So - when did every sentence begin to start with “so”? And what does it mean? First whinge.
Second whinge - when did dental hygienists become so fierce? I came out of my last appointment with bleeding gums, white knuckles and a flea in my ear about how to clean my teeth and a few other routines I have to do on the way to bed - I’m nearly 60! Granted it has been a few years since my last visit but I distinctly remember a nice tasting pink stuff rubbed over my teeth and congratulations for brushing action.
Third whinge - why can I never operate a shower or bath taps unless they are in my own bathroom? We were lucky enough to be invited to two weddings in Wales last month and staying in a lovely hotel, I headed to the bath as the shower looked like an instrument of torture. I found the only knob was a simple round silver disc, not a tap or plug in sight. After pulling the disc out too far, the water started but I couldn’t stop it or find a plug - Adrian was texted to come and stop the bath water, and he headed for the shower to stop the water! How did he know to look there?
And just one last thing while I am getting a few things off my chest: why does no one ever use surnames any more? I was asking a lady who worked at a large feed depot what the surname was of a cheery man who always greeted me with a smile, thinking he could have been at school with my children. Her response was that she wasn’t on surname terms!
Ok, back to this lovely week in Wales. I mustn’t hold the bath plugs against them - we were so privileged to be asked to the weddings of two cracking couples, and what a joy to witness so much energy and love, it affected all of us as witnesses. And to complete the first few days, we were guided around a stunning National Trust Garden called Boddnant. I was thrilled with the Rose garden, and Adrian loved the tall trees that seemed to go on forever without reaching the top.
Rose Garden at Boddnant
Huge trees at Boddnant garden
We then had a beautiful drive through Snowdonia and Adrian spotted some heather on a hillside, so the holiday was complete.
The author on holiday at the beach in Wales
Continuing on with the garden theme, we have a bed of pink roses that are just starting to come out. Along with the silver birch tree and the cat mint, it reminded me of the wedding we had this time last year. The pink roses were not put off at all by the drought and saved the day.
Pink roses with wedding memories
The young south Devons often come to check the garden over. I think they feel sad that we only have a rather dry looking lavender bed to eat, grass that is mere millimetres long and not a buttercup in sight.
The young South Devon cattle checking the garden out
Having just finished reading a book about the secret life of cows, I feel I've been very cruel in not adding an older cow in with them to show them the ropes, I will in future.
The short horned bull, Fortune Maker, has come up trumps - he has sired a calf every day for six days; clearly he has taken a leaf out of the good Lord’s book and rested on the seventh day. We will wait to see what happens with the final five South Devon cows.
Our first calf from a Short Horn father
The first of our South Devon cross short horn calves, no doubting Dad here!
And he is back! What an entrance, Moretti son of Mercedes is back in Swinithwaite. The warm-up act was a blonde who did a turn and then made way for the main event. He looks fab and will be staying with us for around nine weeks, hopefully organising some Highland calves for next spring.
Moretti - the main event!
The blonde/white cow and her lovely calf have come along for the ride. When her owner said he had a white cow with horns going in different directions, I really had to see her, so she is here for the Summer for all to admire.
A blonde with white handlebars
The piglets continue to escape - the young gilts have gone into the wood and seem less inclined to break out than their brothers. They have certainly had a taste of freedom and all the farm tours recently have included a chasing of sorts to round them up.
Tim and the escapees
The pet lambs have adjusted to the big wide world. They look like the three musketeers, and love the occasional milk bottle when the onlookers volunteer.
The Three Musketeers
We enjoyed two farming events in June. First up, we had Open Farm Sunday, where around 80 people came around the farm, learned about farm husbandry and had fun finding out what plant stems, leaves and roots look like under a microscope.
Open Farm Sunday
Rolo with his Fan Club on Open Farm Sunday
Fairhurst’s at Berry’s then held a Hay Festival on 22nd June; the sun shone and the courtyard was full of spinners, stick makers, mat and carpet makers, painters, potters, wood carvers and the space that was left was taken up by folk bands and dancers. We even had a casting display with a fly fisherman.
My son had a free weekend and booked a yurt, swapping Clapham traffic for the little owls and cows. He took a photo from his yurt door, and had a long soak in the hot tub, going for the whole experience.
The view from the yurt
Bruce the puppy is enjoying his new dog bed.
Puppy has a new bed
This is the expression that means, "if you don’t feed me soon I will disappear completely".
"I will disappear if I am not fed soon!"
If it rains this month, I will be dropping a fly in the water; if it is dry, we will be making hay; and happy either way.