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Posted: Sunday 29 January, 2023

by Rosemary at 3:56pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 23rd January

No diary for last week; sadly, Dan’s Dad died last Thursday, so I wasn’t in the mood, to be honest. Although he’d been poorly for a while and we thought we were prepared, we weren’t as prepared as we thought we were. He was a lovely man, and he will be sorely missed – this place is full of memories of him – and he’s left us with so many good ones.

Last week was very cold – the water to the cowshed was frozen most of the week, but it’s been mainly dry, and the standing water has almost gone from the fields. Yesterday, it thawed so Dan and I were able to get out in the polytunnel, get all the wires down and finish the edges, and do a bit of general tidying.

We’re going to put a cat flap in the feed store door, so that the cats, Bertie, can monitor and eliminate any rodent incursions.

DoorCat flap required here.

It’s been mild today – 8C – but felt cold and miserable; it’s damp and grey and not very nice. But at least the water’s running.

Tuesday 24th January

Walked the dogs across the fields. They loved it. The ground is still wet in places, but the standing water has all but gone.

TopNearly dry.

Wednesday 25th January

Burns Night! Haggis, neeps, and tatties for dinner. I lifted the last (only) neep from the garden (must thin this year, then we’ll maybe have more than one) to have with homegrown tatties and a Macsween’s haggis. Fair braw. The neep was very neepy. We still have three full bags of tatties left – they are keeping remarkably well.

NeepThe Dalmore Neep 2023.

Gwenna has a second hydrotherapy session. She doesn’t love it but she cannae half motor through the water. Physio says she’s the strongest swimmer she’s got (maybe she says that to everyone). Gwenna was absolutely hyped when she got home then flopped. I’ve booked her a session in two weeks.

Thursday 26th January

Glorious day! I was shedding clothing while I was mucking out. Not all of it, naturally. The Vinca is flowering, and I spotted a ladybird on the fence post.

VincaVinca flowering.


Gwenna actually looks really good after her swimming – apart from the floofiness. Hmm, maybe it IS helping her. She’s improving all the time.

My Blizzard-inspired tea cosy arrived today. You know how sometimes you buy something – not necessarily expensive – that you know is going to make you smile every time you look at it? This is one of them.

teacosyMy Blizzard-inspired teacosy.

Friday 27th January

Absolutely Baltic today. Water frozen – just as well I filled the big troughs for the ponies and the cows last night.  Put paid to my gardening plans.

I was not idle though. I fetched the poultry feeders in from the orchard, cleaned them up and listed them for sale. We’re not going to need a 20kg feeder for four hens.

feedersRedundant feeders.

And I started to take the deer netting off some of the fencing where there won’t be hens again. Dan will finish it tomorrow. Feels a bit weird closing things down after years of building them up.

Saturday 28th January

Lovely day – mild, sunny, still. Dan and Andy spent a couple of hours splitting BIG logs. They were like two laddies. They said it was their bulldog spirit at work. ROTFL

logsBIG log splitting.

I found four plastic tubs of bulbs in the green house. Well, I didn’t actually FIND them – I knew they were there, but I was ignoring them. Some were sprouting so I’ve potted them up – some in pots (Hyacinths and tulips) and sinks, alongside the geraniums. Not sure what was in THAT box.

And I sowed a few seeds – sweet peas and early peas (Douce Provence) in the greenhouse and basil, coriander, and parsley in the kitchen.

And we have rhubarb sprouting! We'll no be lifting and splitting that then.

RhubarbEarly rhubarb sprouting.

Sunday 29th January

Nice morning but a bit blowy. Finally got round to vaccinating the cows with Covexin 10. Still, in plenty time to protect the calves. Didn’t do Grey – he’ll just have to take his chances. The girls were all very good and all got a carrot as a reward.

Dan emptied the muck trailer then we loaded up the bags of garden waste – and waste hay – and took it to the recycling centre. There’s a bloke who works there who cheers me up every time I go. He’s so cheery. I asked him today if he loved his job – and he showed me a photo of him with our First Minister when he was voted Angus Council employee of the year. Made my day.

Dan’s making soup; I’m doing my Monday paperwork because it’s still blowing a hoolie. But it’s forecast to be nice tomorrow, so this’ll free me up to get outside – without getting blown away.

We have 65 Caledonian Rose seed potatoes – but we can add a few from our own stores -= and 42 Jermor shallots. Aiming to get the shallots in tomorrow.

Bryn and Gwenna, just because.

DogsBryn and Gwenna.

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