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Posted: Tuesday 20 October, 2020

by Rosemary at 2:54pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 12th October

Wet and miserable. And so is the weather. Foot bruised and swollen. Managed to make mincemeat cookies though. Spoke to Stuart, our butcher, and booked the steers into Shotts for next Monday. We’ll need help to load them. Well, Dan will. I’ll just be sitting watching.

Tuesday 13th October

Woke at 5am to heavy rain. Not what I want as we’re still hoping to get the wildflower seeds drilled this autumn. Had a bit of a meltdown. Poor Dan’s having it all to do. My foot is worse this morning – Dan said it would be worse today then would start getting better. As usual, I had unrealistic expectations of my old body.

Dan and Tara separated the two tup lambs. They’re no liking being away from their mammys.

Wednesday 14th October

Foot a bit better. Getting lots of Shetland Cattle stuff done. Started a Creole Christmas Cake (Delia, of course) – you cook the fruit and nuts in a mix of port (or in our case, Madeira), brandy, rum, cherry brandy and Angostura bitters, then let it mulch for a week before making the cake.

Thursday 15th October

Made spiced pickled pears (Delia, for a change). They look lovely. And the kitchen smelled great. Spoke to the chap with the grass seed drill – he’s going to come and have a look – given the forecast, I think it’s either tomorrow or spring.

pearsSpiced pickled pears.

Finally got a date for getting the lambs away – 25th January. I’m wondering if I should stick the pure Ryeland tup in with the three Shetlands (not that Bambi will get in lamb), for three weeks. If I was going to do that, I might as well borrow Murray the BFL too, eh?

Friday 16th October

Sore foot this morning and it’s quite bruised. I may have overdone it. Quelle surprise. Started soaking the fruit for Delia’s Classic Christmas cake (can you see a pattern yet?).

Grass seed man arrived this morning; we’re going for spring sowing. Which is good in that I can graze it with sheep over winter. Also had a visit from a gardener – I was initially only looking for a planting plan for the two beds at the front of the house and the two beds at the West Range, but I’ve asked him to quote me for doing the clearing and planting work too. And Graham the Joiner was here this morning – he’s just got a few bits to finish off then we can get the invoice paid.

Mike is coming tomorrow morning to help Dan move the freezers. I hope I’ll be able to help move food, stock take and clean the other freezers as we empty them. Or Dan might just lock me in the house.

Saturday 17th October

Lovely autumn day. And I managed to sneak out for a wee while. Mike came down to help Dan move the freezers – all done and in place. Three defrosting ready for cleaning tomorrow and maybe a stocktake. The store looks great.

boxOld freezer store.

byreOur new Byre.

Haulier phoned to ask if he could pick up the steers at 7.15am on Monday. That’ll be fun.

Popped round to give the ewes some swede. First time I’ve seen them since my fall; if you look at Tuesday’s diary, you’ll see Tara and Dan separated off the two tup lambs – one white Ryeland and one fawn Ryeland x Shetland. So I was surprised to see a white sheep in the field with the ewes. A white sheep with big balls. And in the other field, a fawn sheep with big balls and a brown sheep with none. *sighs* Sorted now. Hope there was no hanky panky.

Dan walked the dogs and phoned to say Ace was on the wrong side of the electric fence. Seems the fence isn’t an issue for him – he just walks over / through it if he fancies the grass on the other side. The fence was on. Cattle now back in our paddocks for the time being.

Baked the Classic Christmas cake. I think it’s the best I’ve ever made; I think the new bakeware may have something to do with it. I’ve just ordered a square tin in the same range for my Creole Christmas cake.

cakeDelia's Classic Christmas Cake.

Sunday 18th October

Bit dull and overcast. Andy was here this morning; don’t know what work they were doing as I’m still pretty much confined to barracks. Dan treated the byre door surround with wood preservative; the door furniture is on, so the screwdriver that substituted for a door handle is now redundant.

Late morning, we all went down to East Pitkerro (in two cars) and brought the two steers in that are going away tomorrow. It went pretty smoothly; the two young ones, Archie and Charlie, are back out in the field; trailer is hitched to Arnot’s Discovery and backed up to the shed. What can go wrong!!!

Dan had to work this afternoon; I did some work on a wee script for the Shetland cattle video for the Scottish Smallholder Festival. We’re last, as usual. I will have to bribe the tech team with cake.

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