Diary

January 2009RSS feed

Pruning

Saturday 3 January, 2009

by Rosemary at 8:38pm in Growing 1 comment Add your own

It's been bitterly cold here today, but dry and sunny. Dan donned his comedy hat and headed out to prune the apple and pear trees in the orchard. It's not his favourite job - getting it wrong will impact in yields next year.

We had a good crop of apples this year and the cookers in particular are storing really well. I made an apple and mincemeat crumble today, with real custard. Yummy. So as long as Dan does this year what he did last, we should be OK.

So just the blackcurrants to do now - maybe tomorrow. The rhubarb needs to be lifted and split, but we'll need to wait until the ground thaws before we do that.

Winter Pimms

Sunday 4 January, 2009

by Rosemary at 10:48am in Recipes 0 comments Add your own

I got this recipe from a friend. I wouldn't have been quite so enthusiastic if I had known that Pimms wasn't the same price as wine! However, having tried it, I would certainly make it again. It's very warming...

1 part Pimms No1, 2 parts good quality apple juice, 2 parts good quality ginger beer; chopped apple, sliced orange, sliced lemon, cinnamon stick. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan; bring to boiling point then allow to cool. Leave for a bit to infuse. Warm gently before serving.

Welcome home, girls

Monday 5 January, 2009

by Rosemary at 3:00pm in Sheep 0 comments Add your own

We welcomed our sheep home yesterday. They have been back at their breeder for 8 weeks, running with one of her tups. Hopefully, all three are now pregnant.

They weren't all that keen to get in the trailer. When we let the ramp down, the tup got straight on and stood looking at us - I take it he's used to being moved around! While our three recognised us (and the feed bucket), to Jane's sheep, we were strangers and they didn't want to play ball at all. Once Jane appeared, they followed her into the corner of the field while we caught ours and put them in the trailer.

Two black cats

Monday 5 January, 2009

by Rosemary at 3:05pm in Cats 1 comment Add your own

I had Cassius at the vet today for his routine antibiotic injection. He has cancer in the bone of his upper jaw, so he gets a fortnightly antibiotic injection and daily anti-inflammatory medication to delay the cancer's progress and minimise the side effects. He's so good at the vet. To be fair, he's had lots of experience. The staff always ask after him, even if we're in with the dogs. He also comes every morning and sits on the kitchen table, waiting for his medication (or maybe the saucer of cream that follows it). He's been with us nearly eight years and was probably between 6 and 10 years old when we got him, so he's doing well. The vet's very happy with him - he looks great, is eating well and has mad turns with his felt mouse (usually round our bedroom in the early hours of the morning - freaky!).

Are they or aren't they?

Friday 9 January, 2009

by Rosemary at 7:52pm in Sheep 0 comments Add your own

I don't like surprises very much, so I was quite keen to get our sheep scanned to see if they are pregnant. However, I didn't hold out much hope of getting someone to come for three sheep. My luck was intoday - the Scottish Farmer had an advert for sheep scanning and it was a local address.

So Monday 19th January is the big day. If they aren't pregnant, that's OK - I'll be terribly disappointed but they can be lawnmowers this year. If they are, then I'll know how many lambs are likely (not counting before they are born, of course) and I can feed and plan accordingly.

Washing soda

Friday 9 January, 2009

by Rosemary at 7:58pm in Anything goes 1 comment Add your own

Isn't this credit crunch great? All of a sudden it's cool to be frugal!

I read in a magazine that washing soda is a substitute for expensive washing powder. I have to confess I was a bit sceptical but I had a look in the supermarket and, since it was only 68p a kilo, I thought I'd give it a go. And it works!

I use two scoops in a load - the scoop is off a cough medecine bottle, so not very big - and the washing is clean. Even whites!

Cheap and environmentally friendly - can't say better than that, eh!

More frugality!

Friday 9 January, 2009

by Rosemary at 8:02pm in Anything goes 1 comment Add your own

Dan's been banging on about making popcorn for ages. Our local supermarket only stocks the stuff for microwaves and we don't have one. Eventually, he tracked popping corn down to our local Julian Graves shop.

A couple of nights ago, he decided to give it a go. I reminded him of my childhood experience of popping corn - my Mum and I made it. By the bucketload! Mum didn't think the amount on the packet was very much so she tipped in a bit more - it was like a horror movie. This stuff lifted the lid off the pot and made it's way over the cooker and on to the floor. I maybe exaggerate a wee bit but you get the idea.

Lambs and weather forecasts

Monday 19 January, 2009

by Rosemary at 9:24pm in Sheep 2 comments Add your own

We had our three sheep scanned today. We were lucky to get Gillian - most scanners wouldn't come for such a small flock. Dan held the sheep (one at a time!), I held the equipment and Gillian did her stuff.

Jinx is carrying a single, Juno (who was a single lamb and is a bit "chunky" so I thought might not be in lamb) is carrying twins and Jura, who's the nice slim one, isn't pregnant. At least Gillian didn't think she was but it's only two weeks since we bought them out from the tup and they have to be 30 days pregnant for the lamb to show on the scanner. So she COULD be. Gillian said she woudl try and swing by and have another look in three weeks or so. If she's not pregnant, she can be "Auntie", keep on with the lawnmowing and try again next year.

Clackmannanshire Fact No1

Monday 19 January, 2009

by Rosemary at 9:35pm in Anything goes 0 comments Add your own

My chum, Claire, loaned me abook called " I never knew that about Scotland" by Christopher Winn. As it is Homecoming 2009, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, I shall dazzle you periodically with fascinating facts about Scotland.

I shall start with my home county of Clackmannanshire!

"Clackmannanshire is the smallest county in the British Isles covering an area of just 55 square miles (14,245 hectares). In the late 18th century, one third of Scotland's total coal production was exported through Alloa, the county town."

Clackmannanshire Fact No2

Tuesday 20 January, 2009

by Rosemary at 10:44am in Anything goes 0 comments Add your own

Sir William Alexander (1567 - 1640) 1st Earl of Stirling was born in Menstrie Castle, which is now in National Trust for Scotland ownership. In 1621, he was granted land in the New World by James VI, and founded the province of Nova Scotia. Although his attempts to establish a Scottish colony there failed and in 1632, Charles I handed Nova Scotia to the French as part of a peace settlement, in 1732, it was ceded back to Britain and many Scots emigrated there.

Killer roses

Tuesday 20 January, 2009

by Rosemary at 12:55pm in Gardening 6 comments Add your own

Since it was nice on Saturday, I decided to spend some time in the garden. I thought it would be good for Dan to get some fresh air too! I always have his welfare at heart.

I bought a pear tree in Tesco last week, so Dan planted that. It's a Williams' Bon Chretien. I love pears. We have one tree left out of two planted first time round, but we've never managed to get any fruit off it. Maybe we'll do better next year!

His next job was to lift and split one of the rhubarb crowns. The other one will be done once the blueberry is transplanted. I would have done that on Saturday had I been able to get some ericaceous compost; I wasn't driving into Stirling just for that, though. Finally, he pruned the blackcurrants and gave the compost bins a bit of a shoogle.

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