I am turning into my Mother! I am starting to talk to my children through my grandchildren. While washing a large pair of wellington boots, I found myself thinking if I had my little granddaughter here I would say, “so Daddy didn’t wash his wellies before putting them away” - how crazy is that?! Summer, my granddaughter, although clearly advanced is not talking yet and if she was would she be interested in washing wellingtons? She might be interested in washing dog saliva off her favourite cardigan. I can’t remember what she talked to my children about, but I remember thinking she could just ask me!
I felt very honoured to have the little family based here for all of January. Watching your children cope with relative ease with the new excitement of a baby is totally absorbing. And the 120-year old cradle was a saviour for the daytime naps. But I am being put to the test this weekend as my husband and I are babysitting for a whole evening while the parents fly into Newcastle and dance away at a wedding. Luckily I have notes, apps and google.
I think Summer must be clocking up more AirMiles® than most adults. Luckily, the scales were broken at the airport so no weight penalties.
Summer at the Airport
I definitely need yellow in my life and I was heartened by this little pansy struggling in a gale to make a breakthrough.
A Gallant Pansy
I was thinking there is hope while I was looking at a scullery which is currently a meter deep in dirty washing and an office where the carpet colour is confined to memory, and then to add to the joy of the pansy came a delivery from a mind reader, this!
A Glorious Bunch of Yellow
So I am set on the path to Spring: hope, light, colour and all things positive.
To lift my spirits after the farewell of the young family was Bruce (a young Labrador), who did a completely wild dance on the lawn for about 15 minutes. I am not sure he has had a lot of attention recently, and couldn’t believe I was watching him with undivided attention.
Bruce's Usual Attention Sharing!
With the drama of a collapsing front wall before Christmas, we had the worry of young children and dogs getting straight onto a busy road. It was a relief to see it repaired before there were any casualties.
Repairing the Wall
Clearly when these wonderful walls were built along the roadside, they were coping with horses and carts and maybe the odd coach and horses. So the endless lorries careering past would eventually be too much vibration. Thinking of the coach and horses reminded me of a wonderful photograph of my Father who, amongst his many other talents, drove a coach and horses as a hobby, with my lovely Mother as passenger.
Coach and Horses - with me in the back?
I had the misfortune to lose my Barclaycard recently, which meant none of us had credit cards while the new ones were issued. And Adrian forgetting my misfortune happily filled up his truck with fuel at his favourite Shell garage, only realising his dilemma when he tried to pay. So it was all pockets turned out and every ash tray emptied, but it still didn’t quite add up. He must have an honest face because the wonderful lady behind the till said she would sub the amount until he could swing by later when he had sorted out his liquidity. Poor Adrian couldn’t sleep until we had left the appropriate envelope with the wonderful cashier at Shell, so “thank you” as the radio programme says!
The pigs enjoyed the end of Christmas, extra greenery to munch through, which is a rarity when they are not running around in the woods.
Our Pigs Finishing Off Christmas
But we have helped with a delivery of fodder beet to give them more variety - they love them and get quite possessive!
Berkshires Enjoying Their Fodder Beet
The traffic light bull (see last blog) isn’t the only animal with fertility issues - the vet confirmed our lovely young hornless Highland heifer, H , isn’t in calf - no one seemed too keen to check whether young Blondie was better placed.
Young Blondie, is she or isn't she?
It wouldn’t be the same with no Highland calves this Spring - I’m thinking it must be more of a climate thing after the long drought of 2018?
The young calves are getting the hang of being inside for Winter and the eldest one is certainly one of team now.
Last Year's Young Calf Muscling In
Wonderful Rolo is enjoying his extra hay and will soon be ready for his Spring makeover of feet, teeth and worming.
Rolo in the Hay
Fairhurst's at Berry’s enjoyed a wild Burns evening, a sellout - with pipes and Haggis being accompanied with much jollity. A quieter evening is planned for Valentine's with a mouthwatering menu. Again, tickets are selling fast, I have two, I couldn’t resist the scallops and beef fillet and I am sure it will be an evening full of romance.
Our family celebrations continued with my Mother-in-Law reaching 80, more lovely balloons for Summer to wonder at.
There Really Are 80 Candles!
More Balloons to Wonder At!
And a wonderful guest brought some of these delicious apples from Hereford, there were at least five different varieties all from the same orchard.
Basket of Apples from Hereford
There is something very special about the light at this time of year, similar to the Autumn light.
Spring Light and Colour
Early Signs of Daffodils
It is certainly the signal for the daffodils to spring into light, we are back to yellow again!