Monday, 13 April 2015

Spring fever?

Our free range chickens enjoying the spring grass. 
Not sure about Spring fever, we've had a few nice days and the grass is greening up nicely, but today is back to cloud and rain and I'm feeling under the weather too. I have an eye infection, again! I say "again" as if this is a regular occurrence or after a fairly recent happening, but when I look back at the last time this happened it was 4 years ago! I knew it wasn't last year, but I thought maybe the year before that. So time must have sped by. I'm not sick that often and so it is a bit of a novelty and one I would be quite happy not to become too well acquainted with. It was also an event seared on my brain because it took weeks for it to go the last time and two rounds of antibiotics and included two visits to the local doctor and once to the hospital. Hopefully that will not be the case this time. I also woke up with a sore throat and swollen glands but that is on its way out now, so I'm hoping the eye infection is related and then that will take a hike too.

These were the first three hatched. The more sprightly
yellow one and the black one were hatched yesterday and
the more timid looking one this morning. It had to find its
feet a bit yet, unlike the other two.
We started off a batch of chicks 21 days ago and two hatched out yesterday, which was a bit of a surprise as we have never had them hatch after 20 days. So far we have 11 chicks, 2 of them black and the rest varying shades of yellow. Two of our lady alpacas are also starting to look pregnant, which is a relief but the youngest we are still not sure about and have even noticed her standing in the corner of the paddock gazing at the boys - not a good sign really. If she is not pregnant then in about a month's to six week's time, we will try mating her again for next year. Apparently it is normal for young ones to not get pregnant the first time.

I said last week that the storks were back and here is one in
our pond. This stork has incredibly red legs, and I think
the trip down to Africa must have done it some good.  
Some of you may have noticed that there is a little bit of election fever going on in the UK. It looks like it might be an interesting race, as the UK is more used to two horse races and not multiple parties vying for power. I did get incensed at one point by an Easter greeting from the current Prime Minister. I thought it was hypocritical, but I was informed he has never made a secret of his faith. Okay fair enough! I suppose I mustn't have taken that much notice then. It wasn't just the fact he gave the message, but it was the "Britain is a Christian country" line that got to me and how concerned we should be about all the Christians being persecuted. Now before you blow your top at me, don't get me wrong, it does concern me, just I don't stop at concern for Christians, but stretches to anyone who is persecuted or tortured for their faith, their politics, for any reason whatsoever and I don't have a scale of concern depending on their faith, my scale would tend to follow the degree of persecution.
Enjoying a saunter through the woods
The alpacas ignoring the stork and the stork ignoring the
As for Britain being a Christian country line - I know many of the laws of the UK are based on Judeo-Christian laws, but those kinds of laws are not exclusive to Britain nor the Christian faith. Neither does it explain why it took 26 years to get slavery abolished and only due to such forceful personalities as William Wilberforce and took Lord Shaftesbury over 50 years of his life to get people with mental health issues treated as people and not animals, not to mention the over 10 years he took to get reforms for children to spare them the horrors of the factories and so on. That in a supposedly Christian country and not even attempting to get into the colonial era and the abuses that occurred then. The UK has many fine people of faith and no faith and they are all valuable to the life of the nation. Besides, how can a country have faith? It is the people who have faith.

This has been Ian's project this week. Unfortunately it didn't
go completely to plan. See if you can spot the difference
So those were the thoughts I was mulling over in the garden the other day. At one point I felt God say "why does it matter to you?" Hmmm! Good point! The people who decide on who is going to be in the Government for the next four to five years should be the people who live there and I live in Latvia. I had decided it wasn't right for me to take part, even though I could (at least for another four years anyway). It could affect us if the UK decided to take themselves out of the EU, but that would be a bridge we cross when we come to it. So why was I letting this get to me? Why was I getting steamed up on the one hand and refusing to vote on the other? So who was being hypocritical? Hmmm! So a decision was made. No more comments on the political scene in the UK for this election, or at least I will try. It is hard, I am an activist by nature, which is why I do the research that I do and feel as strongly about politics as I do too. Still there are plenty of other issues to get steamed up about and it won't do my health any good to constantly be mulling over the things I cannot change or shouldn't try to.

We now have a sign up. Only it wasn't up in time to let the
bin (trash) men know where we were. It was also set up in
stages in between the showers. We did get our bin though
At least whilst mulling all that I did get two beds dug over or weeded, lots of parsnip seed sown, a very small plot of wheat, another very small plot of hulless oats, garlic transplanted because the little seeds I had planted ages ago were now showing up in weedy spots in the wrong part of the garden and some spinach. The small plots of wheat and oats are from a small-scale seed company and so the aim will be to grow them up for seed next year, rather than try and make a loaf of bread out of them. That will come much later.

A close up of the sign. So have you spotted the difference
This week I won't be heading up to Tartu, as I thought I was supposed to be - probably a good job if I have this eye-infection. I despair though at trying to organise anything at the moment. I had an email late on last week announcing that they would like the slides for the presentation for the conference at the end of this week. Gee thanks! I had that down to do early next week, as I am still trying to finish of this major paper that is due the beginning of May. I did get some headway on the short paper for a conference that is in September, as the deadline for that is next week, so that is something. That was well enough organised anyway. Roll on mid-May when most of this stuff will be finished and I get on with the mega-seed planting season.


  1. Hope your eye heals up soon and you manage to get all your papers done in time. I totally agree with you about persecution. It really annoys me when they go on about persecution and killing of Christians and hardly a word said about the thousands of Muslims that are also killed by IS terrorists. As if God loves Christians more than anyone else. Grrr!

    1. Thanks Mavis and I'm glad it's not just me who gets riled about that

  2. Our politicians sometimes say similar things. I'm reminded of something John Wesley said:

    "Where, I pray, do the Christians live? Which is the country, the inhabitants whereof are all thus filled with the Holy Ghost? --are all of one heart and of one soul? Cannot suffer one among them to lack anything, but continually give to every man as he hath need; who, one and all, have the love of God filling their hearts, and constraining them to love their neighbour as themselves; who have all "put on bowels of mercy, humbleness of mind, gentleness, long-suffering?" Who offend not in any kind, either by word or deed, against justice, mercy, or truth; but in every point do unto all men; as they would these should do unto them? With what propriety can we term any a Christian country, which does not answer this description? Why then, let us confess we have never yet seen a Christian country upon earth."

    1. It's nice to know that my thoughts echo some of the great John Wesley. Such a shame though that we seem not to have learnt much in the intervening time though

  3. I spotted the difference in the signs right away! :) Ian did a very nice job of the ones that were eventually used!

    1. We thought that anyone who could read Latvian would notice it rather too quickly :D Ian is a wonderfully careful painter and that helps. I do the creative stuff but make a lot of mess, he is brilliant for making no mess and painting walls usually

    2. It occurs to me that the first version actually makes a real word (if you ignore the diacritic over the last "i")... it translates to v."turning". My Latvian is so rusty, I'll have to look up the meaning of the actual name you chose. I'm guessing a plant name, or something. (Tried, but couldn't find it.)

    3. That is interesting and maybe quite profound, it sure has been a turning point for us :) The word means Corncrakes, as that is the bird the owner used to hear a lot on the land. so when it was divided up to sell to our friend she named it after the bird.


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