- - - but it's our first snow of the season. I know it's winter and we should have been expecting it, but when Henry checked the cows last thing last night it was a clear sky full of stars, so it was a shock (to me at least) to wake up to whiteness. There was only 1 - 2 inches but it's a reminder of last winter. I know it looks picture-postcardy, but I hope it's not as bad this year.
Anyway, I'm warm and cosy in the house - Henry has brought in barrow loads of wood, there's soup cooking in the Aga (special recipe - end of the week leftover soup) and no need to venture out. Later on when all the stock has been fed, watered and cleaned out, we'll be continuing with our latest DIY project. Not a very big project - just some new shelves in the pantry. As some of you will know, our pantry is not just a glorified cupboard with a few tins and packets, but a rather large room. Some might call it the kitchen, but the one thing that's missing is a cooker. That (the Aga) is in what we call the kitchen - a real main living room with everything from Aga, kitchen table (very large of course) to computer, television and comfy chairs, and everything in between. The pantry has many advantages - one of which the ability to close the door and ignore the chaos that piles up. Since we moved round here 14 years ago (when Henry's dad died) we've not done much to it - just added various old cupboards. Nothing much is going to change, but I plan to be more organised (especially post 24/12/10), hence the new shelves (flat pack bookcases from Argos). Watch out for the perfect housewife!
Do you have the same haircut all year round? I know someone who used to let his hair (and beard) grow during the colder months, presumably to help stave off the cold, then go to the hairdressers when the weather warmed up. (Not now though - not a change of policy, just a change of natural resources).
With cows it's the other way round - for reasons of health and well-being they have a winter clip, and yesterday Wendy and Hannah (aka Clippaholics - contact details available on request), worked their way through the most of the herd. It's a case of have clippers will travel as they move onto another herd today.
I know I keep going on about it, but this last weekend was my last working weekend. Yippee!
It's been a busy week since my last post, but when I look back I can't pinpoint exactly what's been happening. I was working Thursday to Monday (a very long weekend, but my last Sunday!), then on Tuesday we had a quick break from routine and went down to Belper to see new arrival Quinn. He may be very young, but he's certainly not small and while we were there we never heard him cry once. I was armed with our camcorder, but most of the action came from Izzy. When she's a famous singer-songwriter, or playwright I can show films of her first performances.
Back home Henry and James have been busy - on Monday we had the monthly routine visit from the vet (12 out of 12 PD'd in calf). Muck has been spread, gates have been hung, water samples sent off for testing (from the borehole) and James has begun his First Responder training. I'm sure I've missed something, but in a few weeks I'll be there to see it all as it's only
- - - with everything else going on - the milk cows stayed in all day on Monday (8th). They're inside now till turnout in Spring. We've done really well having them out so long. In the end it's not just that they've come to the end of the grass, but it's very wet underfoot. Monday was an horrendous day (wind and rain all day) so in they stayed. Today is a wonderful crisp sunny day and when I came back from shopping, most of them were outside in the loafing area looking at the gates and wondering if they were going to be opened. Sorry, but no.
So that's winter settling in. Cows inside and wintering hogs in the meadows.
I'm off work this week - for no particular reason, other than I need to get my holidays used up. There's no visitors, no shows, no silaging etc. So it's a bit of a practice of life after 24th December. No leaving cold ham, cheese and yogurt in the fridge for dinner. But hot meals fresh from the Aga. Today it's vegetable soup and Eve's Pudding (still loads of apples in store). It's a bit like going back in time without the DeLorean, to a time when I was that much maligned person "a housewife". But I've got to ease into it gradually - so I'm putting off the Extreme Housewifery (ironing and other boring stuff) until I've retired for real.
What shall I do this afternoon? Daytime television? Turn out one of bedrooms? Make some scones? Light the fire and sit and read?