Wednesday, 20 January 2010


I had quite a surprise first thing this morning, not the tripping over a 50kg dog welded to the bed room door nearly fall headfirst down the stairs as I blearily made my way to my early morning caffeine hit type as sometimes happens, no, it was as I threw back the curtains in a dramatic welcome the new day gesture, tons of snow had fallen since I last checked at 2am. Once again our messy yard was a lovely whiter than white white. Fantastic! I put my fleece and boots on and went out to have a mess about with the Berners in the frozen playground and fed the sheep and goats.

I went back indoors to put the rest of my clothes on just in case someone got upset by a fat forty something messing around in the snow in his boxer shorts. Unlike most of the population I actually like the snow and I was happy to venture outdoors, meanwhile the majority of the country ground to a halt on account of the snow making things a bit tricky. It did put paid to our plans to finish clearing out the stables. Deep litter is a good idea, the bedding is put so deep that wees and poohs disappear into its cozy soft absorbent goodness and forms a layer underneath all the clean stuff you put down, then the little microbes get to work and breaks down the mucky stuff generating heat keeping your charges warm and also reducing the bulk so they don't bang their heads on the ceiling, a good idea that is until you have to clean it all out. By wheelbarrow 27 I was converted to a bucket of clean shavings and follow horsey round with a pooper scooper idea. So mucho snow meant no barrowing.
Not wanting to waste time I set about the ceilings in the cottage. A while ago I redecorated the kitchen when a temperamental bottle of elderflower champagne exploded staining the ceiling, walls, soaking me and nearly rupturing my right eardrum. Time to set things right and get the cottage looking pristine again. I had considered doing a fresco akin to Michelangelo's efforts on the Sistine chapel, a series of murals depicting life on the farm to gawp at while engaged in mundane kitchen chores. I set about the ceiling with enthusiasm, paint, patience and a tiny brush and slowly the dark brown stains were transformed to a very plain but brilliant white, just like Michelangelo would have done. Well he would of if he had as many jobs on his list as I have.

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