This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On Sunday morning, at church, my friend came up to me waving her camera. They have a smallholding just outside the city boundary and their first lambs had been born that morning so she had brought me photos. I popped out for a quick visit to see them in the afternoon. They are so gorgeous - all wobbly legged and cute at six hours old when I saw them. Mum is a Zwartble - deep brown and a black face with a white blaze down it. Dad is a Texel - normal white sheep colouring. The twins are deep, deep brown, almost black, with a white star on the forehead. Looking at them, I feel almost desperate to have some of my own. I know that if I do manage to acquire some land and have some sheep, the first lamb born will probably end up as a pet, whatever sex it is. The others, if male, will end up in the freezer but I will have made jolly sure they have had as good a life as I can give them beforehand.

On the way home, we made a little detour. I had been to our local Sainsburys to buy the supplies for breaktime for Saturday school at work and they had given me a 5p off a litre of petrol voucher. I didn't think I would be able to spend it as it is a 12 mile round trip to the nearest Sainsburys with a petrol station and that is not frugal as we pass within 50 yards of a Shell one on the journey to school. However, a little detour on the way home from my friend's home means only an extra 1.5 miles on the trip so going to buy petrol subsidises the visit to my friend's as I knew we could put over 30 litres in. We also passed a big Tesco on the way so I persuaded my husband that he really wanted to go there too. Wow! What a shopping trip! We happened to be there when they reduced lots of the stuff on the deli counter to 30p per packet... Half a pound-ish packs of best ham for 30p. Likewise packs of sliced roast pork. And a 4 portion lasagne reduced to 60p. Bread reduced to 10p. I came out with a huge smile on my face! There are going to be lots of dinners which will cost about 50p total for both of us including veg. I still have quite a lot of veg in the freezer from the time a few weeks ago that my daughter happened on a supermarket that had reduced loads of its veg to 10p per pack. Lots of pennies in my smallholding pot. :) :) :) They do all add up. After Tesco, we just called in to buy petrol and Sainsburys and the petrol was 1p a litre cheaper than our local Shell. Another little :) The only trouble with coming home with bargains is the enormaous 3D jigsaw of squeezing all the little packages into the freezer. But it is worth it!

My son was calling in to see me in the evening for my Mothers' Day visit so he was delighted to be presented with a bag of reduced goodies. My friend down the road liked her bag of goodies and so did my daughter. We have this arrangement that if we stumble on goodies like that, we bring something home for the others too.

I'm not very keen on ready meals and prefer to have my own version in the freezer but things like that lasagne just can't be made for the price I paid. It probably won't taste as good as homemade but I'll think of the price and not the additives. The only time I will buy a readymeal is when I happen on a bargain like this one - and that doesn't happen very often.

My hens are pulling their socks up a bit now that spring is here and we are getting 5-6 eggs a day. More often than not, it is 6 rather than 5. One day we even had 7 eggs from the 7 laying hens. I think that is the fourth time since last Eastertime that we've had 7 from 7. The eggs are pretty big now, too. The 3 older Warrens have laid a total of 3 eggs in 2010 and I get the feeling that they think that they have showed willing and done their bit now. The 2 even older Bantams won't lay any more now.


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