Tuesday, 3 August 2010

So, what’s to report?.... well, life is moving on. Our friend Wayne tells us that summer is over, but I refuse to believe him. We still have the whole of August and September to go. To me Autumn isn’t here until October and even then, if last year was anything to go by, it could still feel like late summer! I would say we are mid summer now, and although we are not getting the clear blue endless days of May and June, it is still warm and the garden still needs rain!

I booked the pigs in to the abbatoir yesterday. You have to book them in two weeks in advance. It took at least an hour for me to build up to making the call. I feel a tremendous sense of betrayal. After the call I went and sat with them for a while. They are totally trusting of me and are happy to lie beside me whilst I scratch their tummies – oh, if only they knew. However, if I wasn’t able to do this, then I wouldn’t have them and the demand to breed them wouldn’t be there if everyone felt that way, and then they’d be just another breed that had become extinct. These are truly the happiest pigs on the planet and I do believe that their meat is going to taste absolutely fantastic as a result. They have lived longer than commercially breed pigs ever would have, have fed off apples and lush grass from the orchards along with pig nuts and vegetable cuttings from the garden – they want for nothing and have a lovely time and we have enabled that to happen for them and for that I am proud. Orders have started to come in for our free range pork which is great. My biggest fear is that we cannot sell all the meat as that will put a kybosh on us getting anymore which would be a great shame. If anyone would like any, please contact me and let me know – whilst we cannot post the meat we can certainly see if we can deliver to your area. I am doing a run down to Hampshire to my parents and a few of their friends so anything is possible. 

Another revelation has come about. I got up early one morning and was tottering around the house when I heard Pavarotti, our cockeral, let out his usually morning call only to be followed a few seconds later by a similar call yet sounding as if the cockeral was being strangled at the same time whilst crowing badly out of tune. It certainly wasn’t from Pav, as it was coming from the lean to attached to the house and not the hen house. I opened the top of the stable door in the kitchen, looked into the lean to and saw Gloria standing there as proud as anything!! We now have definitive proof – Gloria is a boy! We should, of course, change his name to Gavin, Graeme or Gareth but somehow, none of these fit so I think Gloria will remain. I quite like this idea and have come to think of Gloria as the Tranny of the Cockeral world – it suits her love of the mirror and her girlish reaction whenever she sees Pav (she still screams and runs in the other direction!). So although Gloria is definitely a boy I will continue to refer to her in the female and continue to call her Gloria – it just fits! 

The lovely Gloria

The ducklings are coming on well, although they have worked out how to get out of their enclosure I made for them so how long it will be before a bird of prey or heron comes along I don’t know. I keep trying to usher them back in but as soon as my back is turned they are out again.

The Stables are progressing nicely. Olly has completed the electrics and plaster boarding upstairs with the help of our friend Tom and is now at work on the downstairs. We have a friend of ours from our old village coming up to spend a couple of days with us next week to help Olly with the plumbing and stuff. This is brilliant news as Richard is a real ‘doer’ who I know will help us immensely. I am hoping that we will see real progress in the days that he is here.

Lastly, my veg have been going great guns! We have carrots, lettuce, onions, courgettes, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage…. Have never had a bumper crop quite like it!