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

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Work and holidays, holidays and work

We went away for half term to the farm where we stayed last February half term. I wasn't sure about going because I've damaged my knee and I knew that I wouldn't be able to do much of anything.  But we went and I'm so glad that we did.

It kept trying to snow but it never really came to anything and at least there was no rain at all.  On one day, the sun shone in a cloudless sky and it was more like summer than February.  There was a woodburner and plenty of wood so we were kept luxuriously warm.

Each day we'd get up in a leisurely way.  Just not having an alarm clock was a treat in itself : )  We'd potter and then have an early lunch and go out for a (short) drive to a bit of moorland with a grand view and I'd sit in the car with a blanket and my book and my husband would go for a bit of a walk.  Then we'd have a cuppa from the flask and read for a bit, look at the view and then go back when it started to get dark.  Usually we'd only have seen a small handful of cars and probably would not have spoken to any humans, just some sheep.  We lead a busy life and deal with people all day, every day so it is a real treat to be antisocial for a week and just be on our own.  Longer than a week and I'd be wanting to see people but a week is just long enough to be a tonic.  The clean air does wonders for my husband's asthma, too.

At the moment I can't stand for very long to bake or cook (or do anything else for that matter) but I wanted to bring something nice and homemade to have with our afternoon cuppas so I made a small tray of flapjack the night before we went.  I don't know what I did wrong but we couldn't get it out of the tray.  So we just took the whole tray with us and decided to deal with the problem later.  Once there, we managed to lever out enough chunks to go with several cuppas and then scraped out the rest as crumbs which got put into a plastic tub.  We went to the Aldi in the next town and got a few bits of shopping to eat for the week and also had a small tub of Aldi icecream which was on offer.  Those flapjack crumbs were really lovely with the icecream and a spoonful of homemade jam. 

The farm is just 20 acres and they have lots of animals so I'm in my element.  This time there were 8 assorted sizes of horses and ponies, 2 donkeys, 3 llamas, 1 alpaca, 2 English goats and a flock of various breeds of sheep,. There were also 3 Brecon Buff geese (very pretty!), umpteen ducks from little call ducks to big Aylesbury with lots of mallard crosses and half a dozen flocks of hens of all types all wandering round following their own cockerel.  They have just acquired a little flock of 6 ex-batts which are so obviously enjoying their freedom and are so curious and follow you around to see what you are doing - just because they can. They were also given some golden Sebright bantams and three of the chicks have turned out to be cockerels.  I found it strange how loud their voices were in comparison to the other normal size cockerels and how far the cockadoodledoo carried across the farm.  They walk very upright and have large tails for their size but they are very small compared to even a Warren.  The females were not old enough to lay so I didn't see an egg but they must be tiny. I've "borrowed" these photos off a website so you can see what I'm talking about

Customer Image by Tom

On the day we came home, we called into Knighton where there was a craft and produce fair.  I gulped at the cost of the baked goods and jams/chutneys.  I was chatting to an older lady who had brought her knitting to do as she minded her and her daughter's stall. We got chatting about the socks she was knitting and she showed me the ones she was wearing.  She took my address and yesterday I got an envelope containing a copy of the pattern she uses (4 needles) and a copy of the one her daughter prefers to use (2 needles) and a couple of others as well as a card.  What a lovely envelope of goodies to receive.  She was so pleased that somebody was taking an interest in her knitting and just wanted to spread the word.  This lady also said that handknitted cotton socks are much warmer in the winter so I'll have to look out for some sock yarn on offer.  I don't have any shops round here that sell knitting yarn other than one charity shop that sells cheapo baby yarn.  Anybody recommend a good mail order company for yarn?

So now we're back with our noses to the grindstone again.  However, more treats are in store: we're going round for tea tonight to our son's house so I'll get to play (gently and from a sitting position on a chair) with my little grandson and granddaughter : )

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  • At 3:48 AM, Blogger Scarlet said…

    It sounds like you've had a lovely, restful break. I have used Kemp's for mail oder knitting yarn. It was recommended by Jo at Through The Keyhole, and I was very impressed. I receive emails when they have offers on , and there are quite often good reductions. It's definitely well worth a look.

  • At 4:35 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    Thank you!


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