Wednesday 1 June, 2005
I don't know about where you are but the weather here has been pretty poor. Every year I say I'm going to keep a diary and actually record what the weather has been like. I wish I had this year - surely it can't have been as bad as I think?
It's the first of June; it's cold and wet. I mean real cold and real wet. Not fun.
However, we had a very busy day on Sunday (Saturday was windy and rainy) at least on the tidying front. Dan has strimmed for Britain and the place looks less like the Clampett's. Unfortunately, the "beautifulest gate" has not survived the winter. Dan reckons the timber wasn't properly preserved. The spars have been piled up for disposal and a new gate will emerge in due course.
Monday 6 June, 2005
With the weather so unpredictable I spent a lot of Saturday in the kitchen. The main event was a game pie, based on a recipe from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, and made with a pile of game which had been in our freezer for over a year waiting for me to get organised. We had a rabbit and some venison bought from Stirling Farmers' Market, and 4 pheasant breasts bartered last year for some pork chops.
Shug's recipe had an option for a cold version - simply add a pig's trotter to the mix, simmer for an extra hour and you've got a stock which will turn to jelly when cool. Since we've got about half a dozen trotters in the freezer I thought we'd go for this version.
Wednesday 8 June, 2005
Dan's in London for a couple of days, so I'm, notionally at least, in charge. In case I get bored, Dan's left me a "To Do" list.
So tonight I had two and a half lovely hours in the garden. Gardening in our place is not a solitary occupation. Tess generally goes off and does her own thing, but Meg will be throwing you her ball (and barking at you if you don't throw it back), Cassius will be supervising all you do, the hens will be chooking about in case you dig up a worm or a bug or two. And the midges eat you.
Wednesday 8 June, 2005
Hmm. Has anyone been watching the new reality TV show "The Real Good Life"?
Dan and I don't watch much TV, unless it's football, but we thought we might watch this programme. If you haven't seen it, it's in ITV on Tuesday at 8pm. This week was the second of seven programmes. In summary, three families have a year to try this self-sufficiency lark. They have given up work and are digging up thier gardens. The TV company is paying their mortgages for 12 months and paying them an allowance of, I think, £40 per family member for at least part of the year.
Saturday 11 June, 2005
It's always nice to get away, and usually even nicer to get back. Arriving home last night from the @media 2005 conference in London I have to say I had mixed emotions for a change.
Sure it was lovely to see everyone again, and travelling alone just isn't the same, but the conference was such a fantastic experience I was still buzzing when I rolled in at 9.30pm. The conference was about web standards and accessibility - if you're glazing over already that's okay, Rosemary doesn't get it so just lets me witter on about it, but to those of us who work in the industry the rise of the web standards movement is probably the most significant event since the dawn of the web.
Monday 13 June, 2005
Yesterday we spent a good 5 hours in the garden catching up on grass-cutting, weeding, pruning and tidying, and got loads done.
While I was waging war on rampant thistles and nettles with my strimmer, Rosemary weeded the veg garden, saint that she is.
She called me over at one point to check whether a netted area had anything sown in it. It had - drying beans of variety Horsehead, sown the previous weekend, although you wouldn't know it looking at the bed. She grumbled something about there being no row markers, then soldiered on.
Tuesday 14 June, 2005
Justice is done. No, not Michael Jackson, but ITV's decision to pull The Real Good Life due to poor ratings, and not before time. It truly sucked.
Tuesday 28 June, 2005
We're delighted that a couple of our photographs have found their way into print, in the fine new book "A Guide to Traditional Pig Keeping" by Carol Harris. It's always nice when someone want to use our photos, but even better when they feature in such a high quality book.
If you're new to pig-keeping, or want to increase your knowledge, the book is an excellent resource. There's really nothing else like it out there, and we wish we'd had a copy when we started out. It concentrates on traditional breeds, and caters for the smallholder wishing to keep a small number of pigs, as well as those who might be looking to get into breeding pigs.