I was going to miss February’s blog and do a bumper March, but March is such a positive word, solid and full of optimism. You would never call your child “February”, so airy fairy and neither committed to Spring nor Winter. My parents were married in February and I have many dear friends who have birthdays this month, so on we go. Actually, February has an R in it which is good as it means it’s ok to have Rabbit on the menu - note to chef!
Not that one!!
We did find a sweet nest while taking down the Christmas lights, I hope which ever bird it was will come back to breed again.
While we were away last year, for quite a long holiday, more than a week, a family of Sparrows moved into my bathroom, there was hay and twigs hanging out of the extractor grate. After the initial surprise I am now rather used to them and they are very used to the bath running and the whistling pipes (note to plumber!), and it’s now lovely to be serenaded by the wonderful birdsong and chatter. I feel very honored to be a part of all the news exchanges. I can understand why people have budgies living with them.
I am going down the slippery slope of favoritism, one of Duchess’s piglets, Babe, (big mistake, but couldn’t help it), has been in charge of her 9 brothers and sisters from day one. She was born first, and those extra few hours of milk make a big difference she is the biggest and prettiest (oh dear) and has a view on everything. She comes out to greet you when she is being fed and is very happy to have a scratch before and during breakfast and tea. This weekend the porkers were ear tagged and vaccinated, and as usual, Babe put herself first and didn’t complain at all. She then went to tell the rest what was coming and stood beside me to give them all encouragement!
I’ve since discovered that my mother in law scratches her and so does Pete, who is kind enough to do the early shift. She really does have the farm running round her.
Going back to birds, we have a very cheeky fly catcher (I think), who pops through a very small gap in our bedroom window, helps himself to a mouth full of flies and lets himself out. My bedroom is now fly-free though, so he followed us down to the kitchen and had a field day. When he was full, he grabbed a final mouthful and waited till I opened the kitchen door to the garden. I daren’t tell the children but I think he has the odd night inside when it’s very cold.
We have found a great new home for Black Adder. He has lived with his mother for 18 months and I think he needs some male company. A friend with a single Pygmy goat of a similar age called Cid is very happy to give Black Adder a home and male companion. We will miss him, and we will hopefully get photos of his new family. We hope to give Doris a chance to breed again, so watch this space.
We had a happy folk night, it was a sell-out. I have Nick Brooker at full volume in my car, he says he might have produced another CD before the next folk night in October, which I can look forward to.
We hope to get some tickets sold for Jon Brindley on 23rd February: home-made burgers of your choice and fries, only £10!
The Quiz night was hit by the icy weather, but there were still 5 teams and we made some much needed funds for the Leyburn scouts and we were really pleased to have our regular quiz masters back, Karin and Philip Sedgwick. Luckily the Berry’s staff put in a team otherwise we would have been last! The ‘Westies’ team have won both Berry’ quizzes now and need knocking off the perch. What is it about the Walden and West Burton teams? They know so much about everything!
On to March. Highland calves to look forward to, Berkshire gilts to farrow, pet lambs to train, eggs to hatch and as if that wasn’t enough to look forward to we are opening a new web site! The Wensleydale Experience! Through the web site you will be able to book events, yurts, meals to take away, farm tours, farm experiences, breakfast and supper and lunch to eat in your yurt, book meals in Berry’s – it’s going to be an action-packed Spring!
To finish, here is a little friend who looked a bit lost while his family had breakfast, luckily, they came back for him.
It reminded me of a story when a puppy was left in Berry’s car park, and no one came back for him, it’s a long story so it will have to wait till March!