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Posted: Monday 4 December, 2023

by Rosemary at 2:32pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 27th November

We’ve got real November weather now - cold and damp, light and heavy rain showers. Thank goodness for wood burners.

Still, at least it’s cold enough to worm the ponies. Ashley did Gracie yesterday afternoon and I did Smokey this morning, before he had his breakfast. He was very good – which was great, because it was double dose Strongid P, so I had to do it twice.

Started to clear up at the back door, ready for the Winterfest display. Didn’t get it all done – Dan’s going to make me a new shelf, because the old one is mostly rotten.

Had morning tea with Kate and Astrid, which was fair braw.

Sorted more photos (this is going to be a recurring theme, so apologies in advance).

Tuesday 28th November

Bitterly cold today – some sunshine, but light showers making it feel damp and dreich.

Took myself off to Arbroath to get my hair cut, do some shopping and go to the bank. As it turns out, everything that needs done at the bank can be done online but it was nice to see Jennifer, who used to work in Carnoustie branch before it closed.


Thursday 30th November

St Andrews Day!

SaltireHappy St Andrew's Day.

I must have failed to close a gate properly and the cows and calves got out. Even though the field gate was open, they stayed on the track, which was good of them. Field gate closed and gates into the wee paddock by the barn opened. They’ll find their way back in and we’ll shut the gates. It’s too hard underfoot for them to do any damage.

cattleRora, escaped.

Duncan, our tree man, delivered a load of beech wood. That’ll keep Dan and Andy busy. He had a look at the big beech that dropped a large branch in the last storm and has advised that it is taken down. It’s very close to the house and if it failed, that’s the direction it would likely come down in. His team are coming tomorrow to do the deed.

BeechBeech logs.

Friday 1st December

So it’s finally December. Three weeks to the shortest day. Minus 7C this morning. I headed off to Arbroath to do the monthly “big shop”. Three supermarkets. But it’s done and probably won’t need done again until February. The cupboards are well stocked!

Bought cat food and dropped it off at the vets, for the folk that feed the feral cats in Dundee.

Duncan and his team came this morning and took down the beech tree. It was lovely and I’m sorry to see it down but it will provide us with lots of firewood and we’ll plant at least two more to replace it.

Dan’s hoping to get some bonfires going tomorrow so the front garden gets cleared a bit and we can start laying out paths and the like.

Saturday 2nd December

Minus 8C this morning, but not a breath of wind, so quite pleasant. I can’t get the water in the ponies’ trough broken so I’ve put buckets in the barn. They’re having access to the barn if they want it. I gave Smokey a warm mash this morning, which I think he enjoyed. I’ll do that now through the winter – apart from his Guinness on the Solstice.

And we have snow. We didn’t have snow at 8.45am, but we did by 10.30am – and it was heavy. Big fluffy flakes.

steadingVegetable garden at 8.45am.

snowy vegetable gardenVegetable garden at 10.45am.

The cows are still using the wee paddock; this will be fine until it thaws and gets wet again. Despite the snow, Blizz didn’t want to come in – but I made her, brushing all the snow off her back. She was perfectly dry.

snowy cows

I managed to get an hour in the polytunnel while Dan and Andy were cutting kindling and splitting logs. Another hours should see it tidied up. It was warmer than outside but very dark, becasue of the snow cover.

polytunnelPolytunnel tidy-up.

Sunday 3rd December

Of course it’s cold, but there’s no wind, so Dan had a bonfire – it will be the first of many, this winter. Although the gardener we thought we had is now ghosting us, we’ll crack on with the work on the front garden. Once we have it cleared, we’ll lay out the informal paths and probably the stumpery. We want to incorporate some of the brash into dead hedges, which will support wildlife.

bonfireDan's bonfire.

I started to put up the Winterfest decorations. I usually takes me a few days – I had to wash the kitchen windows and clean the high shelf that holds the jars of dried fruit, sugar and stuff before I could even start. Still, that’s it done for another year. LOL.

I’m reading Andrew Cotter’s book, “Olive, Mabel & me” in proper book form, which is kind of weird and means I wake up with the bedside lamp still on. At least with my Kindle, the bedroom eventually gets dark. Really enjoying the book – loved the videos during lockdown and I am reading the book and watching videos at the same time.

I fall asleep to the sound of rain on the windows. I think the snow might be shortlived.


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