Sunday, 28 December 2008

Bruces Tree and Christmas

The picture is the tree we planted earlier this year in memory of our dearest old friend Bruce Watts who tragically died last year, too soon, too early and too young. While the boys were here for Christmas we managed to move an enormous great heavy whinstone boulder that had been taken from the heart of our house when it was being renovated and we felt it was just the right thing for the little plaque we had made to mark Bruce's tree. It was a laugh a minute moving the rock but like the Stonehenge Druids or the Egyptian Pyramid builders we managed to get it into position with levers, rollers and lots of cursing, we made a video of the proceedings which is both funny and entertaining but fails to qualify for You've Been Framed as amazingly, nobody ended up with a crushed foot or toe, of course had Bruce been here he would have had both!

Because Roly was away for Christmas we have been able to let the hen girls out to free range, they have loved it and even laid an egg in a bush by the backdoor for us yesterday.

The new doves have settled in well and do a lot of flapping and cooing and even a bit of kissing, we could yet get babies for the spring.

Sam never got back for Christmas, in fact on Christmas Day he was to be found testing metal panels in a narrow pipe ten feet into the water under an oil rig, he was both terrified and exhilarated and says it counts as his most unusual location for spending Christmas Day yet. As the rig was Danish they had Christmas dinner on Xmas Eve and he said the spread was wonderful, when he hit the sack later on the company had put a card and a box of chocolates on each of their pillows. He is now in Denmark onshore and flies back to Aberdeen tomorrow to have another Christmas with us.

The floor in the byre was laid in time for the party on the 23rd and looks fabulous, a few finishing touches to do but it passes muster and was tested when some blonde bird slopped Vintage Bolly on it and it never left a mark at all.

Happy New Year to you all from all at the Farm.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

New Doos ....again

This is one of my new doos. They arrived on Tuesday and have settled in well, meet Ben and Jerry and Holly and Ivy. They are about five months old so a lot older and wiser than the others when they arrived. On the first night they seemed a bit reluctant to go into the warm and cosy nesting holes but by last night all had found a place and this morning they are sunning themselves on the ground under the dove cote.

It is quite amazing that they are so settled, as less than 24 hours after arriving the bloody Hound of the MoonzieMills from next door bounded in and launched himself at the wire netting in an excited frenzy. One of the doos got a bit tangled in the wire and damaged a wing but apart from a bit of blood seems to have got over it. The dog was duly reprimanded and given a taste of his shock collar by the owner, whether it will work remains to be seen.

Since they have arrived we have had terrifically high winds but they are all safe and secure and will remain inside until April. So that I do not cause undue upset by going in to feed we have invented a feeding tube from a funnel and a pipe and I decant the feed into the feed bowl from outside the homing cage. It works very well and causes less stress than me going into the run twice daily. I can also fill the water containers with a watering can from the outside too.

On deciding on names for them I wanted something a bit seasonal and Holly and Ivy for the girls seemed ideal, however the boys names were harder, Noel might have been OK but I loathe Noel Edmonds and Wencleslas, Balthazar and Melchior were all a bit of a mouthful. Mind you Caspar would have been nice but as I was consuming a whole tub of Ben and Jerrys Chubby Hubby (Fudge-Covered Peanut Butter-Filled pretzels in vanilla Malt Ice Cream Rippled with Fudge & Peanut Butter) at the time it just struck me as to how right the choice would be. Anyway Rudolph hardly seemed to fit a little white doo. And as I only ever eat a whole tub of ice cream at a time at Christmas ( it is good for stress) I decided that the names were most appropriate.

I eventually got round to planting my daffodil bulbs, they had been bought in September and the net bag put into the shed by the back door. Every time I went to get a beer or some spuds I felt very guilty as they were actually sprouting quite nicely through the net and growing to a fair size. As I did not fancy having a nice spring display in the cupboard I relented and planted them today. Still have to get the garlics in too but as they were only due in last month feel less guilty about them, as it is such a brilliant day weather wise I will plant them after lunch.

We are all geared up to getting the floor laid in the byre, Herb has used the time the byre has been out of action to repaint Jousters boom in it and inflate and check his dinghy, however they are getting the boot today in preparation for the lovely oak floor due any day now, well Tuesday but we have hopes it could arrive as early as tomorrow. Pictures to follow.

Off to cook some more of Nigellas wonderful treats although in my case I will not be wearing a low slung cashmere jumper and oozing scrummy, yummy mummy over the top gush while I fondle my little pearly orbs ( silverskin onions to you and I)

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Freezing weather

Things have been a bit quiet down at the farm for the last week or so, no more mink appearing and after I spent near enough £20 on a special trap, but we have caught 3 rats and 5 mice in more traditional traps.

The doves are nicely settled inside the homing cage and will stay put until the winter is over. I hope to get some new doves before Christmas so they can well and truly home before release day. It seems a shame to trap the doves inside and not allow them to fly at all but they do a fair bit of flapping and wing stretching and get up and down to the ground most days.

The chickens soldier on, still no eggs at all from Trinny and Susannah or The Miserable Veras but the other four are doing great, Poppy will be three in January soon so we will be planning a chicken birthday party for her in the New Year! Yes I am completely potty! I guess in human years she must be coming up for 30, a real old spinster.

Christmas is coming soon, from looking like we would have all three boys home it now looks like Murray will have to be the sole lad to be spoiled, pampered and generally fussed over. Sam goes offshore on the 20th and Stu has at last got his first Saturation Diving job starting next week in Denmark. He could just get home in time, hope that he is not still speaking like Donald Duck, a strange phenomenon from breathing helium. The first time he called me from the Sat Chamber when he was training I thought it was some pervert!

UPDATE on the flooded byre. Our new wooden floor is being laid on the 23rd of December! So all being well we will be back in the room on Christmas Eve, in case you have forgotten the flood was on August 13th and it has taken this long for the insurance company to sort it, still it should be lovely when it is done!