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Posted: Monday 10 August, 2020

by Rosemary at 10:47am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 3rd August

My wee white Araucana is very lame. I caught her last night and sprayed her foot with blue spray. This morning, I bathed her foot in disinfectant and resprayed it. She's the last remaining of five i bought two years ago.

Tuesday 4th August

Heavy rain all day. The cats have been driving us mad – it’s like having four grumpy kids in the house. Did the outside essentials then retired to the office to do Shetland cattle stuff.

The wee Araucana is in the cat box inside the puppy cage to stop her being bullied. Did her foot again this morning.

Jim the Roofer came to have a look at the West Range roof – I thought it prudent to make sure it didn’t need ££££ of repairs before we proceeded with any further thoughts of conversion. Good news is that it’s in very good condition; he’s going to take out the four wee scabby skylights and slate the areas over and check out one wee bulge. Right, byre next.

Wednesday 5th August

Phew, back to summer today. Dry, breeze and a bit of sun. Cleaned out the caravan before breakfast – it doesn’t have great ventilation and gets pongy quick, even with the mesh door in place during the day.

Hmm, the Araucana isn’t making much progress; in fact, she’s going backwards. And sadly she died this afternoon.

Finally forced myself to pick blackcurrants. Must be one of my least favourite jobs. Still, done now. Actually, I think peeling hard boiled eggs might be my least favourite job – I’ve pickled some of the wee pullet eggs that are too small to sell. A few peppercorns and some dried chilli flakes to add a bit of bite – ready in a month.

Thursday 6th August

Well, we should have been in Orkney today but a staycation it is. Lovely morning; started it by baking gingernuts and finishing the pickled eggs so the kitchen aroma is a weird combination of vinegar and ginger. It’ll never catch on.

It’s been a scorcher – Linda’s outdoor thermometer reached 30C, but it IS on a sheltered area in the sun. Didn’t have a very productive day – but it was a holiday. We’ll see how we do tomorrow.

Friday 7th August

Another glorious day – one shower of rain, while I was weeding this afternoon, then it got even hotter. Dan was out on the tractor at 7.30am – before it got too warm – and topped the last two paddocks. They’ll be harrowed in the next week or so. I picked courgettes – thankfully the pigs love them – and cut the front grass and the paths around the veg garden beds. Dan picked some lovely plums – no idea what variety they are, but very tasty.

Tara and I took Euro and Smokey out for a wee walk this morning. After lunch, I went into the vegetable garden to prepare an area for the leeks, which arrived this morning, and Dan went off to strim a hen pen. Then we had a snooze – it is the holidays, after all.

Our friend, F, has a wee boat and he brought us some lovely mackerel so that’s dinner sorted, along with our new potatoes and fresh salad from the garden and polytunnel. Braw.

Saturday 8th August

Another scorcher. Killed the seven meat cockerels this morning; now plucked and hanging ready for cleaning tomorrow. We’ll do the hens when the feed is almost done.

I planted out leeks (Cairngorm and Armor) and painted the office windows. Painting the windows has been on the list for months so I was pleased to get them done. Just as I was putting the kettle and brush away, Dan said, “The door really needs done as well”. One thing off, one thing on.

Brought the cattle in the afternoon. NIk’s coming to trim Ace’s feet on Tuesday and the calves will have to get their second dose of Bravoxin; looking at Annie’s and Rosie’s feet, they could do with a trim again. Gave the cows a brush and let them out again. They'll be getting their photos taken for the Shetland Cattle On-line Show next week too.

Sunday 9th August

Cool and cloudy at 6am, but cleared to sunshine by 9am. First job was cleaning the seven birds we killed yesterday. Total weight was 23.1kg, so an average of 3.3kg; I said to Dan that they weren’t huge but he pointed out that they were about 7lb, so that put it in perspective. Nice even batch though and all looked good. Bag of chicken feet, a bag of necks and some cooked offal for the dogs.

Spent a couple of hours in the office this afternoon before riding at 6pm. It was lovely – cool and no flies. It wasn’t a triumph otherwise – Smokey refused point blank to walk over the stony path, then I had a sit on Ave, who refused point blank to move away from the gate. I guess she thought she’d been out and wasn’t going out again. Not great for my ego – and we get to do it all again later in the week!

 

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