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Posted: Tuesday 9 May, 2023

by Rosemary at 11:11am in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 1st May

May Day, Beltane, first day of summer. Well, it didn’t rain but it wasn’t taps aff weather either. My brain is like cotton wool – come on, Bronte.

calvesThree calves.

After the chores, I did the monthly shop. It’s great to get it out of the way. Dan was doing his monthly chores – invoices and the like. At lunchtime, our washing machine went BANG and we couldn’t get the door open. Manged to get the washing out by prising open the door. And it looks like we’ll need a new machine.

Ponies did a good job in the vegetable garden.



And Elsa gave us our first white egg.

Elsas-eggFirst white egg.

Tuesday 2nd May

Still murky, still no calf.

Duncan and his team arrived this morning to take down six cypress trees in the garden and a sycamore in Home. The kindly logged the wood, so Andy will split it over the summer. It’s made the bedrooms much lighter and opened up the garden. It’s pretty hellish but next year we’ll get it remodelled.

logsClear space and winter heating.

The calves are coming on. Legs is the ringleader – first to play and the fastest by a mile.

legsBaby and Legs, the instigator of play.

socksRora and Socks.

Wednesday 3rd May

No change in the weather – damp, cold, miserable. The calves are thriving though.

Dan took down and old scabby fence in the front garden and an old shelter. We’ll get a fire soon, for the brash. I was in Edinburgh for most of the day.

fenceOld fence and shelter (not the shed, yet) coming down.

Thursday 4th May

Eggs! Our first omelettes since December. Bliss.

omeletteOmelette bliss.

Tatties, carrots and peas coming on in the polytunnel.

polytunnel-vegPeas,carrots and tatties.

Friday 5th May

Took Penfold to the vet for a check up on his kidney cysts; the left was fine, but Fiona took a fair whack of fluid off the right one, which hadn’t been emptied last time. No sedation; he just sat, held by the vet nurse, and let Fiona do it. He’s a real stoic; no drama queen antics from Penny.

Still dismal.

weatherIt's a bit dismal.

Saturday 6th May

 Nothing on the telly worth watching, so we had a good day in the garden. I should have been in Glasgow for an Independence March but with Bronte hanging on, I thought I’d better stay at home.

First full house for eggs – four wee beauties.

egg-full-houseFull house - four from four.

Dan took the dogs for a long walk, so they were tired by evening – and both wanted on the same chair or the same lap, depending.

dogsTired and soppy dogs.

Sunday 7th May

Still grey, and there’s been quite a lot of rain overnight, looking at the wheelbarrow.  It’s warmer though, because the wind has changed to the south rather than the east.

Still no calf; I now think that she’s not due until about the 20th May – caught on a second season after the jags. I did speak to the vet; he said he wouldn’t have been able to tell by the scan that she was three weeks later but that if the calf was dead, she’d be a poorly heifer – which she isn’t.

So this morning, we moved the cows and calves into Sheepfold and let Grey out into Near Ditch. His pen is now dismantled. There’s not much grass for him (unlike the girls’ field) but he’s happy. I  don’t know quite when I’ll reunite the herd.

greys-penDismantling Grey's pen while he eats his breakfast .

Then it was into the vegetable garden; planted out sweet corn (and some in the polytunnel), and also butternut squash, watermelon and chilli peppers in the polytunnel.  Potted up 48 ‘Zermatt” leeks; will do the other variety early next week.

Gave Smokey a brush; he’s looking well, I think, for nearly 26 years old. His birthday is next week.


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