Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Uplifting day of preparation

With only two days before Christmas I feel we ought to be racing from pillar to post doing all those pre-Christmas things that people do. Instead, we've had a productive day in preparation, for my daughter's family visit on Boxing Day, for the plants to have a sheltered spot in which to grow, for the chicken condo.

We have of course, done a food shop, replenishing things that have been eaten and storing away a couple of nice things for the Christmas holiday, but I don't feel the need to have loads of food in the house. We don't need more than we can eat before it spoils or that we have space for in our little freezer. We don't suddenly need lots of extra alcoholic drinks in the house, I am not drinking alcohol at the moment (as part of trying to help my adrenals recover) and Mr J likes a glass of white wine or two, but that's it.  So we were in and out of our local food store by half past nine this morning which left the rest of the day for us to do things that we find more fun.

I lost a good hour this morning being entertained by the chickens between shovelling barrow loads of hay and sawdust from the stable. With each load I told myself that in three or four years' time, the ever-growing heap of composting material would be a huge pile of sweet smelling, crumbly, rich compost with which to enrich the garden.

I put some meat into the oven so that it's cooked, cooled, carved and frozen in bags of two people portions, which makes for easy food at a later moment. I headed back out into the garden while the meat slow roasted in the oven.
First task was to do something about the decking outside the back door which becomes very slippery when it's wet. My sister had suggested that we used some chicken wire to make the decking more grippy. Last week I found some offcuts of chicken wire in the area behind the piggeries, so armed with a staple gun, I got that sorted out. It may not look terribly pretty, but it is functional and I hope, a little safer than before.

For lunch today, I made a cheese and spring onion omelette using eggs laid by the girls over the last two days. It feels rather special to be eating food that I know has come from happy hens who have spent their day scratching about in the garden, finding grubs and worms, flying insects and beetles.
This afternoon, trying to make best use of the short daylight hours, I tackled the next section of post and rail fencing by attaching windbreak fabric to it. I am not sure that I like the finished effect as it blocks our view across to the next field but it will help reduce the howling winds that rip across the garden. I will give it a couple of days and if I still don't like the look of it, I will have a careful think about how else I might achieve the same wind protecting result from a different material or method. It's all a learning process and we don't have to do anything by hard and fast rules, we are fortunate enough to have the time to make mistakes and try again.
Foiled by inclement weather, I had to stop just before I managed to finish this L-shaped section of fence. Mr J stopped his task to hold a golfing size brolly to try to protect me from the lashing rain but I was soaked and getting cold, so we did the sensible thing and retired to the warmth and cosiness of the kitchen. A cup of hot tea was in order.
Mr J took the lovely photo of the sun peeping through the trees during the early part of the afternoon, I hadn't seen it until we came back in from the rain and I think it's delightful.


  1. You may not love how the barrier looks now but when there is plants up the sides of it you won't even notice it! X

  2. Just catching up on your blog. It's amazing what you've achieved in a short time. Well done. Hope you and Mr J have a fantastic Christmas. xx


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