Wednesday, 18 January 2012


We are no further with the decorating, life has whizzed passed and we are living in upside down world where dishes, pots, pans etc are secreted in every place in the house, other than the place they ought to live - the kitchen. At least the dust has settled and I'm sure by the 15th wash-down, it will be safe enough to begin our painting.

The roosters have gone.... can't quite tell you where, for fear of exposing myself to recrimination from the sproglets. For now, let's just say they went to the poultry auction.....

The cold has finally arrived and I have been forced, on three nights, to light my paraffin heater in the green house. So far, the plants look fine and I ventilate the space well when I can. It's these chilly days when I sit in my office and write and edit and edit and write, that I want tea and hot buttered toast and stew and potatoes and very possibly Coq au Vin! I'll have to check my freezer for good ingredients!

A new cat has appeared on the site. He looks very like Tabby or Benny and from a distance we thought it was one of our boys. But this one is tubby. He's really friendly and I can't believe he doesn't belong to someone. For now he's content to sleep with the horses in the stables, though he has politely asked to come indoors and soon I feel sure he will suss the cat-flap. I'm not against him adopting us really, I just don't want Tabby or Benny to leave home because of him. We'll see what happens.

The 9yo has been petitioning for lambs and while there is a stable we can use to house some cades, (orphans we'll raise by bottle,) our fences are only good for corralling bigger beasts. What. To. Do? I suppose it electric fencing, but this is a whole new foray for us. The farmers around here have all raised cades and they tell me 'NO, DON'T DO IT!'

Then again, that means that they've done it and have had that experience. I'm pleading the Doubting Thomas card on this one, basically I've got to see how bad an experience it is for myself.

IF we do get 2 cades, one for the 9yo, one for the 7yo, they'll be long-term pets, raised as lawn mowers...... hmmmm, we'll see.

This morning I was reminding the sprogs about rehearsing guitar for their Thursday lesson. I've constructed quite a good rewards chart on a white-board in the kitchen (covered in dust!) and have displayed pretty decent prizes in the glass cabinet of the Welsh dresser. A friend remarked that this was like an elaborate arcade game and she's quite right. With 7 points the sprogs get to choose a prize. This morning the 9yo won a bottle of mouth wash. Don't mock! Whatever floats their boat is in that dresser.

Guitar practise is one of the steps in my incentive programme........ I'm sure I did something similar to car dealers when I worked for Nissan a zillion years ago!

'Don't forget guitar tonight,' said I. 'You've got to learn the new tune you've been given by Thursday, so's your teacher can test you.'

There were groans from the back seat as we drove to school this morning.

'We'll check out your tune on the Internet again,' I said to the boy. 'So that we can try to remember how it goes, as I just don't know it.'

It's easy for me when they get set a tune like Jingle Bells or Twinkle Twinkle, I know those tunes and can hum along, but this new one La Bergamasca, though sweet, is new to me and I can't quite fix it in my head. Therefore can't tell if they are playing the correct notes or not but it's great to see and hear it being played online.

'How old are you mummy?' Boy asked.

I smiled, clever ruse really, trying to change the subject.

'I'm 46 but I want you to tell everyone that I'm 43.' I replied.



'OK,' he said. 'But if you're 46 you should know the tune. Mr Burgess, [the guitar teacher,] said it was a really old tune and as you're really old, you should know it.'

'Good point,' said I. Sob..... that's not S.O.B....just sob! sniff.

The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon