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Posted: Monday 8 February, 2021

by Rosemary at 12:15pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 1st February

It's St Brigid’s Day or Imbolc - the breaking of winter and the start of spring. Aye, right.

A further rummage in the pantry has flushed out three jars of Old Dowerhouse Chutney from 2015 and eight jars of not-very-good strawberry jam. I couldn’t think what to do with them until Dan reminded me that we used the others (there was a lot) when we cooked rhubarb for freezing – one jar of strawberry jam per batch of rhubarb. No additional sugar required and a lovely flavour. Sorted.

The concrete base for the new WC is in andset - and no animal pawprints!

baseNew WC base down.

I baked – ginger nuts and the best coconut cookies I’ve ever made. No idea why so just enjoying them

Tuesday 2nd February

It’s such a miserable forecast that I’ve put Smokey’s rug on tonight. I had it washed and reproofed, so hopefully it’ll help keep him confortable.

I made Three Fruit Marmalade today – grapefruit, sweet orange and lemon. It’s quite a soft set but has a lovely flavour.

The hens are surviving lockdown and the weather pretty well.

hensHens and bicycles.

Wednesday 3rd February

Graham the Joiner was here this morning to make a start on the frames for the new outside WC.

framesFrames started.

Smokey looks like a cut and shut; his body is clean but his face and neck are black. I wonder if he’s too warm in the rug. It feels cod and miserable to us, but maybe not to him.

Thursday 4th February

Horrible day – dreich and a bitterly cold East wind. There’s so much poop when the cows don’t get out! I guess they’re out for eight hours max but there seems to be a disproportionate rise in volume if they’re in.

I walked the fields and Laing’s Field today; it’s drying up and the ditches are low.

Smokey didn’t want his rug on tonight. He lifted his feet to me twice. But it’s such horrible weather.

Friday 5th February

More of the same weather-wise – except there was a lot of rain overnight and the fields are back to square one. Did I really say yesterday that it was drying up?

HomeSo much water.

Did some SCBA stuff and started boxing all the Smallholding Scotland stuff that I’ve been storing here. That lead to a general turn out of the guest / craft / Dan’s office room. We really must get on with selling the yarn we have. Deisel helped by trying out various boxes.

DieselBox tester in chief - Diesel.

Smokey and Ave were damp under their rugs this morning, so I didn’t put Smokey’s on tonight. Wearing a damp rug must be horrible – and he’s holding condition fine. And I don’t think he likes it, to be honest.

Saturday 6th February

More dreich weather but lightened somewhat by a Scottish win at Twickenham. The ditches are as high as I’ve ever seen them and Home is just a pond.

Dan gave me a hand outside this morning – the caravan needed cleaned out and I wanted to muck out the field shelter too, so Dan did the cattle. I let the sheep through on to the front lawn – there’s nothing for them to damage and there’s a pick of grass, plus it’s quite dry underfoot and the trees give good shelter. I guess some folk would call it agroforestry.

ewesCamo sheep.

Dan spent a few hours tidying up the craft / guest / office. All the yarn is going out to the byre after I’ve counted the balls. We’re going to set up an Etsy shop soon and really try and get it moving.

After lunch, Dan got out into the vegetable garden – it’s quite sheltered so not too unpleasant. He’s been manuring more beds, for planting. I put the early tatties – Red Duke of York – to chit in the byre.

bedPea bed ready to go.

Sunday 7th February

A scatter of snow this morning and flurries through the day. The water levels in the ditch are down maybe eighteen inches, but there’s a lot of water to move yet. A quick visit to East Pitkerro to give the steers and Afton hay; just using the broken bale today. They’ll get a whole bale and more straw later in the week. They look grand.

Snowdrops and rhubarb - Spring IS coming!


Roast chicken for dinner and the last of the Christmas puddings. And it’s snowing.

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