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Posted: Monday 14 September, 2020

by Rosemary at 10:57am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 7th September

Heavy rain overnight but close and humid; stayed pretty grey all day but turned breezy. Spent most of the day in the office, being Monday, and I had a few SCBA things to do.

Tuesday 8th September

Beautiful morning; up and at ‘em this morning. Took the cabbages I pulled on Sunday round to the sheep; the plants were a bit tatty, but the girls don’t mind. The Shetland x tup lamb is much the same size as the pure Ryeland one. They’re both really tame.

Took parcels to the post office then popped down to East PItkerro for the weekly check.

Wednesday 9th September

Joiner here today, so progress on the ceiling.

Thursday 10th September

Joiner here today but he’s not back until Tuesday. The ceiling is now more or less up and he’s made us a nice pair of sawhorses.

sawhorsesUnexpected sawhorses.

byreProgress in the byre.

I had a day off – met two friends in Dundee. We visited the McManus Gallery to view an exhibition of street photography from the late 1960s to mid 1980s in Dundee, then we had lunch. After lunch it was on to the Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A. Very good indeed and great to catch up with chums.

Friday 11th September

Bit wild this morning and spattery rain.  I cut the back lawn and the front lawn in the rain, but the mower was starting to clog up with the damp grass so I had to abandon the vegetable garden grass.

I’ve been working on the vegetable garden plan for the last few days, so once I was driven inside, I sorted through the seed box and made a list of seeds to order for next year. I’m going to sow dwarf French beans (Rocquencourt), early peas (Douce Provence) and carrots (Paris Market), plus some salad leaves in the polytunnel, after the tomatoes come out. I’ve decided to try seed tapes for some things too – parsnips, beetroot and maincrop carrots. After teatime, I decided to just go for it – so seeds, seed potatoes, autumn planting garlic, onions and shallots ordered.

seedsSeed sorting.

Shannon the Vet came this afternoon with Smokey’s inhaler. It’s a steroid and goes straight into the lungs. If you can get it to work!! For five days, he gets eight puffs night and morning; for the following five days, he gets twelve puffs once a day. Now, horses are very much of the “fool me once” school, so you might get the first puff done, but for the next seven, he’s going to be wary – it’s not the puffing, it’s the blue thing that goes up his nostril he doesn’t like. So, he has a few puffs this afternoon, but I’m going to work on desensitising him to the blue thing before I try to give him any more. It’s too expensive to be puffing it into the air.

Saturday 12th September

Dry, sunny but very windy. Dan let me have a lie-in this morning. Thomas decided it was great too, and joined me - I woke to his one-eyed, ba’ face going nose to nose. By the time I got up, Dan had cooked apples, plums and tomatoes, so I put them in freezer boxes and washed up. Then it was out into the garden. And weeding.

Pulled out some spent cabbage and gave it to the sheep who enjoyed them until the cattle came and bullied them off. The cattle don’t really like cabbage though, so the sheep will just bide their time.

sheepNiamh, Molly and Astrid enjoying some cabbages.

cowsThen the heavy mob arrives.

Dan has begun his war on the rats. I found another dead one yesterday, and the bait’s being taken but they’re now partying in the roof space above the office so drastic action is required.

ratRat wars - the gloves are off.

He also repaired the wheelbarrow, picked up loads of apples and cut the vegetable garden grass. Then he had to go into the office for a couple of hours. He’s very busy with the Scottish Smallholder Festival just now.

Watched “Trainspotting”.

Sunday 13th September

Dan was up and in the office before 6am. It was so warm outside – fair bit of ran overnight though, I think. Still irritatingly windy.

After doing the morning round and having breakfast, I sorted through the Rooster potatoes lifted last week. They’re very good – unlike the Carolus that Dan lifted today, which are horribly scabby. We’re growing Red Duke of York and Rooster next year.

carolusScabby Carolus.

Then I did the ponies’ field – poo picked, cleaned and refilled the water trough and put out hay for tonight. Rebecca and Tara usually do it, but I reckoned I should do a turn. In between times, I was popping in and out the office doing bits of paperwork. It’s prevarication about the inhaler. I’ve watched the video and read the booklet. I've suggested to Shannon that it wouldbe good if they could get a placebo inhaler for folk (and horses) to practice with. Getting ready to go.

Dan went off to empty the flat trailer, because I’m going for bedding tomorrow, then he and Andy chain-sawed some old pallets to split for kindling – and to create some space in the barn. I bought some lavender plug plants in the spring – they were on offer, so I bought 40. And they all came – there’s Hidcote and Munstead. I decided to plant them in the bed at Meg’s patio. To do that, I had to prune and move the blueberries; to do that I had to pull out some of the spent peas. How one job on the list becomes many! The blueberries didn’t do well this year, but I hate throwing out plants that aren’t stone dead, so they can have another chance. Lavender now watered in preparation for planting, but that will be tomorrow.

blueberriesBlueberries in their new home.

After lunch, Dan had to go back into the office. And I managed to get eight puffs up Smokey’s nose. Yay! Feeling so much better.

Great dinner – roast chicken gravy, Yorkshires, carrots, peas and roast potatoes – all ours. Followed by apple and mincemeat sponge and cream (our apples, eggs and homemade mincemeat). Very satisfying!

Evening spent doing the final preparations for the SCBA Twitter Week @ShetlandKye @SmallholdersUK. Feeling a bit anxious becaue I've never used Twitter before and I want to make a good showing. OK, logged in, profile and banner photos uploded and ready to go in the morning. Tweet, tweet.




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