Hello Everyone !
I haven't posted for over a week as I have been so busy. I'll bring you up to date without giving you a blow by blow account of the last week.
But firstly, A warm Derbyshire welcome Judith in N.Z on my follower bar and Shirley, Penny and Su on Blog Lovin
The lambs are coming on really well. As this blog title suggests we have had a bit of a gender issue here. Arnie is older than the other three and his tail and gonads had already fallen off when we bought him. When we banded the other three's tails last weekend we looked to see if Arnie had a clean site where his balls had been. Oops ! Girly Bits ! Arnie is a girl!. We've only been keeping sheep for 30 years, how were we to know?!
A few posts ago I put up a recipe for Mincemeat cake. This has been really popular with us and with other bloggers. However, I made a batch of three a few days ago and they needed a lot longer in the oven than those I had made previously. As I had used a different oven to the one I usually use I thought that might be the reason. I then had a comment from J>Moose to say her cake was undercooked too. I wonder if the kind of mincemeat used will also make a difference, with everyone's mincemeat recipes being different. If you having a go at the recipe I advise that you do the clean knife test to ensure it is cooked properly.
The bees are flying well and we are starting to allow ourselves to believe that they really have all made it through the winter. D. is working really hard to build enough spare hive parts so that we can sell a couple of hives in a few weeks time when the colonies have built up. He is also enlarging the chicken house and increasing the number of laying boxes in the orchard chicken house. There has been much hammering and banging in the workshop this week
My friend J. who lives in Cornwall has been staying here all this week and she loves to work on the bee frames - mending, assembling and putting in new wax foundation. this has been really useful and has helped to put us in front a little more. She has also been barrowing horse manure from the paddock. This has been thrown over the fence by our neighbour, who has a horse in stables. You will gather that J. likes to be busy and useful.
She and I have been to Derby to have a trip down memory lane. It really has changed and I realise that I am truly a country hick now!
J. and I met when we crossed the road that divided her house from mine when we were both three years old. Let's be accurate here, I was two and a half and she was three - I continually remind her that she is older than I ! That was sixty five years ago.You could play in the street and cross a road in those days. I remember a few years later we would sit in the gutter with a piece of paper (soap wrapper) and a pencil taking car numbers, we even had time to note the colour down too as there were so few. We would sit there, picking at the melting tar with lolly sticks, listening for the sound of an engine, pencils poised.
Many years later after qualifying as a nurse, she followed her sailor husband to Cornwall when he was stationed in Plymouth. She now lives in Callington and we stay with her on out frequent sea fishing trips in Looe.
And speaking of Fishing, J. goes back to Cornwall tonight and we set off tomorrow for the first fishing trip of the year!
So the next 24 hours will be spent getting packed and making sure that the house and animals are ready for YD who will decamp to ours to look after the small holding while we are away. We will be back by Sunday afternoon (in time for the family to arrive for tea) This trip YD will have 4 lambs to bottle four times a day too. What would we do without her?.. she is a star!!
I have just realised that if I write about everything I have to say, this post will be far too long and I will probably get little else done. So I will close for now and get on with my huge list of jobs.