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Posted: Monday 20 December, 2021

by Rosemary at 11:38am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 13th December

Oh, my goodness, I had lovely day out – in a dress with perfume on – having afternoon tea at Inglewood House Hotel. It’s a glorious building, built as family home early in the 20th century by the Paton family  – it used to be a business centre and Dan had an office there (in the servants quarters, I think). I took the train, which was relaxing. I don’t like driving in the dark much.

Dan bought me a new brush for doing the cow shed floor – the old one finally gave up the ghost and broke in two this morning. The new one is FAB! How easy pleased am I?

Tuesday 14th December

Today is Dan and my 20th wedding anniversary. How time flies. I must have been awfully good in a previous life to have him as my significant other in this one. And he finished my new socks.

socksNew socks.

Sadly, we’ve made the decision to have Niamh pts. She wouldn’t eat yesterday (although she did today) and she’s struggling to get to her feet. If it was May, I might try some other painkillers to give her a nice summer, but she’s going to suffer in the inevitable cold and wet, so better to send her on her way now. She’s had a good life, I think.

Dan’s been building a wee wood store for his mum to go at their front door, so that is the weather is bad, she doesn’t have to trail round to the big wood store. The size of it was determined in part by the dimensions of the bit of Onduline we had lying around. It’s built with spare wood we have lying around but he’s done a good job.

Wednesday 15th December

So we sadly said our farewells to Niamh today. Although, she was quite chirpy, she could hardly move and if she had to, she was in considerable pain. I was also conscious of what a vet once told me – that for flight animals, being unable to move well, was stressful. So Alistair came out and did the deed. As the drug went into the jugular, she munched on an oatcake – her very favourite treat – then she just went to sleep in my arms. Can’t really ask for a better end. Niamh would have been twelve in the spring; she’d had fifteen lambs and was a brilliant mother. We bought her and her twin, Nova, from Jackie Armstrong in 2010. Niamh was a real character; we let the other ewes in to say their goodbyes; Niamh had two daughters and a granddaughter in the flock.

What this means is that Dalmore will be sheep free next autumn; had Niamh still been around, I’d have kept the unsaleable ewes as company for her, but now all the sheep will go in September.

Thursday 16th December

Bryn did a runner today. The man who lives across the road was shooting (who knows what!!) and Bryn decided enough was enough. Gwenna was indoors. He’s normally really reliable outside – she gets bored goes rabbiting . Dan had looked for him (I had gone for hay) and couldn’t find him, then I got a call from the local vet (my heart was in my mouth when I rang back) asking if  we’d lost a dog. Actually, the father of a friend had found him – Bryn had followed him into his garden and into his shed. Work on securing the garden is now underway.

Other that that excitement, I’ve been doing Christmas “stuff” – Dan’s folks are away on Monday so I need to get their Christmas box finished by then – and Dan’s been knitting.

boxHomemade festive gift box.

We’ve decided to do more next year – not here though. We’ve booked tickets to see Bizet’s “Carmen”, Lee Mack / Rob Bryden / David Mitchell as well as Kevin Bridges. And we’re going on a beaver safari.

Friday 17th December

Tara and Ashley rode out today, so I walked Smokey out. He was in grand form! Gotta love that boy xx

It was Tom's Gotcha Day - four years. He's still a bit bonkers but we love him anyway.

TomTom on his 4th Gotcha Day.

Saturday 18th December

I’ve got the winter blues – I think with Niamh dying and Rosie and Annie going tomorrow, it’s just kind of got to me. So doing wee jobs that are easy done  to cheer myself up.

It was Penfold's ninth Gotcha Day. Wee old man now. In celebration of his and Tom's GD yesterday, a chicken was roasted and we all had some.

chickenThe gang's all here (Tom's in the LH doorway).

Sunday 19th December

Rosie and Annie left for their new home near Inverness today. They loaded remarkably easily. I was trying to be farmer-like, but shed more than a few tears. I’m sure they’ll do a good job for Carol and her family but it was hard to see them go. I was there when both of them were born.

Of course now there’s a bit of a power struggle in the cow shed. Blizzard will, of course, be Boss, as usual. Rora will be her deputy – and has been making that clear to Baby and Bronte, who seem far more interested in pushing each other around. Buster just runs around and tries to hump Bronte.

Kate, Mike and Astrid stopped by for an outdoor, socially distanced visit. Haven’t seen Astrid in a few weeks and she’s grown up so much – not a baby now, but a real grown up toddler. We had her filling hay bags and stacking wood and paid her in Snowy Rocky Road.


AstridWood stacking finished.


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