Sorry no blog last week I was otherwise entertained driving and collecting furniture. The weather in UK was surprisingly good and we packed the van in the nearly sunshine. On arrival back in France it started raining (thought I had taken a wrong turn somewhere) and in our efforts to unload quickly so I could return the van to Super U we temporarily closed access to the rest of the house.
I believe Number One did a fine job in my absence at the markets. Numbers 2 and 3 were with me "Vanning" and visiting their Grandma whilst I did the the fun bit with assistance from my sister and brother.
It is a long way up France but there was no traffic in both directions. Arrived in UK and after 20 minutes of the M20, where Number 2 said that she was not surprised English people had so much good radio as it drowned out the noise of the awful road surfaces, we were in a traffic jam for half an hour engine off, not even moving, then informed that they had shut junctions 21-23 on M25. Great.... Took us 3 and half hours to drive from Folkstone to Welwyn Garden City 163km and 8 and half to drive from Home to Calais 888km.
Was lovely to see family..... but what a relief to get home. So other than rearranging the house to absorb all the acquired items from last week I visited the sheep to check up on my lovely husband. Gosh what a lot of bouncy lambs and aren't they lucky to still have a dry shed.
Now I am sure you are all beginning to think I just go to the shed and take photos of the rest of the family working and I do, but I do also bottlefeed lambs and carry water as well. Promise.
You can observe how effective the feeding rails are at keeping the lambs out of the feed alleys ha ha. Naughty little tikes. Well I will be at my usual station at Riberac on Friday morning and also at the Bookshop on Saturday. Hope to see some of you there.
Well we have had 55 lambs since last week so life is quite hectic. Gavin has about 4/6 hours sleep a day and I am probably on about 6 which is pretty good or even normal for a lot of people. However, I have a preference for 7 and a half or 8 hours so there is an awful lot of cake, biscuits and chocolate being consumed at the moment to stay awake. Gavin is currently fast aleep in front of the telly psyching himself up for the night visit to the shed.
For those of you who read the blog regularly here is a picture of "A" lamb doing well with her mates at the shed.
Had an excellent weekend seeing a young band playing live in St. Foy La Grande, "Maniard," and the children enjoyed it so much I have decided to make an effort to take them out to see a bit more live music this summer. Too much sheep farming makes Franklins a dull family.
Whatever you are doing this weekend for Easter have a excellent time. Eat, drink and be merry spend time with friends and family, but drive safely as I see from the reports that road accidents are up for the month of March.
See you all soon
Well the girls are released onto their lush green field next to their winter house being good and proceeding as requested. However, please observe on the left of the picture the naughty goat heading for an escape route onto the main road.
Happy girls some of them heavily pregnant. This is the first time we have kept them inside for such a long period and they are very unfit which is good for Gavin because they might not be quite so keen to escape.
And here they are chilled out, grazing, some of them lying down already to rest after the long walk uphill. One of my favourite sites white sheep on green grass. The older generation in the commune often tell us how nice it is to see animals outside, especially the frolicking lambs,
In Zimbabwe our first group of 10 sheep used to graze around our house. After they had just arrived during the early mornings we were often woken by the strangest noises and it took sometime to work out that it was the sound of the sheep chewing the grass. Funny you never really imagine it is going to be noisy but it is and that was only 10. There are 300 now and thankfully we are used to it and they are not always next to the house.
At last count there were 7 lambs born between 4am and 4pm this afternoon and looking at the girls this evening Gavin is going to be busy tonight.
See you all soon
This titile I have decided is going on Gavins headstone. He has a habit of needing to go and do something but getting distracted by having a cup of tea before he leaves (I wonder if anyone has the same issue?). So this morning at 11.15 once I had mentioned that time was getting on and had he remembered he was taking numbers 2 and 3 to music this afternon, so there were not as many hours in today as maybe he thought there were, the usual response of I am just finishing my tea and then I am going was uttered and lo and behold the title for todays blog was born.
Well it looks like I inadvertently missed a week for which I apologise. I blame my son, because he is not here to defend himself, who passed his driving test, so I rediscovered the freedom of being able to send someone else out to do the farm shopping/fetch the children, and lost the usual panic stricken scehdule of not enough hours in the day, was lulled into this false sense of comfort and security and the hours slid by unnoticed.........
Wow it has been a mini holiday.
In amongst my sleepy hollow existence I have completed my books for the accoutant, handed in my TVA forms, cleaned house for a client returning from his winter residence, had three more lambs pass through the intensive care unit in the ktchen, finished reading an excellent book for book club, "The Secret River" by Kate Grenville, which created a very good discussion and debate at the club meeting which was fun, voted twice in our hotly contested mayoral seat elections and remembered to send my Mum flowers for Mother's Day. Not bad.
The weekend coming up is looking fairly hectic as the calendar has fallen in such a way that I will have to do some serious work in the next couple of days, with 3 markets and 2 delivery runs happening within 5 days. Ho hum maybe I will get the rest of the month off..............likely story methinks. Especially as the main flock will start lambing very, very soon, so my already tired husband will be even more tired. (He loves it though really.)
When I walked into the kitchen this morning I discovered a set of twins waiting to be fed.
Thank goodness it is drying up and warming up. The girls will be released in the next day or so to eat green grass and frolic for a bit before they pop. In fact all the excitement might cause them all to pop quickly. Interesting 250ish lambs within a week we are not used to that here, that is a "Lambing Live" phenomenon.
I have discovered this week that I don't really like ducks and I miss our chickens. Ducks steal all the lamb food, do very smelly, slippery poo outside the front door and have no sense of direction in flight, in fact one has just flown into the chimney and there is ash all over the floor now. Our chickens were all demolished by the foxes, but they seemed to have more of a cleaning up function around the garden and didn't eat so much of the lamb food and they provided a useful source of protein. Yes I know ducks lay eggs too but they seem to go off and hide them somewhere so by the time you find them they are usually ducklings.
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