Is there a slight dip in the temperature and has the sun moved a little in the sky so that vaguely autumnal feeling is descending upon us? So I will do a bit of preserving whilst I have a small amount of time.
A little rain to encourage the grass to grow would be a really good thing right now as by golly it is very brown outside in the fields still, and we have winter to get through with all the animals yet.
I suspect it will be a tight winter as far as outdoor grazing is concerned. Funny isn't it how the year can begin soooo wet, that you have to feed hay longer because the animals are not able to go on all the parts of the farm, as some fields are unable to sustain livestock when it is too wet and boggy and because the ground stays colder, the grass takes longer to come through. Once everything warms up and dries out a bit then grass production is just mad. Then at the other end of the year you have to start thinking about feeding hay earlier because the ground is so hard and dry that the grass is not growng at all. When Gavin went out to move fences the other day he had to take his drill with him to make little holes for the metal posts to go into.
I know I should not complain and to be honest I am not really complaining about the weather just stating the facts. It has made our entertaining-full summer easier having a long hot dry summer and it has been delightful to properly bake in the sun and not worry about where to dry 4 loads of washing every day . And to be honest there is not a lot anyone can do about what the weather does anyway, so there is no point in compaining about it in the first place.
I can feel the year changing as we get back into the rhythm of real life rather than holiday life. Nougat the donkeys winter hair is starting to grow and the cats are suddenly inside the house more curled up on the sofa looking to snuggle up and be warm making more vacuuming work as they leave their hair everywhere. The birds this year are likely to be short of food, in fact they are already really as the brambles and other wild berries did not produce significantly this year. So if are a feed the birds person..."tuppence a bag".... hang some food out early, and if you are not then maybe this is a good year to start.
We had a birthday this past week, the big step into teenager-hood again for Gavin and me. I made a cake and was reminded that our cooker needs its thermostat testing....And then I had to be creative.Tasted good though. Other creations were the slow-cooked pork hock dish I made. Very yummy. Very easy. Very filling.
Happy cooking, see you all soon,
So September comes and with it the dispersal of children to their various educational destinations, the change in the feel of the sunshine on your back and the different colours start to appear in the landscape. The rhythmn of farm lfe changes slightly from the manic checking to see if lambs and Mummys are well and together, to the slow ruminating of ewes that no longer have anything to worry about but eating and lazing in the sun. The lambs are now big and off being teenagers.....need I say more ;)
As some of you may have noticed I have been away and yes I do mean properly away just not for very long. Gavin's mum and sister, number 3 and I swanned our way over and wined and dined ourselves around the capital of Austria. No we didn't, don't be daft. We took ye olde Easyjet, cheapest flight available for the amount of changes and hours we were willing to spend in the air. Found a jolly cheap but amazing arbnb flat not far from the centre and then proceeded to pound the pavement and escalators and try out all the local forms of transport. The biggest spot of luck is that if you travel during school holiday time with a school aged child they are free anywhere within the Vienna city boundary!!!!! I know incredible. And then to buy a ticket for all 4 of us back to the airport which is half an hour, cost......7.70euros. I know if you live in for example Tallinin, Estonia, this is not news and is still too much. But for us it was amazing! So come on Bordeaux if you want to close all the bridges which I know is what you really want to do, how about some free if not super cheap public transport.
In a few brief words Vienna was amazing. Brimming full with years and years and years and years of money, history, art, music and culture, and the buildings were quite frankly superb. The Hapsbergs certainly knew how to embellish. The food, well to be honest eating out was quite pricey for us but we did have cake in a coffee house a couple of times. Yum yum yum. I will bore you with some holiday pics now.
It is true that in a capital city with so many tourists it is not possible for it all to be moonlight and roses. So if they would like some advice from a visitor ( which I am sure they would love) they need to brush up on their cleanliness around Schonbrunn Palace. And it would be really cool if smoking in some of their bars was a little more delineated or even forbidden as I read that by law it is banned but the law is not strictly adhered to. However maybe I am just spoiled in my smoke free environment surrounded by the fresh country smell of.......... manure ;)
We started the summer with 11 people oscilated through the months with 7,8 or 9 people, with one day of 50 something. Today we are 5. Tomorrow we will be 3 again. It has been a happy time for all of us and a little bit sad so see everyone leaving. So all I can say is thank goodness for Strictly Come Dancing then at least Saturday night will be raucous again.:) :)
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