My idea of retail therapy is definitely different from my friends. When feeling in need of a ‘lift’ I wandered on spec to the farm where I fell in love with Mango, after having had confirmation from the vet that Mango (the Mangalitza sow) and Sherlock (a heavenly boar), never got past learning good table manners. I wondered if there were any other Mangos to look at, I say "looking", I'm never happier than when looking at stock.
I was leaning over the wall admiring a Berkshire sow, (my first ever pet pig was a Berkshire sow called Hilda and is still talked about), and the stock man mentioned the immortal words "she's for sale"! It did set my mind racing and Duchess was ensconced at Berry's in Swinithwaite by the end of the week. Duchess has been a star ever since, she is a cracking mother, doesn't eat her water bowl, happy for any attention and never seems to grumble. Her latest piglets have all trotted off to a new barn and Sherlock is back happily with his first love.
On the December news front, Secret Santa came and the Manager had a huge parcel to open. - Must double check Santa's expenditure allowance. She was happy and Christmas was off to a good start.
We had a quiet-ish Christmas Day with all the children at home, which was a treat. The youngest was on call, so Church was signal dependent and Wensley seemed to be the best bet. Richard, the Organist was amazing at bringing the organ to life as we celebrated the birthday of Baby Jesus at the top of our voices and the sermon was very moving, all about Christmas cards, so I made a vow for next year to do a proper list for my cards and remember all my dear friends who through my disorganisation hadn't received a Christmas message from me this year.
Lunch of Highland beef fitted the bill and the Christmas sweaters were on show for the main event.
I always enjoy seeing how long I can last after Christmas without going shopping, this year was a record, I think it was the 13th January. We have used up all the unusual herbal teas and frozen milk from the freezer. However, when Archie rang to say he was coming home for supper I re-laid my triumph and he said he would probably stop by the Fish and Chip shop on the way!
Just before Christmas, my amazing Gardener put the roses to bed and it really was a work of art. He made it look very easy!
We all have different skills but I'm not sure I can make anything look like art!
As usual the Highland cows have been giving us all entertainment. The two Heifers managed to get themselves into a square wooden pen for a young tree, it looked like those unsolvable puzzles.
The cows looked like a Christmas scene in the snow.
I was surprised by how many Highland Christmas cards I received this year. The nativity message is truly lost on most cards these days, as long as it says Christmas somewhere and not "compliments of the season", I'm happy.
The young bullock has a very distinctive hair style, not sure the 60s fringe is ever going to come back. I am looking forward to getting to know these characters once they are naturally weaned off their mothers and we are feeding them every day with hay.
The snow is never popular with Flopsey, he buries himself in the hay and the only time you know which end is which is when he comes out for lunch. He genuinely loves the cuddles he gets on Farm Tours and finds Winter very boring.
Fatty, the Pheasant totally dominates my garden and the back garth. He rarely breaks out of a walk and looks magnificent in the sun, I wonder if he will entice some hens over for the Spring.
The team are as demanding as ever, they dictate when to be in or out because when I don't check the forecast and they feel they are in the wrong place, they are hard to ignore.
I have had fun writing up some walks around Berry's, it is so relaxing walking without my usual companions.
It means I can take in the views and take notes without any interruptions. The walks will be on the website soon in time for the longer days and more enticing weather.
I have noticed I have been left alone a great deal since the word "virus" was uttered. People stick their heads around the kitchen door and make hasty excuses of pressing jobs. I took my "virus" to the doctor yesterday who announced my chest was as clear as a bell and to go home and get on with life. Apparently, the virus will leave when it wants to.
On a note of Spring, these snow drops cheered me up, they look as though they are growing out of the meteorite that sailed through the skies on New Year's Eve.
Happy New Year.