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Happy solstice!

Tuesday 21 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 7:15pm in Anything goes 2 comments Add your own

Happy solstice to you all! We've decided it's of more relevance to us than Christmas. For a few weeks, I've been looking forward to the shortest day and the turn of the year - now we're going forward to spring.

2010 has been a remarkable and brilliant year. We've moved to Dalmore, renovating the house (which is nearly finished), bought our first cattle, expanded the sheep flock and have loads of plans for 2011 and beyond (way beyond :-)).

It has been the most glorious day here - cold (-7) but with clear blue skies and bright, surprisingly warm, sunshine. It's amazing how a couple of hours of sunshine can make you feel so good, even if you are slithering about in the snow.

Thaw

Sunday 12 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 6:17pm in Anything goes 0 comments Add your own

We're getting a bit of a thaw now, which is great, and I'm loath to complain. But it's been freezing overnight and where the snow is hardpacked and icy, it's absolutely treacherous underfoot in the morning. We started to break some of it up today, to help it thaw faster. I'm going to try and get some sand and salt this week, just in case it freezes again. I can't see us getting to Spring without another freeze somehow.

The ponies are boycotting the track because it's so slippy, so I think I mght let them into the five acre field. I just need to find a way of keeping them away from the sheep's hay rack.

Tiresome snow

Tuesday 7 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 12:29pm in Anything goes 0 comments Add your own

I'm soooo fed up with snow and ice and cold and winter in general. I spend so much time carting water, filling haynets, worrying about whether we've got enough hay - the days are just packed. John spends the morning defrosting taps and pipes.

Yesterday, I didn't put the water containers in the pump room - I was tired - this morning, they're solid. I'm cross with myself 'cos it's my own fault.

Still, sun's out, the sky's blue and the joiners are putting in the kitchen so it's not all bad. Hey ho, off to fill haynets now!

Half year anniversary

Wednesday 17 November, 2010

by Rosemary at 3:09pm in Anything goes 1 comment Add your own

If you can have such a thing, last Sunday was our half year anniversary here at Dalmore. It's been an interesting six months and we've achieved a lot, and worked through a lot of plans for the future.

It's a wee bit disappointing that the house isn't finished, but it's not far away and every day, a bit of progress is made. But the progress elsewhere more than makes up for it - the new hens, Hubbards, the calves, the work on the fruit and vegetable gardens - it's been incredible.

Now we can slow down for winter, batten down the hatches and plan for spring!

All Stock Pencils

Wednesday 3 November, 2010

by Rosemary at 7:37pm in Anything goes 0 comments Add your own

I've just bought a tonne of BOCM Farmgate Native Breed All Stock Pencils 16% protein. These are suitable for cattle and sheep, so should make managing feed stocks a wee bit simpler.

It's GM free and both the calves and the sheep seem to find it palatable. For every bag sold, BOCM will make a donation to the Rare Breed Survival Trust. I thought it was reasonably priced too, at £5.72 per 20kg bag.

Demolition man

Sunday 19 September, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:16pm in Anything goes 0 comments Add your own

Well, men and women and boys, in fact.

This weekend's project was to demolish the old stone and timber shed inside the opensided barn. Saturday saw Dan, Tony and Rebecca, our neighbours, their boys, Sam and Alex, and our chum, Karen and I all ready to go.

Barn shed

Dan was up early and started taking off the top course of bricks, then Tony arrived and took off the wriggly tin roof. Tony then took down the wood cladding, while Karen stoked the fire and burned the rotten wood. Meantime, everyone else was knocking down the wall or taking way the stone or clearing the old mortar. Except Sam and I, who went shopping for lunch and for stuff for a barbeque - someone has to be the catering corps!

Stormy weather

Tuesday 7 September, 2010

by Rosemary at 11:02am in Anything goes 0 comments Add your own

It's a terrible day here today, weatherwise. It's been really windy for a couple of days - our gazebo finally gave up the ghost yesterday and had to be quickly dismantled - but now we have heavy rain, driven by the gales. Actually, I'm so glad I took the gazebo down yesterday - it would have been a hideous job today.

On the positive side, the bad weather has reminded Bertie that he does actually live here and he's curled up on the bed with Harry. He's become semi-feral since we moved here - coming in twice a day to eat and for a quick cuddle before shooting out again to wherever he lays up.

Light bulb moments

Tuesday 17 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:04am in Anything goes 3 comments Add your own

I had two yesterday - it's not THAT unusual as I can be a bit dim at times, but I'll share these with you.

First one was that the kittens aren't kittens any more. Harry was lying on my lap and when I looked closely at him it was clear that he's left kittenhood behind. His shape has matured but there's also something in his eyes and his behaviour that's changed. Bertie is not quite there, but they're all growed up now.

The second one was that this is home now. I live here, at Dalmore. Longcarse is no longer my home - I'm not on holiday here. That was a bigger moment than the kittens. I've lived in Clackmannanshire for 48 years, give or take a couple, and it's kind of weird. But nice!

Lazy Sunday? I don't think so

Sunday 15 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 5:55pm in Anything goes 0 comments Add your own

It's been lovely here today - sunny, bit of a breeze. After a quick breakfast, Dan and I sorted out the plan for the hen runs. Stobs, red and white tape, tape measure and mallet on the trolley, we marked out the areas to be fenced. I've ordered some POL pullets - we can't keep up with the demand for eggs and we planned to restock once we moved anyway. Dan will bring up the big ark next week, so that we can interoduce them gradually. Finally, I got the strimmer out and strimmed the fencelines. It's the first time I've used it, but with the harness, it's not too physically demanding. It's easier when you stop clenching your jaw and gripping the handles so tight your knuckles are white. If smallholding fails, I'll get a job with the Council doing the verges.

Good neighbours

Sunday 15 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 5:44pm in Anything goes 0 comments Add your own

On Friday, our neighbours, Rebecca and Tony, and two of their boys came along to ask if they could help us. Jeez, well, we have list as long as your arm but we weren't sure if this was a genuine offer to be taken up, or just pleasantries. It was the former - and boy, did we take advantage!

Tony and Dan, assisted by young Alex, put up the shelves in the feed store. It looks great and will look even better when we get a few more from IKEA, to finish them off. John has put up a row of hooks and the saddle rack, so with very little additional work, it should be ready for use. We've kept a table and a wooden cupboard, which locks, to keep any chemicals in.

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