making hay whilst the sun shines

I’m starting the week with a moan. How is it the men in my life seem to be able to switch off and focus whole heartedly on whatever it is they are interested in doing and I struggle to even get out the front door to do any work in the garden?! Ggggrrrr. Anyway, when I do get my wellies on my feet I seem to regain a swagger that only a new outfit and heels would have achieved before!

At Thibois I was on thinning and re-planting duty. Handling tiny carrots and beetroots and then sadly sharing Mandy’s disappointment when she saw that the mice have been dining out on the strawberries. Suno the donkey made sure he ate all the purple sprouting broccoli leftovers once he knew the goats were interested despite previously dismissing them. The goats soon cheered up when we spoilt them with bunches of strawberry leaves – it was all fair in the end.

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Paul reminded me what a romantic soul he was when he presented me with a truly thoughtful gift – and there I was feeling like I was at the back of his mind. The gift? Well, urrr – cracked heel balm.

The sun came out and we’ve had a few glorious days. The children have been tree climbing, den building and making mud pies. Three of the baby chickens are now laying so we’ve been enjoying omelettes for tea. The roses are looking beautiful in the garden and I’m fascinated by a bright pink rose, so fragrant and growing in abundance. It’s a cheeky one though as it has the most prickly of stems that remind me of sharks teeth. The sky has looked stunning at times this week – a bright orange sun and a full moon at 6:30 am on Friday morning.

Friday we were jamming rhubarb and ginger style. We had a great day cooking on the terrace at Thibois.

The weekend then started with a stroll to the Boulanger for a baguette that we then smothered in jam and demolished with an English brew in the sun. The farmer spared me a few calories when he arrived to start making the hay. Toby and Nick could hardly contain their excitement as they got to ride in the tractor. Alas, with all this sunshine comes the hay fever and we’ve been feeling it at 23!

Who needs a tv when there’s hay making to watch…..see what that chair becomes very soon…..

From long grass to hay bales…..

Sunday was the smallholders meeting. This months topic was sheep shearing by hand which was fascinating. I also picked up some top bottle tips from Martin and Jan‘s garden…..empty wine bottles buried in the ground up to the neck deter moles and that
upside down 1 litre bottles with the bottoms cut off and then pushed into the ground at the same time as planting aid watering. The plants roots can be watered but the leaves don’t get wet. Especially good for tomatoes. Check Jan’s greenhouse lids out – old caravan windows –

And that brings me to the end of the week and the subject of pooh. It started with a moan and ends with pooh……
Since we moved into 23 we have had drainage problems. We currently can’t shower here or use the toilet so we all have to go to poor Frank’s. It will all get sorted, it could be worse but it’s still a bore. Well, thanks to Justin at the smallholders meeting we now have a garden chair / monkey bucket style composting toilet. It’s not pretty but it works and it really doesn’t smell. Nothing like making your own fertiliser!!!

Hal

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