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

Friday, April 29, 2016

April showers

April has been a funny month, weatherwise.  In the last week, we have had daytime temperatures of from 5'C to 15'C.  We have had brilliant sunshine but also rain, hail, sleet and snow showers. It makes it a little difficult to plan work outside as you can guarantee that it is raining when I am free to go to the allotment.

We have hired a giant shredder for the bank holiday weekend and will be shredding the enormous piles of clippings and small branches etc etc from clearing three gardens. I'm hoping that there will be enough dry spells to get round all three houses to do the shredding.  We've also borrowed a trailer to transport said shredder as it is too big to fit in the back of our big estate car. The hens will benefit in the winter as I'll be able to spread the shredding in their runs as well as whatever leaves I collect in the autumn.

Speaking of hens, I lost another of my youngest (read "very middleaged" here but they are still my youngest) hens this week. Thankfully she went in less than 24 hours from when it was obvious that there was something wrong. That flock of seven is now a flock of three. The rest of her flock are looking very healthy and are laying just about every day still.

I've been at a school show this afternoon. My grandson, aged six, had got through to the final of the his school's "got talent" competition. I may be just a tad biased here but I do think that his was one of the best acts : )    Actually, he came second to another girl in the same year whose piano playing was amazing. Most of the other acts were good but would have been better if the kids hadn't been filled with stagefright when stood on the stage looking at the whole school and all those parents and relatives facing them. Looking at a big audience would be enough to put me off too. Proud grandmother here : )

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Friday, April 08, 2016


Cats! I've gone off them today.  Fred was careering round the bedroom chasing Barney when we were having our morning cuppa.  Fred knocked over my husband's untouched half pint mug of tea. It is amazing how far a half pint of tea will travel when knocked over by a cat at full speed. Lots of things got splashed but the real damage was done to a very expensive ( and now out-of-print grrr) book that my husband was reading. The paper soaked up the tea very readily and the book is not in very good condition now.

I've been trying to sort out a few more little corners in the house. My total of things that have left the house is creeping up very slowly. In fact I am about six weeks behind schedule already. Still, looking on the bright side, some things have already left so I'm still winning : )

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Tuesday, April 05, 2016

After Easter

Easter has been and we have enjoyed it.  The celebration is the highlight of the Christian calendar and can get rather busy. On the Wednesday before Easter, we had a shorter lunchtime service at church and lots of people came in for that including all the children from the nursery school. On Maundy Thursday, all the local churches in our group get together and have a service and we rotate whose church we all go to and which minister does what part of the service. On Good Friday all the churches in our area, of all denominations, get together and pack out our church for a service and then process about 150 yards up the road to the parish church where we have a short service in the village square before tea and hot cross buns in the parish church hall. We rotate which church is responsible for both the services and this year it was our turn. This meant that we had to be at church very early for a music rehearsal. We also have a service just for our church on Good Friday evening. Saturday is free but I had to do the shopping for the breakfast after the early morning communion service on Easter Sunday which my husband was leading. So we were down early to set up breakfast (boiled eggs to represent new life) , have the early service and serve breakfast. After eating a very rushed breakfast, there was a music rehearsal for the main service and then the service itself followed by tea and coffee. 

We were not quite free after that because all three of our kids and their families had rented together a large holiday home in Cornwall for the week and we were on cat duty. After a little tour of their houses, we went home for a rest and also a late lunch when we had recovered enough energy to get it. I have to admit that I am really pleased that all my kids and their families get on so well that they go out and do things together. They rented a house about five miles from Callington where my mother-in-law used to live and where my lot spent happy holidays for several years.

Easter is a week ago now and we spent the rest of the week pottering through various jobs.  We did a bit of work on the allotment and did a few jobs around the house. To be fair, it was me that did the pottering because my husband had a deadline to meet in his exam work and he only did a few jobs as a change from being glued to the computer.

I've let my two cats outside now that they are bigger.  After my last two cats were ill and crept downhill slowly to the end, there has not been a cat presence in our garden for around three years.  There are a lot of cats in our neighbourhood and they all think that our garden is now part of their territory. I knew my new cats would have a job on their hands to establish the garden as their territory and was worried about setting two young cats up against a large number of adult cats. So I waited until mine were a bit bigger before letting them out. When I have had young cats before, we always had an older cat with the garden as their established territory so I felt this was a very different situation. Well, the young cats are loving their freedom - now what a surprise : )

They have conquered the cat flap, both in and out and are spending their days exploring the wider world.  They both pop back in the house about every 10-15 minutes to check up on us and then sprint outside again. They only seem to have two speeds at the moment - full gallop or asleep in a heap, exhausted. They have met the rabbit and the hens and survived the shock and they are having fun : )

ps BT have finally got the internet working at church again. Hurray!

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