Friday, 13 February 2015

Marmalade making, Firewood, Sheepdog puppy

It is marmalade time and the Farmer always takes it upon himself to make it. We picked up a quantity of lovely organic oranges when we were in Lampeter last week and they are now cut up and simmering away in the preserving pan filling the kitchen with a beautiful aromatic steam as soothing as any aromatherapy. The Farmer adores marmalade & the thicker & chunkier the better and while I make all the jams & chutneys he regards the marmalade making as his own, which is fine by me.

While the weather has been dry the Farmer has been been spending much time logging to replenish the firewood supplies for the next couple of years. We have an almost endless supply of firewood from the management of our woodlands which is wonderful, but it does take a lot of work to get from the woods to the house. It is always said that wood warms you three times, once in the felling, once in the logging and once in burning it. It is very true. As we live in a house without central-heating the wood supply is so important to us having two good sized wood-burners to run. Admittedly we do fire the two up only when the weather is very cold, mostly we are cosy enough with just the sitting-room fire and the oil-fired Rayburn in the kitchen. We are a hardy breed.

We have recently acquired a new collie puppy. Our wonderful Mollie is now 8 years old and so it is time to have a youngster to train over the next couple of years to follow on as Mollie will slow down. So, we now have this pretty red collie who is as yet nameless, though the Farmer wants to call her Henrietta and Henry for short in memory of one of our previous red dogs who was a real character and much loved. (Who says farmers aren't sentimental about their animals!) The family feels that having a female dog called Henry is eccentric to say the least and Henrietta is not a good name for bellowing across a field. However, whatever she ends being called as she is proving to be very bright and quick to learn and is great fun though bit of a torment to Dottie the terrier who is only just big enough to boss her about at the the moment. That will soon change!

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