Monday, 25 September 2017


Yes really! That yellow ball of light is sunshine!
Yes! We really do have sunshine. Not only do we have sunshine we have had sunshine for the past two or three days, with blue skies too. Bliss! It does mean that it has got pretty noisy around here. Often it is so quiet you could hear a pin drop, but at the moment we hear chainsaws, strimmers and tractors as people get jobs done while the sun shines. We are no exception and Ian has added to the noise from time to time. Not to mention the 4x4 cars that kept going past all Saturday. We saw more cars in a day than we normally see in a month.
I got to feel George's coat this week and it is super soft. I'm
usually quite a good judge of fineness, so I'm hopeful that
his turns out to be a good fleece

We saw the first flock of geese heading south-west tonight though. In Latvia they say that the geese fly off two weeks before the first snow. I do hope this group have got it wrong. I know it is due to get colder and we have had snow in mid-October before but please not this year! Not yet!

Frederiks is such a cutie. His fleece doesn't feel quite so soft
but it is very dense, so probably still a very good fleece
It has been, shall we say an entertaining week of sorts. On Tuesday I went into the village as normal as it is milk day (as is Friday). This means that unless I have dropped a bottle off earlier, I need to be in the village by 8am or thereabouts. It has become a bit of a bind this year and probably one we will not continue next year after we move back out to the caravan in spring. We will see if we can source the milk more locally or worse have to get supermarket milk. Not keen of the supermarket idea, so we hope our neighbour will supply us. We haven't wanted to change as we have had our milk delivered to us for near enough 10 years now from the same lady and when we are in the apartment delivery days are not an issue. Oh well! Times change and we have to adjust.
Glowing in the sunshine

A contemplative moment
Anyway, as I was saying I went in as normal and did the normal Tuesday type jobs, such as get a shower, do some washing, bake cakes and bread and bottled up some tomato sauce. I also did some sewing on my sewing machine. Not so normal though I ended up clearing what appeared to be a leak from our upstairs neighbours in our other apartment- fortunately not a big leak and one that had stopped, but as always a bit of a concern (we have had a few leaks from upstairs over the years). Also fortunately it had leaked onto the vinyl floor that is sealed so no worries about causing other issues and only needed mopping up. As I set off to go home that evening though I tried to start the car and it wouldn't fire up. It didn't sound good at all, so I phoned Ian. He managed to get a lift with one of our neighbours who was heading back into the village and they came to the conclusion there was an issue with the starter motor.
More contemplative moments and a spot of sunbathing 

Gathering on the few dandelions that have popped up 
Sigh! I was relieved though it happened this week and not next when Ian is due to go on his travels. Our friend who gave Ian a lift was kind enough to lend us his wife's car. She was going away anyway, so wouldn't need it for a few days. Unfortunately the car is just a two wheel drive car and our land was rather squelchy from all the rain. We managed to get the car on, but then got it stuck in a trench that Ian had made to divert water off the roadway. We resorted to pulling it out with the tractor and was able to park it where it wouldn't get stuck getting off the land. What a day.
We put in some barley to suppress the weeds. It is supposed
to be green manure over the winter too, but it has gone to
seed and looks healthier than any barley we have grown
in the fields. Typical it might even ripen too or not if it

It still amuses me the balance of alpacas when they have an
itch to scratch
The next day Ian went to the garage to sort out getting our car repaired. The mechanic asked if we could tow the car with our friend's car, but it was not something we wanted to risk, so he got an old Fronterra and the mechanic and Ian went to collect our car from the village. After bump starting our car they got the car going and they both headed back to the garage (as Ian said, why didn't he think of that! Well it is not something that would have occurred to me either). Along the way though the Fronterra developed a fault and when Ian caught up with it, there were clouds of steam coming out from under the bonnet. Ian ended up towing the Fronterra back to the garage. Our car was fine until it stopped and then it wouldn't start, so not an issue to tow the car.
One bowl so of course the cat has to sit in it

If you go down to the woods today, you're
sure of a big surprise
That was a bit of a wasted day since it was a day without rain, but we still got the chance to get out and find mushrooms. We got a nice load of chanterelles but there weren't many other mushrooms we recognised as edible, enough for our evening meal and some to dry at least. The next day was wet again and during a discussion a few days previously we had decided on the next wet day we would have a brainstorming session. We decided to discuss what we want to see happen on our land and what our values and focus were. We were doing quite well and we were both reasonably happy and positive about the ideas when the phone went. Our car was ready! We decided to go straight away, so we could return our friend's car back as soon as possible and we also decided that since it was still rather wet, we would have a drink and cake at the bakery. End of brainstorming session!
Well that was a big surprise. It was huge.
Unfortunately also past its best

And as for these spiky little chaps
The next morning we woke to the rumble of thunder. It was quite weird as we could feel the caravan shake with each rumble. At one point we heard a crashing sound, a tree near our pond had come down. The weather cleared up after that so Ian went for a walk and found a few more trees had come down in the morning storm. I think the rain soaked ground and the buffeting wind had been just a bit too much. We managed to get some jobs done that day and so we didn't get back to the brainstorming session until the evening, by which time we were both a bit tired and cranky. That didn't go too well, but we still made progress. We decided that if we were going to make any progress our caravan had to have a permanent shelter and not one to move in and out each year. This would free up the greenhouse to make it more suitable for a workshop.
Really weird
You can see the stump of the tree in the middle of the photo.
It makes the place look a bit empty now, as it was the only tree
growing in a swampy area

The girls out in their extended area. 
Our land has beautiful rolling terrain and so trying to find flat places for buildings, even small ones, can be a bit of an issue. It took a morning of discussions to finally settle on a spot for the caravan and a method to house it that we think will work and won't require any special permission to build. It is also close enough to the greenhouse to run electric to. We also decided on where to put a barn. We had decided on an area before but realised that wouldn't work with the caravan. Such a palaver! If that goes there, then that can't go in that spot, but if we put that there... and so on! We are not sure if it will happen this year, as it depends on the weather when Ian gets back, especially with those geese flying over. The forecast is dry for now, so I guess it is unlikely to stay that way for much longer. We do at least have the wood to build it. The caravan has served us well, but it will not do so out in the sun and rain every year for six months of the year. It needs a cover and it definitely wouldn't last long in the winter weather, hence the need to move it into the greenhouse every year.

The finished fence
The last two days have been glorious and so we finally got the girls fence wired up. This is a huge area covering about half a hectare or just over an acre and the posts had been in since May. While Ian is away the girls can be just left to roam around in it during the day and I won't have to worry about moving fences. It also means we won't have to worry about visits from the boys. We nearly had an incident this morning. We were sat in the caravan having breakfast when Ian issued an expletive and said "Mr P's just walked past the caravan". I didn't compute what he said straight away but knew by the tone of his voice we had to move fast. We got outside to see Mr. P. heading up to see the girls, he had obviously missed them. Fortunately he knew where to go and wandered up to the gate where we eventually managed to catch him. There may have been some bribery involved and it wasn't quite that simple but we got him in the end in a relatively short time. Ian harnessed Mr. P up and walked him back to his own paddock where he was confined to calm himself down and forget about the girls.
The boys were really excited about all the extra space,
especially George. I'm not quite sure if Aggie wanted to join
in or was just exasperated with George for getting too close
at huge speeds. 

Our view at morning coffee yesterday. Mr. P. staring at the
girls, pining again
We are not quite sure how he managed to break the fence, but they will be getting a new area to graze tomorrow, as Ian was out putting up a new one this evening. The problem is that they exhaust the grass quite rapidly at this time of the year and have to be moved often to give the grass a break. At least with the girls behind their big fence we now have more spare poles to make the boys grazing area bigger and even if they get out, they can't easily get to the girls. Our only worry would be Veronica really as the others are almost certainly pregnant. Mind you, Veronica knows how to put up a fight when it comes to amorous males and she hasn't wanted any of that sort of thing. It is not something we want to risk though, she is too old and she is retired.
We'll have none of that carry on!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear your comments and will always reply, so go ahead, ask a question or just say hi