once the warmer weather sets in.  The lifestyle of the average farm cat is such that they’ll eat most things which is, after all, why we have them around, but in eating the host they inherit the passengers!  Last year it was pretty bad and I tried everything short of calling in a man from the council, but once it got colder they became a lot less active and were almost forgotten.

Now it’s warmer again they’ve started hopping out of the ancient carpets that adorn our floors and nipping us on the ankles.  Well, I say us, but either Gordon tastes really bad to a flea or his skin is so tough it can’t be penetrated, a fact that becomes very irritating when he says something like “I don’t know why you’re making such a big deal about it, I never get bitten”.  As I did last year, I’ve begun the ritual of vacuuming the floor as often as humanely possible, spraying the furniture and treating all the cats with back-of-the-neck flea stuff, none of which really makes much of a dent in the resident flea population.

The worst area in the house is the back hall.  I have a photo which I’m almost too ashamed to show you, but I will because I know it’ll motivate me.  This is where I had my slight accident.  When we moved in to the farm – admittedly a long time ago now, but other things took priority – the end of the hall was used as a dumping ground.  It was a cul-de-sac really as the door had long since jammed shut, the whole area was unattractive and it lent itself well to dumping things that had nowhere else to go.  Of course, the more we dumped the less we cleared away so stuff has accumulated over the years.  The cats sleep in amongst the clutter so I reasoned there would be fleas there.

On Monday I moved everything into the next room and emptied it with the intention of cleaning it thoroughly from top to bottom.  As it’s now warm I was able to persuade the door open and stood for a while admiring how much brighter the room seemed.  The door is very old but you’ll be able to see from the photograph that it had been hardboarded, probably some time in the late sixties.  I’ve done this before so should have known better, but the urge overcame me, I went with it and pulled the hardboard off the door, expecting to see something awful like a cracked door (we once had one cracked from top to bottom and side to side), but other than many layers of paint it looked surprisingly sound.  I fetched the hot-air gun and by the time Gordon came in to see what I was up to I’d stripped off a large section of paint.  I thought he took it very well actually so when he went out I stripped off a large section of wallpaper too – accidently, you understand.  Now we’ll have to decorate for sure.

I have a vision in my head of how I’d like this room.  If I achieve it I’ll post a photo so you can compare.

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It’s All Over (For Now)

Sunday 13 June 2010

Silage-making this year was a bit of a laid-back affair.  When Gordon’s dad was alive and lived at the farm we worked flat-out for about fourteen days from ten in the morning until ten in the evening.  The forager at the time only had work lights which shone down on the pick-up at the front and the trailer hitch at the back.  This was fine while you were actually working, but when the time came to leave the field in the pitch black the whole thing became slightly more random.  The lights didn’t shine ahead you see, they just shone down so once night had fallen the forager needed to be guided out of the field by a tractor escort as the driver usually had no idea where the gate was.

Of course, Gordon’s dad passed on some years ago and since then we’ve had the new forager.  It picks up the grass so well that Gordon even had to invest in a conveyor belt type thing (I’m not sure that’s its technical name) which goes on the back of the mower to put two swathes of grass into one.  This effectively cuts the pick-up time in half of course: well, it would, wouldn’t it?  Steph (driving tractor and trailer) and I were doing on average three fields a day in comparison to struggling in one from morning til night.  At one stage Daniel, who was ‘tracking-down’ the grass in the silage clamp (driving over it with a heavy machine to squash all the gaps out) texted me to ask if I was in second gear.  Since I’m quite used to this from Gordon – “Are you in the right gear?”, “how many revs are you doing?” “is the engine running at 21?” (you don’t need to know what that means and I don’t know how to explain it, so don’t worry about it) and the answer from me is usually a long, drawn-out and very annoyed “yessssssss!” I texted Daniel back with “Yeah!  Why?”  His response was “do you think if we put a pair of wings on that thing it would fly?”  I responded with “probably, but I’d have to change up first”.  This increased speed meant we were finishing quite early on a good day although a couple of times we ran on a little longer, but never into darkness.  We had to stop for rainy days, but the silage is now done and sheeted down.  There wasn’t very much of it and nowhere near as much as last year, so we’ll definitely be doing a second cut.

Life has now resumed its normal pace – in other words we’ve spent the day sorting out paperwork and other jobs that were overlooked.  In a week or so Daniel’s having his first almost-week-long break from the farm this year when he goes off to the Glastonbury Festival.  Gordon and I are going to Spain in the middle of July to stay with friends so we’re already looking forward to that.

Next Wednesday I’m driving to Cheltenham to move Alex out of her student accommodation into grown-up accommodation.  That’s right folks, she’s no longer a student!  She phoned me last week whilst I was in the forager in floods of happy tears to tell me she’d got her results back and is now the proud owner of a BA(Hons) in English Literature, or at least she will be in November which is when they’re officially handed-out.  Despite her doom-and-gloom attitude toward her dissertation and exams: “It’s all crap mum, I just know it is” which meant my constant reassurance that really she’s a lot brighter than she gives herself credit for, she got a 2.2 which is, for those of you without degrees or kids with degrees or even knowledge of degrees (like me), a reasonable C grade.  There!  I said she could do it.  Of course, this conversation also reduced me to happy tears and I spent the next two rows of grass wiping them away, but it’s a huge weight off her shoulders.

Come September we shall be starting the whole thing all over again with Stephanie who has been provisionally accepted into the University of Bedfordshire, Luton Campus to study criminology.  Her accommodation forms came this week and she’s chosen where she’d like to live for the next year.  All we have to do now is pay the deposit and then wait for the results of the exams she hasn’t actually taken yet.  She’s revising like crazy though so I hoping she’ll do well enough to get in.

Three days ago it was the first anniversary of mum’s death.  I can’t believe it’s been so long.  Terri and Steph went to the cemetary with flowers, but I couldn’t face it.  It’s not a day I really want to remember, to be honest.  I’d rather celebrate her birthday or some other happy event in her life, rather than make an event of the day she passed away.

So, that’s me and my past couple of days.  Now I’d better get off to carry on sorting out invoices before we have the bailiffs in for unpaid bills!

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Silage Making

Wednesday 9 June 2010

In case you’ve been visiting and thinking to yourself “where’s she gone now?” I thought I’d do a quick update on my whereabouts.  We’ve been silage-making since the middle of last week but on-and-off, allowing for the rain we’ve had in the past few days.  Those days have been spent catching up on all the things I haven’t had time to do whilst silage-making.  By the time I’m free to browse the blogs I’m so weary my eyes are closing and I’m going to bed instead.  Once again today we’re waiting for the grass to dry enough to mow it and I’m going shopping instead to ‘top up’ on essentials.

I’ll catch up with you again when the remaining four and a half fields have been cut and gathered in.

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