Happy New Year Everyone and welcome to 2021
I hope that you all have had a pleasant festive season and are enjoying the beginning of the new year knowing that the days are already lengthening. I have checked our weather book that we found after 5 years of hibernation in a box in a barn and it says that in 2010 and 2012 cranes (birds, not construction equipment) were heading north on the 3rd of February..... so that means there is less than a month before it starts to feel like Spring is nearly here. Not of course that I am not appreciating a good cold spell. The nasty pathogens and more annoying insects and some diseases can be curtailed with the cold.
The birds are chomping through the food I have put out for them at a great rate around the house. If I had a go pro camera permanently attached to my head I could have had some nice video footage of our cat, Peaches, trying to reach the cat food meercat style and not fall off the back of the chair at the same time. She failed, quickly looked around.... and then started cleaning, as if the whole fall from grace had been part of the plan. Cats (◔_◔) always good for a laugh.
We had thought that after the hecticness of the Christmas period, some of you experienced it at the market and I thank you for your patience....... weeeellllllllll...... it didn't quite pan out like that. So 40 something sheep later we have done a rather intensive lambing in the freezing cold. Not the best environment to lamb outdoors in. So there was much too-ing and fro-ing in the trailer at all hours karting the mamas and the babas from field to the house and to the sheds. Not too many under red lights, not too many stillborns all things considered.
So next New Years day if you are feeling slightly under the weather then I recommend a brisk walk in the morning at minus something, carrying warm slimey animals, a bit of a jog and some rugby tackling of warm fluffy animals, followed by a few hours in the afternoon mucking out and moving manure from the sheds to the garden, to start early preparation for the vegetable garden raised bed, no dig system. Followed by an evening stroll at minus something to rugby tackle and carry fluffy or slimey animals again.
The key to survivng this regime, the Franklins have decided, are copious quantities of tea, large roasted meat joints, warming potato, pasta and rice dishes, pink fizz, beer, chocolate and ice cream. If there is no time to prep half a tables worth of vegetable dishes then throw lots of onions and leeks in everything and you are good to go.
The butchery has had a 6 monthly clean, paint and tidy up and now our rented cold room has been taken away I am trying to work out how to organise the butchery for the next year and wondering whether we will have to make some more permanent modifications. All should be ready to be back rat the markets this coming weekend ready for some more seriously cold weather. The key to weather management is appropriate clothing.
Gavin is going for his 3 month check up with the surgeon tomorrow for the next phase of decision making. The physiotherapist has already moved him on to the next phase of exercise and this week that included doing a squat on one leg and then jumping up out of it. Interesting. Now don't go breaking anything trying this at home. It is not a challenge. But let me tell you it is not easy. At all, even if you have not had knee surgery.
Take care of yourselves and happy eating during 2021
Helen 😃 xx
I am farming sheep and goats on the Dordogne/Gironde border with my husband and our 3 children. We have an on farm butchery and sell our meat direct to the public via the markets and delivery points in our local area