The builders managed to dig, have inspected and filled the foundations on Tuesday, which was fantastic. It was a logistical nightmare to arrange and Olly and I certainly felt we had a few more grey hairs by 6pm than when we woke up, but we managed it. However, our feeling of achievement and organisation was short lived when we double checked the delivery time of the ground floor flooring. We thought it should be here on Friday, but when we rang the Builders Merchants to find out what time on Friday they told us that it wouldn’t be here until the 4th May. If this was the case then it would mean that our builders would have nothing to do until it arrived and would have to start a job elsewhere and come back when that was finished which would probably mean beginning of July. I know nothing about building, but one thing I do know… You don’t let builders leave until they’re finished!! After a frantic day of ringing around to get similar flooring from another supplier, we resigned ourselves to the fact that it would have to be Plan B. Plan B involves a traditional wooden floor instead of the ‘Block and Beam’ (concrete) floor that we were supposed to have. To be honest, I quite like the idea that we are using less concrete and going back to traditional, but on the down side it means that the floor is a lot more flexible which makes things like the washing machine more noticeable when in motion. Not a train smash, and certainly something I can live with, but a deviation off plan very rarely saves money!! Also, it meant that the builders had nothing to do from Thursday until the floor was built so this weekend was spent learning the craft of floor joists and noggins. Not something that every woman would love to spend doing on their 40th Birthday weekend, however, strangely, it was good to help build something that you are one day going to reap the benefits for, and most importantly, we are all up to date for them to arrive back on Monday.
So, yes, on Friday I turned 40 and what a fantastic day it was! I awoke to a plethora of presents. Olly had decided to buy me a present for each of my years which was such a lovely thought and he had obviously gone to a lot of thought with each and every one. He even wrote a little riddle in my birthday card to keep me guessing about what was going to happen over the day! At 9.30am my best friend from Hampshire arrived and whisked me off to a Spa for the day! We had a pedicure, full body massage and facial along with a lovely lunch on the terrace of a very beautiful hotel and an hour long gossip in the Jacuzzi…. What girl could ask for more?! And in the evening, Olly pretended we were going to the local pub (never believed him) and instead we met up with our lovely friends Wayne and Dee and went to a really lovely pub for supper and more than one bottle of wine!
But the icing on the cake for the whole weekend had to be the arrival of our beautiful, lovely, gorgeous, mouth-watering pigs! Olly and I went to pick up our lovely three boys today and are delighted with them. They seem to have settled in really well and are loving their new spot in a Gloucestershire Orchard. Just the place for a Gloucestershire Old Spot, of which folk lawe says that they have their black spots due to the bruising caused by the apples falling off the trees! It’s a funny old thing, raising your own meat. Its day one and already I have had numerous fights between my head and my heart. The boys are just lovely, so cute and defenceless that you find yourself wondering how you could ever eat them, especially when it’s in your control to stop it… but there in lies the hypocrisy. Because, if I feel like that about an animal that I can see alive and having a great time sleeping in the long grass and turning over virgin ground then how can I pick up a packet of sausages or a joint of pork (or any other type of meat) from the butcher or supermarket and not think it’s same thing - or even worse – it hasn’t had a life of sleeping in the long grass or turning over virgin ground – it’s just been brought up in a shed, that has never seen real daylight. All too often, we turn a blind eye, or don’t even give a thought for exactly what it is we are eating and by having the boys here gives me the opportunity to do so. I believe in eating meat and I believe in eating happy meat and quite frankly, if I have a problem with taking these boys to slaughter in a few months time I should become a vegetarian, which will never happen!
In the meantime, I will make sure they have a happy, stress free life and will enjoy every minute I spend with them.
Other farm news….. Grey chicken has decided it’s time to up the numbers and is sitting on around 10- 12 eggs. They are a real mix of her own, the other chickens and some ducklings thrown in for good measure. I will have to step in at some point because duck eggs take 28 days to hatch whilst chickens are 21 which probably means the ducklings will spend their last week in the incubator… I will do my best not to cock it up.
Other than that, it’s upwards and onwards. I’m looking forward to my forties immensely. I feel it comes with challenge and ambition, not to mention excitement, worry, tension and stress…. But everyone needs a bit of that in order to keep life vibrant, don’t they?..