I often find the jump forward into spring with the hour on the clocks tortuous to adjust to, as it leaves me drained of energy and having to wake up in the dark again. Well I have found a solution. Organise a party where you have to get up at 5.30am to turn on the oven so that the 13kg shoulder of pork will be cooked in time for the guests. It worked a treat, I even managed to beat the cats up, who usually spend the hour before dawn walking up and down me, purring and kneading, if I have made the unfortunate mistake of leaving them in that night.
By the end of Sunday I was quite tired fell into bed and slept through till morning. An unusual event for me. Granted it was assisted by far too many bubbles so I woke the following day feeling a little fragile but ready to face the world of Spring and was met by something resembling the picture below.
The pile of washing in the kitchen was not a lot better for my fragile head, the outside weather was not helping and number 3 was off school with a nasty cold. Thank goodness for today, Wednesday, so I can tackle what is probably 7 loads of washing, hopefully not lock myself in the butchery toilet again, do the usual drive here there and everywhere with girls in tow and transform photo one into photo two....... well at least in my dreams.
Happy Easter for next weekend
The cats took advantage of the few days of sunshine with actual warmth in it that we had this week. Peaches to the left and Bluey to the right.
We seem to be easing gently into the second lambing period this week, not having had precisely a rest period, as we purchased some young lambs to rear by hand from a dairy farmer in the Pyrenees to try and compensate for our loss of lambs due to the dog attack last year. Still no repayment from the insurance company by the way. They look quite different from our own lambs more leggy and tall enough to do things like jump fences and eat washing hanging on the line, more like goats in fact with regard to their behaviour, than sheep.
Here are some of the nearly weaned lambs tucking in to a bit of lunch. And some of them trying to work out if it is possible to jump from the bale over the gate and make an escape to freedom. We are desperately waiting for the grass to start growing with great enthusiasm so that they can all get outside and have some proper exercise. Not to mention the fact that we can stop loading so much silage. To top it all off here are the babies in my kitchen born to young mummies without a clue what to do. (I remember that feeling). No names for them yet but it could end up being squeak and squawk as that is their call sign whenever you walk in the kitchen.
See you all soon
It was a normal Wednesday. If I could get to the butchery early enough then I would have enough time in between the girls activities to do all the other jobs and still be able to prepare lunch for everyone. Unusually Emily was home so she would be available to receive our delivery scheduled for that morning. Good I will cook something simple with pork fillet I think. Yum.
Noon arrived and as planned I had cleaned up the butchery and was set to leave, put lunch on, fetch Alice and then finish lunch. Oh yes better just pop to the loo before I leave. Great all done off we go reach for door handle to open loo door.....
The loo door did not cooperate and open. There was this dawning realisation that the board I had been looking at propped up by the loo door, about which I had thought "oh dear that could fall across the door and lock me in" had done precisely that. No worries, I think Gavin will come past and feed the sheep that are here soon, but no it was Wednesday and he would feed them late as he had to load the trailer. Typical, the one day I had not organised Emily to fetch Number 3 from the bus stop, who was going to fetch her? No-one is the answer. Ho hum I had better settle in for the duration.
AAARRGGHHH WOT NO BOOK!!!!! The butchery toilet facilities are the size of a loo and a sink with no window and my mobile phone was in the other room. So after the mortifying lack of reading material, that left cleaning the loo and sink as the only other options and once that was complete it was wait patiently which by the way is extremely difficult when the day is organised down to the minutiae.
I heard the bus drive down the road with Number 3 on board wondering where everyone was and still there was no rescuer for me. Some time later the hunger pangs started and I figured that this would mean the arrival of a person as my absence may not be noticed, but the absence of lunch would definitely require investigation. Lo and behold I hear the quad and there is my hero, Gavin. Howling with laughter at my predicament, his response to my question about why he decided to come and look for me at 1.30pm, a whole hour and a half after my incarceration was that he assumed Emily had just forgotten to fetch her sister, and the fact that I was not returned from the butchery was neither here nor there, but the fact that there was no lunch was an issue, so he was coming to find out what my plan had been. Hmm.... refer to title of the blog.
It is possible to cook roast pork fillet, yellow rice and cabbage for 5, in 40 minutes. It is not, however, possible to keep a straight face when you have been locked in a loo for an hour and a half RAOTFL :-)
Moral of the story is ALWAYS have reading material in your loo to protect your sanity in an emergency situation, and possibly fit doors that open inward whenever possible.
Firstly to appease your love of the fluffy cat one photo from the cute photos from Zimbabwe album thanks to my sister-in -law. I bet you never knew they were a flock animal.
So we have finished our first lambing of the year, well actually we thought that was the case until Gavin arrived at the shed to discover a frolicking newborn in the sunshine. After some calculations it corresponds with the week one of our rams spent every day jumping the fence to get in with the girls on the other side. So in theory there will be very few births until April now so a bit of down time to catch up. I was sent a very appropriate picture on Facebook referring to the appearance of my husband at the end of lambing, so here is a picture referring to the appearance of his car at the end of lambing. Wow, where do we all sit. Actually underneath a lot of items. Obviously the down time can be spent on some personal and car repairs and maintenance.
Some of our girls were released into the sunshine today its always amusing as they try and make the decision about whether they really ought to venture out or whether it is safer inside. Yes these are in the correct order below. They always go and look, then go back inside, then have to be encouraged out.
The lambs will have to stay in a little longer the risk from foxes is still too great to allow them to sleep outside not to mention the sudden change of weather that can still happen in this area so early on in the year. Enjoy the sunshine that the next few days have to offer in the Dordogne, and enjoy a normal day of sunshine to all of you who read this in sunnier climes. My apologies to those of you in UK or Canada where sunshine and warmth is still a dream of the future.
See you all soon
Well Hello There Everyone
I apologise for my absence last week but answers on a post card about where we were.
The lambs are still arriving just at a less rapid rate than before, sadly I leave the boys alone for a week and they neglected to take any photos for you all to appreciate so you will have to be patient until next week as I have been busy in the slightly less attractive, cute and fluffy environment, the butchery. In fact if the sun holds on like it is promising there may even been lambs in fields pictures that would be fun. The markets are starting to get a slightly more springlike feel about them as people are venturing out with the slight rise in temperature, there are even some new faces appearing on the scene. I opened the window yesterday as the house was too warm, I should have turned the heating off you say, and yes I would have done if relighting the 2 stoves did not take so much time.
I think we are finally getting back into the swing of the new year and markets again it has only taken me a month. Lots of plans for the year ahead.
See you all soon
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