"How are you feeling?" It’s lovely having some concern as to my health. "No, how ARE you feeling?" I am in quarantine for 14 days, and there are a few sideways glances at every clearing of the throat. I feel good and will not be leaving the house other than for a short dog walk around the field. The restrictions are well worth taking for a week's babysitting in Geneva.
Off to the shops in Geneva
On the slide
I made new friends in the park while pushing the swing and finding my neighbouring swing was also a Granny - we chatted about "rest" times, food favourites and rather alarmingly how many languages did my granddaughter speak? I have made a mental note to improve my spoken French so I can converse with my granddaughter in due course.
There is something very healthy about Geneva. The population are all beautiful, and full of the vitality that comes with outside clean and active living. I felt my footwear let me down most: you must have a pair of designer white pumps, whether you are trotting out to dinner or playing in the sandpit - luckily Christmas isn’t far away. I will then be able to add my trainers to the line-up.
Row of trainers
I am lucky to have a sister living among the vineyards outside Geneva and I had some time off walking in the countryside. Instead of dogs to protect your house, we came upon some very vocal geese. We clearly looked suspicious and they were worried about the loaded quince tree in their yard.
The Quince tree
We did pass a lovely large white fluffy dog, a Pyrenees shepherd dog. Unlike our fleet of foot sheepdogs, these actually live with the flock of sheep and protect them from danger in the mountains. Talk about usefulness, and they look effective just standing still.
I was enchanted by the wild flowers in the park in Geneva.
Although we could compete with our wild crop of sunflowers this year, which has been a first for us.
Sunflowers at Swinithwaite
Before my summer break in Geneva, the boys slipped up to Northumberland for a festival of golf. They played on about eight courses and were fortunate with stunning weather. I was allowed to interrupt for one night and brought Bruce with me for a first blast on the beach, our first foray outside Wensleydale since March.
Bruce social distancing
Sunset in Northumberland
Bang on cue, Auntie produced ten stunning piglets, I think she heard us saying we would have to castrate the boys in this litter ourselves, as there are nine young boars! We are certainly going to get some practice in.
Auntie with a lot of boys
I am always surprised by the difference in colourings in one litter, and they all matter.
I was asked by an inquisitive fisherman in the car park what I had been spraying, I replied Rolo: the pony was getting flies in intimate parts, luckily he didn’t notice the scalpel. And Elspeth the horned Manx Loaghtan sheep saved the day - or rather the tail. We have had some horrid people who have cut Rolo’s tail and mane in the same week for the last two years - Tim had a brainwave and suggested that Elspeth lives with Rolo for a few weeks. If you don’t know where to scratch Elspeth, she gets very impatient and you get a sharp pair of horns at the end of a charge. It worked a treat. Although we could always resort to geese next year?
The farm lambs have been spruced up ready for the sales. They are clipped around the neck, chest and under belly. I can’t remember if they are meant to look longer, taller or just well dressed. The final touch is a spray tan so they look like they have been on holiday. Anyway, hopefully all the preparations will work and the farmers will be rewarded with some good trade.
Lambs all smartened up
All the trimmings
I was just beginning to think I had the vegetable gardening hobby sorted, with courgettes, spinach and cabbage (a bit holey), when I discovered I had competition for the beetroot. Every one had been gnawed - and clearly enjoyed.
Someone else likes beetroot
But the plums have been amazing, I am going to make plum jam during my quarantine and also step up my zoom pilates, organised by the beautiful Pose of Posie Pilates. She is very encouraging and understanding at every level. I am also going to learn French….tidy my office….order Christmas ca……...