Most important was Sue's 50th birthday, which she celebrated with gusto! Just for a few months, I am in a different decade of my life to her. It was great to see old friends from the big city and with them came another dog for us to look after for a while. Charlie Brown, the original inspiration for us getting a dog. It is he who is responsible for Boris and Arthur coming into our lives.
Anyway, all the dogs and Gerry our cat are getting along very well.
Earlier in the month I went swanning off on another of my birdwatching trips, a long weekend in Israel. The desert was beautiful and I saw many new birds. A spot of warmth didn't go amiss either!
However, I returned to a deluge. We have been lucky with the weather this winter, avoiding the worst of the now expected extremes. But Wednesday 9th brought rain, rain and more rain. We had standing water in places where it has never been before. Even the small dry dyke which runs in front of the house had water in for the first time since we have lived here. It certainly provided a contrast on my return from the desert.
Fortunately the water subsided quickly and I got on with some of the bigger maintenance and development works on the smallholding.I've made good inroads into edging the veg beds - the grass gradually creeps in year on year. I've been building new sheds for the animals and storage and have discovered the delights of traditional creosote and made a start on coating the stable block. I just wish I'd done it before erecting the first shed - it certainly didn't make the job any easier, neither did a decidedly chilly north-easterly breeze.
Sowing crops for the new year is now fully under way. The geese have started laying and the sheep are due to lamb hopefully in the next few weeks.
|After 4 years, the geese have finally discovered the pond.|