Thursday, 29 June 2017

Flash! Bang!

Was woken up early this morning.
Didn't want to be as had a hectic day yesterday. 
Doing what?
Shopping, that is what we were doing.
Now this is something that we are not fussed with doing,
 but sometimes it has to be done, especially after what happened the day before.
So there I was, in bed, afternoon nap time.
Heard the rain on the velux windows overhead.
Heard Lester come in through the double doors, saying he was soaked.
Flash! Bang!
A lightning strike to the house.
And did you know that when a thunder cloud is immediately overhead, that its voice does not rumble and roll like it does when far away in the distance, but that it explodes with one huge crash of sound almost sufficient to knock your eardrums out. And that it joins up with the lightning it has just sent down to you to make quite an attack on the senses.
Not to worry, at least Lester was indoors this time. Last time a lightning strike arrived here he was standing outside in the Courtyard having a man wee. It was near to midnight. All was black. The lightning connected with the ground just the other side of the Courtyard wall, so quite close.
He said it woke him up very quickly.
As for the lightning strike a couple of days ago..... the only damage was to the Internet connection box and the circuit connections.
Oh, so no You Tubing, emailing, FaceBooking, etc, then.
So I went and washed the produce kitchen's floor, caught up with the washing up, and did other things which had become neglected. It was amazing how much I did without the teasing insistence from my computer to 'come and keep me company'.
Early evening, still light, storms still about as could be seen by the rolling black clouds jostling each other in the sky overhead. Lester worried about the possible damage to the computers. The sheep shearer man arrived. Did he come to shear the sheep? No. An argument followed, the cause of which I am not going into here, then there was an almighty cracking sound, not a 'fist on jaws' sound, but the sound of  the very ancient pear tree giving up its life.

So one broken fence to mend, and one broken tree to get off the fence first.
The day was not going well.
And so indoors we went, the rain coming again, the thunder too.
Time to finish the day and start again on the morrow, which is the best thing to do when the day is not going so well.
Yesterday went better, and everything became fixed.
Tree sawn up ( making good firewood), fence line fixed, trip to Tarbes to buy new Internet equipment, lunch at a pavement café, a quick rummage through two brocantes (antique shops), and a gathering of the necessary products from a supermarket so I can start jamming, canning, and pickling the produce which is starting to come in from our vegetable garden. The computers became fixed via the magic of Lester's hands and mind, and online we went again.
And so we are now on to today, and the reason why I was woken up early.
It was by the cheepings of the ten little hatchlings who came out of the eggs in the incubator a couple of days ago, and who are sharing the side barn with us overnight. They are outside during the day.
They are the cutest little bundles going. It is hard not to keep connecting with them. But it is not a good idea to let them bond too closely with us because we have learnt from past experience that tiny little  balls of fluff soon grow in to juvenile bundles of naughtiness who will hassle us every time they get near us, which is not good for them and not good for us. 
So the chicks are outside in the Courtyard, and instead of talking to us, they are talking to the birds.
Need to start work on processing the potatoes, courgettes, beans, and beetroot, but instead I am going to make some music with Lester.  Accordion for me, guitar for him.
Can't do much outside as ground is too wet.
The shearer man might appear again soon.
Bye for now,


Monday, 19 June 2017

Comfort food......

We went shopping this morning. Normally we would buy 'sensible' products like flour, sugar, eggs (until we get our own again), and other equally useful items. Back in the UK we would have also bought items such as biscuits, chocolate, cake, crisps, ice cream, etc, but that was before we became  aware of how unhealthy that food was. Once we started growing and preserving our own produce (meat, veg, and fruit), we realised the error of our ways, and changed our eating habits.
...... but sometimes, just sometimes, we lapse back into our old ways, not often, just sometimes,
and today was one of those days.
It is still hot, hotter than it was yesterday. We knew this because we felt the heat as soon as we got outside this morning, the early morning coolness being absent, a hot wind having pushed it away.
So we were unable to physically do too much outside, other than sort the animals out, give the Courtyard a quick water, then put the shade covers over everything, which we don't normally do until mid day. Then out shopping we went...... hosepipes, bins, compost, bought in one shop, Guinness, ice cream (one tub of coffee, one tub of chocolate), crisps, ham, commercially produced potato salad, and commercially produced pasta salad, commercially produced baguettes, mass produced tomatoes (because ours are still green and teensy), and a commercially produced jar of gherkins (because ours are still at the flowering stage).
  I was not going to cook today. Yesterday we had home produced spiced dry fried lamb, a salad from the garden, an egg salad (made from eggs donated to us from a neighbour), and DIY bread. This was all laced together with mayonnaise (shop bought) because I can't for the life of me make mayonnaise. We did have ice cream for dessert, but that was allowable because Lissie has finished giving us milk now so DIY yoghurts have finished until next milking season.
Over the last ten years we have been able to produce most of the main ingredients for our meals, it is just the smaller items which we buy in and they are normally used within the structure of the meal and do not contribute towards being all of the meal.
But today they did.
No way was I going to be able to produce anything from the kitchen today.
Back to normal tomorrow!
Lester has fitted a hosepipe to the tap in the Courtyard so that I don't have to carry watering cans to and fro the nursery, but the well only gave us a third of its normal amount of water so the Veg Plots will have a minor watering tonight, and that will be by watering cans to preserve what water we have available. We also have an aversion to using the hosepipe over everything because it means the weeds also benefit.
Meanwhile the chickens are now out and about in their paddock, and the cockerel is starting to talk to Lester. Chickens do have quite a vocal range, and will make an effort to communicate with you if you take the time to start up a chat with them. There is, of course, a problem of communication because neither you or the chickens understand each others language, but then that is a universal problem with all animals including different races of man kind.
The sheep are not to be seen at all during the day now, as they are staying in the woodland to keep out of the way of the sun. We are waiting for the sheep shearer to phone us back. We hope he will do this soon.
Well, that's all for now. I have not done a thing indoors or outside today (apart from watering) as the heat is stopping me in my tracks, robbing me of the effort to do anything.
Not to worry, it won't last forever, so best to have a rest while we can!
Bye for now,

Sunday, 18 June 2017

The cock doth crow!

I am not complaining, truly I am not...... but it is still hot, hot, hot, here, and we are all cooking nicely, including the sheep who are still wearing their winter fleeces because the shearer man has not turned up to shear them yet, the cows who are besieged by loads of flies as they graze out on the field, and the chickens.
What chickens!
These two chickens....

And once again the crow of a cockerel can be heard at Labartere as he lets all the cockerels in the neighbourhood know that there is a new cock on the block. But I must say that his voice was rather crackly and weak at first, nevertheless we could still hear him indoors. His voice is getting stronger though, and this morning he did manage a full voice crow, which was nice to hear.
   They are Buff Orpingtons, a male and a female. She hasn't laid an egg here yet, but it is hot, and they are both needing to get used to their new home, and they are in temporary housing at the moment which is a bit on the small side, but not to worry, Lester is going to get the last bit of fencing wire up on the Chicken Pen later on today, and then they can be let out so they can stretch their legs.
The only thing is that Burdock City has not been cut down yet ....

...... but I scythed down the tall mass of weeds behind it this morning.
This is where horrids, like snakes, rats, and mice will be living, so I am loath to tackle it by myself,
so Lester will have to help me with this job.
Meanwhile our mini nursery is coming along....

... with lots of little plants having already gone out into the Veg Plots.
It remains to be seen how much will survive in this heat though, but I stoically carry on, as do they. 
There is no end in sight for this heat wave at the moment, and this is still early summer.
But I am not moaning, just saying, that's all!
Hope your gardens are flourishing, and that you are too..
Bye for now,