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Posted: Monday 30 December, 2019

by Rosemary at 4:15pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 23rd December

Wet in the morning so planned ride out was cancelled. We’re not completely fair-weather riders, but it was chucking it down.

Did a triple hay run, including one to East PItkerro. Wee bit worried about Wee Charlie; our big guys are fine, but I think they get stirred up when we’re there so it’s hard to tell.

New wheel on my barra'

wheelNew wheel

Cleaned out the hens – didnae think I’d still be cleaning out the caravan at this time of year.

Tuesday 24th December

Cool and cloudy but dry, so went out for a ride.

threeTara and Ave, Rosemary and Smokey, Rebecca and Euro.

Dan checked the steers and they’re fine. He parked the car on the road and walked in, so they weren’t excited and Charlie was just fine. He seems to have bonded with Archie and Zeph – although she should be away early in the New Year.

I received some sad news about Leo, the young Connemara pony we had. He had to be put down yesterday after being diagnosed with a huge tumour on his kidney. We’re very sad – he was such a lovely boy and he should have had a long and happy life.

Watched “Love Actually” to get the Christmas spirit. Having a working septic tank would work better.

Wednesday 25th December

Merry Christmas! Off to East PItkerro first thing to put hay in for the steers – they seem fine. Thankfully. Annie seems a bit uncomfortable – her udder is obviously a bit sore after weaning. Rosie is fine, but she deosn't yield as much. I’m not very worried about Annie; the quarters are nice and pliable and have no heat, but I hate to see her not 100%.

Took the dogs to the beach at Arbroath.

beachArbroath beach.

dogsGwenna, Dan and Bryn on the beach at Arbroath.

Bertie had his favourite food - prawns.

bertieBertie's Christmas dinner - prawns.

This evening, we moved all the random Lego to the office to start sorting it out into sets. Need to pay for the septic tank somehow. Dan looked back some records and he last worked on the Lego nearly four years ago – how did that happen?

Thursday 26th December

Frosty overnight, then mild and overcast so a nice day for a wee ride out. Dan spent an hour or two trimming brash and I did some health plan revisions and planning for 2020 but mostly we just lazed around. Nice.

Friday 27th December

Raining but very mild – working in a T shirt and light fleece gilet. Dan stepped up a gear and attacked his To Do list with gusto – repaired the barn tap, put new guttering on the barn (it had a French drain but it didn’t work very well) and moved a lot of the useful trimmings from the brash round to the wood store for cutting.

I emptied the greenhouse - consequently the potting shed looks like a bomb site. It's on the list though. Then I did some weeding in the polytunnel.

shedOh, dear.

greenhouseDirty greenhouse.

tunnelWeedy polytunnel.


Next job was to clean out the field shelter. It’s our emergency accommodation so I like it kept ready. Urquhart was the last occupant. The shelter was there when we moved in, serving the 5-acre field. When we split the field into four, we put a wee yard in front of the shelter with two gates so it can serve two paddocks, making it about 5m x 3m. Since then, we’ve put down a rubber mat floor and boarded the open side to give better protection; it has a mains water supply and there’s a wheeled hay rack there pretty much all the time, so it’s quite useful. We’ve used it for ponies, the bull, two heifers at weaning and sheep, both sick and healthy. I might use it at lambing time next year.

shelterField shelter.

shelter1Field shelter.

Shelter2Field shelter.

Took down the Christmas decorations and did some more Lego. Crossing things off lists makes me very happy. Sadly.


Saturday 28th December

Mild and cloudy. Walked Smokey out to the scary gate on the Buddon that none of the horses could possibly pass on Thursday. Tara rode Ave and ponied Euro.

After a bit of encouragement, Smokey and Euro were happy to go through the gap between the gate and the ditch, Ave not so much. I’ll not be satisfied until he’ll be ridden through it though.

Washed the greenhouse glass and swept it out – I thought it wasn’t really dirty until it was clean! Dan carried on with the brash – nearly done!

I managed to get to the office for long enough to update my flock registers and my Ryeland Flock Book Society flock information. Started some Festival stuff – less than ten months to go!

Sunday 29th December

Mild and cloudy but clearing to broken sunshine. Warm enough to have our morning tea and cake outside.

teaTea and cake on the patio.

Dan was on a roll again – fixed the pedestrian gate, which someone hit with a car (not me); repaired the cistern in the outside toilet; sorted through the stored apples (lucky ponies) and fed the bees. Two colonies are very good and two are good; the nuc hasn’t survived but that was expected. I’m not sure if he’s pleased to have four good colonies or not.

gateGate repair.

beesA beekeeper's work is never done.

I emptied, defrosted and cleaned one freezer, then emptied a second. Inspired by this, I cleaned the floor in the freezer room and wiped down all the freezers; Dan helped me stack two fridges, to give better floor space. It looks so much better.

freezersFreezer room nearly done.

Took the dogs for a walk – nice for all of us to be out together; we took Mickey the Yorkie as well. He likes to get out and about with his little pack.

Timmy the wether is lame in his near fore, so he had to be caught at treated; while we were there, we caught and trimmed Urquhart’s feet. We couldn’t catch Teddy.

Last job between corning the hens and feeding the cows was to wash the outside of the polytunnel. We’ve got a long brush that John and Linda had for cleaning the caravan and it’s ideal – nice soft bristles. It was getting dark as I finished so it was barn lights on to see to the cattle.

Planning to have the rest of the evening off, then ready to start again tomorrow. Freezers and the inside of the polytunnel on the list for tomorrow, but I also need to go for hay and to East Pitkerro. And the farrier is coming. Feet up, right now.

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