Thursday 25 January 2024

Cottage refubishment finished!

After the excitment of two days of real hard frost, ice and snow we are now back to the normality of rain and more rain, bu the birds are singing so it not all gloom. The work on the holiday cottage is nearing completion, just fiddly little details to be done and then we are ready for the guests of 2024. At the moment the the first booking is at the end of March but one can hope that someone somewhere may like an early spring break before then. Whatever, the cottage is pristine and ready for whoever may turn up. The Farmer has worked very hard making the new kitchen and installing lights and a dishwasher and building new beds and generally doing A Great Job. The photos below do not really do it justice. The whole thing has been a bit like moving house with having had to pack up every single thing and put them into storage for two months and then of course everything has to be washed before being put back in place, so it has been a lot of work all round.

Thursday 18 January 2024

Winter Weather but Spring is on the Way

We have snow! It has been only a light fall but enough to excite the children and to send them off to the slopiest field with their toboggans. It has been three years since the last snow show so the delight when everyone woke up this morning to a gleaming white world was immense. A sprinkling like this is does not disrupt the running of the farm other than a few frozen water pipes which soon thaw out once the sun moves round. In fact as I write the tap in my kitchen is starting to drip as the pipes to the house start to thaw so I will be able to wash up the breakfast dishes before too long! We have had cold weather for the past few days which is a blessed relief after the persistent rain of the last months but not cold enough to freeze pipes until now. Work on the holiday cottage is going well with the end in sight. My painter/decorator finished last week and I'm steadily getting the place sorted out and back to a livable space. It is looking lovely with its newly painted ceilings and fresh colour schemes. As soon as I have photographs I will post them up here. The whole process has been just like moving house again as of course everything had to be packed away, all the china, glass etc. and having new carpet laid, new beds and a new kitchen (courtesy of the Farmer!) but it is well worth the effort. Despite the wintry weather there are clear signs that spring is not too far away. Yesterday I found the first snowdrops in flower and daffodils are sending their sage-green shoots up everywhere and the crosuses on the lawns are promising a great display later on. On a jaunt down to Pembrokeshire at the beginning of the week we saw many daffodils already in flower - it is a much milder climate down there and things are usually well ahead of us here. The birds are starting to sing and I have already seen some of our summer-visiting mallards returning to one of the ponds from their winter quarters down on the river.
The Farmer is keeping busy processing firewood to build up the supply for next yearand even the year after. We have a lot of trees down with ash-dieback and when the trees are brought up to the timber yard they are processed into wood fit for planking to be made into furniture at a later date or what is fit only for firewood. Whether the wood is destined for carpentry or firewood it all needs to be well seasoned so we have sheds full of stacked planks well-sticked for even drying and other sheds full of mountains of logs alsoseasoning for the wood stoves. Burning green wood is a complete no-no so it is left for at least two years to ensure we get the most efficiently made heat from the logs.

Monday 1 January 2024

Happy New Year

Blwyddyn Newydd Hapus i Pawb. A Happy New Year to All. The first day of 2024 and it is Not Raining! Yes, once agin I am talking about the weather but after months of rain to be able to say we start the new year with a dry morning is cause for celebration. It is a relief to just be able to fetch logs from the shed across our yard without having to put on a coat, though I do still need to don wellies, but not to have a curtain of rain to dash through is wonderful! Christmas week has gone by with family gatherings and visits to & from friends & neighbours which has been lovely and shows that we do live in community that enjoys each others company although we do not meet up very often. On the farm the daily routines continue no matter what day is showing on the calendar and calves are being born increasing the feeding times as the numbers increase. We have had a cow develop milk fever, which does not happen too often, thank goodness, but a quick dose of calcium soon puts things right and the cow recovers well in just few hours. Having passed the Shortest Day or Winter Solstice just a week or so ago, amazingly the hens are starting to lay again...the smallest increase in daylight makes all the difference and it is good to have our own eggs again. As well a being New Year's Day it is also one of our younger grandchildren's birthday...Arthur is 3 today and we will go celebrate with all the family at tea-time this afternoon with cake and jollity and hopefully not too many upsets by over-excited small people!