Saturday, 30 July 2011

This week's comings and goings

Last Saturday - Victoria, Elliot and Fletcher (for a week of country life and "farming" - which for Fletcher means following Grandad about)

Thursday - Rob, Claire, Izzy and Quinn - a chance for all the family to be together for the first time in a year.

Friday night - cousins Martin and Jo, with Georgia and Alex - camping in the Paddock

Saturday morning - the Leicester family back home (in time for Elliot to go to see Real Madrid play Leicester City)

Saturday morning - the return of our Blackbird! When we got back from shopping she was sitting on the nest in the porch. Apologies to Ginger Cat for the unfounded suspicions.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Tin Anniversary

Another hot and sunny day - just as it was 10 years ago when James and Michelle got married. I'm reliably informed that 10 years = tin.

And also celebrating (though only one year) our friends Martin and Sue

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Still growing

The bulk of the grass may be in the pits, but the Triticale is still growing -

Mow, mow, quick quick mow

Blink and you miss it.
By 12:30  - just in time for dinner - second cut was in the pit.

The speed of silaging always catches me out. I'm sure in the Olden Days it took much longer. On Friday I shopped and filled the fridge with cold meats, pies and cheese, ready for endless lunch (and supper) boxes. I baked and filled the tins with cakes that don't collapse when carried round in a tractor. I even topped up the baking this morning. Now it's all over and the fridge and cake tins are still full. But it's better to over rather than under cater, and none of it will go to waste.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Here we go again . . .

. . . the grass has grown again, and it looks like being fine for a couple of days, so James is mowing the first field for Second Cut.

Monday, 18 July 2011



Last seen Friday 2nd July (when the family left the nest)
Partner seen Sunday 10th - tidying the nest for 3rd clutch
Main suspect

Landlords very concerned

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Heavy Rain

. . . or what you don't see on our Weather Page.

When the rain rate is calculated to be at least 0.30 inches per hour, we get a special ticker message on the Weather Console. This isn't sent to the PC or Web, so I have tried to take a photo of it. It's a bit difficult as the console screen is highly reflective and shows the reflection of the camera unless I tilt it, and of course it reflects flash and room lights. So, with all these excuses, this is the best I can do. The rain rate has been higher (see the third image down on the website), but this is what it was when I caught it -

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Changing the habit of a lifetime

A confession.My name is Kathleen and I'm a Hoarder.

I've been a hoarder almost all my life (and if I could have spoken out in my pram it would probably have been all my life).
I've got shelves of children's books from the Fifties (as well as almost every book I've bought since then - and yes, I do go back and reread them).
I've got my dolls (and their hand made clothes) and  toys that weren't given away by my elders and betters.
I've got some of Henry's toys - train set and Bayko; but no one complains about that.
I'm storing (on behalf of our children) lots of their toys, books and games. But this is easily justified when the grandchildren come round.

Over the past forty one years we're acquired a vast amount of crockery etc, from my great great grandmother's Breakfast Set, Seventies dinner sets and mismatched cast offs, to Ikea sets. Not much has been thrown away. The advantage (and disadvantage) of a big house, is that there's always somewhere to put stuff. Recently I rescued a lot of plates form the cellar that I had forgotten about, and today I discovered another hoard at the back of a deep cupboard. Then there are the dishes piled high on top of cupboards - too high up for me to reach and use. But today I decided enough's enough and started to tackle all the surplus. I assembled everything and sorted it -
a - too cracked and broken; throw away
b - OK, but I don't really need it - Freecycle it
c - why am I not using this! Put in a handier place.

I've got a wheelie bin in the kitchen and I've been throwing stuff in all morning. I've also been washing, polishing and photographing the stuff for Freecycle.

Could this be a new leaf, a start of a new ruthless me? Time will tell.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

No problems this time

You may remember tthat when we went away in the caravan a couple of weeks ago, things didn't go exactly to plan.

Since then Henry has been fixing and improvising and as everything looked good to go, we went away for a 2 night retest.

We now have hot and cold running water, the fridge running on electric, and the bed support fixed (that collapsed last time out) and no problems with the car. We even had some sunshine (as well as thunder storms) and were able to cook and eat outside (some of the time). I was given a break from most of the cooking as Henry took over. But,  I was still the sous chef and quartermaster, being in  charge of meal plannimg, shopping and food preparation. . . . .

Friday, 8 July 2011

Mixed bag

We seem to have had a very mixed bag of weather this week - very heavy rain, bright sun, high winds (but no hail or snow). At the moment the unsettled spell is not really bothering us as we're in between grass cuts. As the temperature has stayed quite high, it means it's very "growy" and the grass, and especially the Triticale (now about a metre high with the ears well developed) is growing fast.

The Strickley Convention Centre has become a classroom this week. As part of our HLS agreement we are encouraged to host educational visits (ie we get a small grant). Michelle has spend a lot of time and energy in preparing for these and yesterday two groups of children from Old Hutton school had an interactive tour of the buildings and learnt where milk comes from, experiencing the smells and sounds  involved (including dressing up as cows and going through the parlour). There's two more visits in the next few weeks and more planned in the future.

And finally - Get Well soon to Elliot, who yesterday broke his thumb playing football (I thought you were supposed to use your feet?)

Monday, 4 July 2011

More family history

I subscribe to and so get numerous emails re records etc. They're usually nothing to do with our ancestors but following the link to "Probate Calendar" in the latest one,  I did get some results.

The free access runs on Friday and I won't be subscribing (to this set of records) so there may be no more details

No fortunes left - but till interesting!
 (The photos are ours)
National Probate Calendar
Note from
Missing volumes:

Our collection covers 80 years from 1861 to 1941. We currently do not have the books for the years 1858-1860 and there are some gaps for the years 1863, 1868, 1873, 1876, 1877, 1883, 1888, 1899-1903 and 1910-1911. However, we hope to add records for these years as soon as possible.
Henry's Great great grandfather (possibly) 1799 - 1879    
(no photograph)
Henry's Great great grandfather's brother 1801 - 1869

Henry's Great great grandfather 1799 - 1882
Henry's Great great grandfather 1817 - 1883
  Henry's Great grandfather's brother 1848 - 1897

Henry's Great grandfather 1839 - 1912
Henry's Great grandfather 1843 - 1928

Henry's Great grandfather 1862 - 1931

Kathleen's great great great grandfather 1831 - 1909
Kathleen's great great grandmother 1853 - 1931

Kathleen's great grandfather 1877 - 1935
Kathleen's great grandmother 1875 - 1936

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The birds have flown

Sometime late last night, or early this morning, our blackbird brood has flown. The nest is empty and I hope the four fledglings are safe somewhere, out of the reach of Ginger Cat and magpies.

This is the last picture I took (Friday dinnertime) when the most eager was flexing his feathers.

Last they had three broods, so watch this space in a few weeks.