Pennan / Saddle / YuleRSS feed

Posted: Monday 8 November, 2021

by Rosemary at 12:26pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 1st November to 5th November

Oh, we had a lovely break at Mill of Nethermill Cottages, near Pennan. Wild weather, but that just let us appreciate our cosy cottage even more.

Our cottage even had special corgi windows.


cottageMill of Nethermill cottages.

Friday 5th November

Home; no major disasters but Rosie is in season, or has been. I spoke to the local AI man and he said we’d probably missed her standing heat, so I need to speak to the folk who’ve bought her and see what they want to do – take her empty or have her AI’d here. Problem is that the date she’s scheduled to go would be a critical time for any pregnancy, so we’d either need to either delay her departure or take the risk. I will speak to the buyers and see what they think.

Also need to finalise arrangements for getting the new bull and for tupping. Hey ho, feel like I’ve not been away.

And, what fun, we have avian flu – high path, of course – in Arbroath. We’re NOT in the 10km zone, but, you know, you just know what’s coming. Last year, I was so scunnered, I decided to stop the laying hens, apart from half a dozen for us – but folk really like the eggs. So, I guess it’ll be the polytunnel again.

Saturday 6th November

Blustery is the best description of today – a couple of heavy showers, but most of the forecast rain didn’t materialise. Sun got out for a bit and it wasn’t cold – mild enough, even in the wind, to work in shirt and gilet.

Started the day cleaning out the hens; they’re really dropping production now. The wee cockerel, Butch, is really hitting the crowing. He makes up for style with enthusiasm.

Now our holiday is over, I’m thinking about Yule. I’ve started a Creole Christmas cake and a Traditional one (Delia, of course) and will start the puddings tomorrow. For the Creole one, you cook the fruit and nuts in rum, brandy, cherry brandy, port and Angostura bitters then let it all mulch in the fridge for a week. It’s very rich, so I’ll put a glazed nut topping n it rather than marzipan and icing. I also made a batch of Florentines for Andy. He designed the banner and leaflet for our cattle at the Festival, and wants paid in Florentines!!

Dan trimmed the Turkish hazel and the lime tree; the tup lambs got the branches to browse and then the branches will form part of our Solstice bonfire. Then he raked leaves. Loads of leaves.

hazelTree trimming.

browseBit of browse for Bean and the boys.

After lunch, we both got into the vegetable garden for a couple of hours, just tidying up and weeding – putting the garden to bed. The calendula still making a lovely splash of colour.

calendulaSelfsown calendula.

I want to get the ewes fluked tomorrow and tidied up for the tup and get back into the vegetable garden. If it’s nice weather though, I also want to take Smokey out, either in hand or under saddle. All work and no play, etc. etc.

Sunday 7th November

Windy again, and much colder than yesterday, but dry. Which is great.

I was up at 5.30am – I dreamed I had grown a sixth toe and that woke me. Did a bit more of cake and pudding – weighing ingredients – but I didn’t have a cooking apple and I wasn’t going up the orchard at 6am, in the dark.

Dan went off first thing with a load of manure for the community garden, then he and Andy collected wood for processing. Two loads, and more to come. I was going for hay, so he switched trailers for me. We’ve put a bale in for the cows, although I don’t know when they’re coming in to eat it. Hours of darkness, for sure.

Ashley and I took Gracie and Smokey out for a walk; different track, new scary things. I'm thinking about getting a Western saddle for Smokey.

saddleSmokey goes West.

After lunch, I brought the ewes in and we fluked them. No dirty bums and no sore feet, so that was quick. I’ve put them in Home, where there’s a lot of good grass – give them a wee flush before Murray arrives on the 19th.

My bulbs for Yule are sprouting so I’ve put them in the greenhouse. Tomorrow, definitely, I’ll get the tulips and wallflower into their pots and on Meg’s patio. It’s top of the list apart from baking the cake and steaming the puddings. But If I grow any more odd body parts in my dreams, I’ll probably be doing that way before dawn.

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2024. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS