Saturday, 9 August 2008

British summer continues!

These buckets were empty this morning, the rain from the roof of the pig sty has filled them, Rocky helps himself to a drink after racing up and down the lane.

Its been a good day though, we got a fair number of jobs done. You have to be really disciplined when on the smallholding, something I find hard, you have to strike a balance between the jobs that need doing and those that you would like to do. So whilst I would have liked to have got the brush cutter out and cut swathes of bracken down, a job that is itself getting quite urgent I forced myself to weed the garden, even more urgent, when there were gaps in the rain.

To reward myself for sticking to such a tedious job I cut down two large hazel trees that currently put the garden in shade, not that there is much sunshine at present, but when it returns part of the garden will benefit from extra light. I now intend to take much of the twenty foot high hedge down from the length of the garden, removing the hazel, sycamore and hawthorn but leaving the three plum trees currently fighting for survival. The pigs watched and then chomped through the cut down greenery.

I then fell victim to one of the rules of smallholding, when a jobs going well don't allow yourself to get distracted. Pretty soon I had lost sight of the task in hand, clearing the hedge and was happily engaged in the very entertaining task of feeding the pigs windfall apples by hand. Their antics and the chase game they play around the trees whiled away the time until the rain made it too uncomfortable to stay out.

I dragged a fresh bundle of hazel up the lane to the goats and sheep sheltering under the trees by the stable. Maggie and the Ryelands tucked in with as much enthusiasm as the pigs. Only Geisha was missing the feast.

She suddenly appeared, clearing the gate across the front of Trevor's stable with ease, not with her usual grace though, more of a sideways jump with an accompanying oof sound. Trevor appeared at the gate whinnying defiantly. Geisha had obviously been helping herself to his bucket of horse feed and judging by the way she cleared the gate Trevor had given her both heels to help her out.

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