Thursday, 29 March 2012

I saw something wicked in the strawberry patch....

7yo and Snowy

It is verging on bonkers here.

Thirty months ago we four, Hubby, the two sprogs and me, arrived to The Larches, catless, sheepless, chickenless, penniless.... (oh hang on, the last one has happened since we've been here.)

Yesterday I had a few pals and their children over for coffee. The Easter holidays have commenced and the sun was belting. According to Postie, as she sat sorting my mail, (bills and junk mostly) it was registering 26° in the van, in March!

‘We’ll pay for this,’ she predicted. An ominous statement. Bearing in mind that several parts of the country are already on hose pipe ban, I think the monthly instalments have already begun....

In the walled garden the mothers’ meeting was called to order over a slice of my coffee and several hunks of home-made Madeira cake... Yes you did read that right, I never really know how much ground coffee to put in the cafetiere. Still, it keeps you on your toes.

Although there were six, variously sized children in the vicinity, they seemed to prefer the privacy of the den, (a straw filled animal shelter in the field near the stables,) rather than the designed order of my raised beds. Now and again they popped back to display a wound, pilfer a cake or down a glass of juice.  Mothers took this opportunity to apply coconut smelling sun cream, heedless of yelps. 

‘There’s a chicken in the house,’ the smallest girl child pointed out as she waited in line to be basted.
She was right. The young white bantam is fearless, determined to seek out food where she isn’t welcome. Chickens are banned from the walled garden and, of course, the house. We temporarily evicted her but out of the corner of my eye I noticed Archie Archer, a black hen with attitude, had flown up and over the wall at the far end of the garden. While we fussed over the small bantam, she was checking out all the edible bits in the delphinium and lupin nursery bed.
Archie
Meanwhile the two lambs bombed up and down the pathways between the raised beds, checking out everything with their soft nibbly mouths. I was bemused to note that the children paid little heed to them while the lambs felt sure they were included in some huge chasing game. The two cats watched the madness from the top of the Shropshire stone wall, bathing in the sun.

Naughty Nibblers

Having just finished Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, I found it all highly amusing.

*
The building work is progressing well. The old porch is being replaced by another within the same footprint, though with marginally less woodworm and damp. Finally we will have a front door and a door bell! No longer will guests wander round and round the property, unsure of how to penetrate the gothic fortress, powerless to alert us to their presence, (as most mobile phones don’t work within 2 miles of the place.)
Old Porch

New Entrance

Coat and Welly Land...Yipeee!

The mums were fairly pleased with the vista, (of the builders I fear.) The smallest girl child was less keen and came to tell tales on the three men working on the house.
‘Those builders have taken their shirts off.’ She said looking stern.
We were restrained. We didn’t rush to look.
‘Come back and tell us if they take their trousers off,’ I advised. She nodded and toddled off.

The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon