There we were after another tranquil day on Franklin Farm everything was running smoothly the pick ups and drop offs had gone according to plan, and I am just talking about the children, so I was on schedule for an exciting evening in watching nothing of any substance, just a quick trip to Libourne for Emilys final check up with the surgeon and then home by 7pm. I think some of you may be slightly ahead of me on this one already. You guessed it, a nice comfortable journey in and then after the roundabout....stop. So, long journey short, it took 45 minutes to drive a 4 minute route, but the upside was the centre was so clogged the Doctor was still in her rooms seeing all of her late patients. We got home at 8.15pm. A 3 hour round trip instead of 2, with no Doctor to blame for lateness.
Going backwards from yesterday was more productive our long weekend was spent doing a bit of work on the insulation in the barn. Emily had fun making jigsaws with some off cuts in some of the spaces.
It is approaching midnight on Wednesday night I wonder, where has my week gone and oh no "Bloggers Block" has arrived once again. Ok, don't stress it will come to you, and bizarrely it arrives as I am once again removing the piles of clean, folded clothing that are strewn over the bed blocking my passage to blissful sleep. Laundry has been fun this week dodging between the sunny blue sky, black rainy clouds, strong chilly wind, and if you are very lucky warm airy bits when everything falls still and you find a sheltered corner out of the rigors of the May weather. Rigorous weather in May? The year seems to be zooming past and my calendar filling up fast with the usual end of year school plays, music evenings and ballet performances. Not to mention the up and coming "So British" summer market at Brantôme and the busier weekly markets that the summer season brings. So roll on 35 degreees and hot, roasty-toasty days. You will undoubtedly arrive in the wink of an eye:-) and then as usual we will all be moaning that it is too hot.
Here is my latest group of bottle fed lambs. They live in the garden during the day and in the trailer at night and mob you for milk whenever you go in or out of the house, which as you can imagine is quite a few times a day. They always turn into a contentious issue at this time of year as they arrive just as I am thinking about being able to sit in the garden when all they want to do is nibble your legs and jump on you with their sharp scratchy feet, which is ok when you are wearing overalls but not so great when shorts are the required form of dress. Now I think about it looking at the weather predictions for the next 10 days this actually won't be a problem.
This is a picture of "Chicken". She sleeps on the windowsill of our living room which is located above the lambs daytime sleeping quarters and the box in which she lays her one egg a day. It has been some time since we managed to firstly, keep some chickens out of the reach of Mr Fox and secondly, to persuade her to lay her egg in a location where we can find it on a regular basis. We spend the day juggling the door on the chickens egg laying box so that the lambs do not go into the box and break our precious one egg, and leaving the door open for long enough so that "Chicken" will have enough time to be comfortable about entering the box and laying her one egg a day.
You may think this is a lot of effort to go to for one egg a day but our chickens are truly free range and only eat what they find in the fields next to the house. (I have some awful suspicions that I actually don't want to know what they eat out in the fields, as I am sure some, no most of it is highly unsavory.) Anyhow their eggs actually taste of something and are worth a little effort.
Someone once said to me that coming to our house was a bit like driving into the set of The Darling Buds of May, which would make me Ma Larkin'! Great another excuse to eat that last piece of chocolate cake, yum, though it is probably a bit more like Old MacDonalds place to be honest.
See you soon
I returned home the other day to discover a bee walking across the bathroom floor looking like it was lost, fed up and searching for its hive, and, I imagine, cursing mankind for putting all these obstacles in the way of his natural route across the countryside. Some weeks ago I read a post on Facebook saying that if you find a tired bee then you should make some sugar water and feed the bee from a teaspoon. As I am a bee fan I picked up Mr.Bee on some paper placed him on the windowsill full of doubt as to whether the plan was going to work.
I disappeared off to the kitchen and mixed up a little water and sugar, not too cold figuring room temperature would be good, and offered him a teaspoon with sugar water in it. It was a little difficult to judge where his proboscis was going to appear from, and in fact Mr.Bee did not want to drink from my teaspoon. Not surprising really as it is quite an unnatural drinking vessel for a bee, I imagine. So I carefully poured a drop of sugar water onto the paper in front of him, making sure the meniscus was intact, and hoped he would drink. Lo and behold Mr.Bee did exactly that, and drank for so long there was enough time for Emily to find her camera and take some photos, which I was not sure would show it clearly, but in fact they have. And then he was off at speed to find his way home. They really are very clever animals.
I have fed many different types of animals since I married Gavin ranging from geese to wild pigs and ostriches but this is my very first bee. I am very proud of our contribution to the survival of Mr Bee and shall enjoy some honey on my bread this evening courtesy of our little compatriots.
Have an excellent week
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