Monday, 8 February 2016

6 reasons I feel happy today

Despite the weather being rather blustery we've achieved loads, laughed a lot and loved much.

The new chickens all made it through their first night and have learnt how to use the ramp to get them in and out of their house into the run. It won't be too long before we need to extend the run to give them more space to scratch and stretch. In a few weeks their house will be moved to the paddock into a large fenced area that will give them plenty of space to run about and live, I hope, very happily. I imagine that Jack and Diesel will continue to live in their house elsewhere in the garden, they are very much domesticated pets who run to greet us each time we walk outside and who are now used to having a free reign in the garden at the back of the house and more particularly, at the back of the piggeries. They come to us for a stroke and the occasional cuddle.
I have covered one open side of stable with a double layer of plastic sheeting which will let the light into the area but not the driving rain and howling wind. The stable will eventually become our chicken condo, a large dry light and airy space that the chickens can be in when the weather is too horrid for them to free range. I'm hoping that the ground below the opening will now start to dry out a bit so I can finish clearing it and then I can put in a deep layer of wood shavings and straw down for them to scratch and kick about. The other two sides of the chicken condo will have chicken wire on them so that plenty of fresh air can circulate but the girls will be secure.

Almost as I finished stapling the plastic sheeting into place the rain arrived and it was great to be able to stand in the stable watching the rain beat against the plastic and see none coming in. It seems that the idea had worked and hopefully it will stand up against the winds that are due to arrive with Storm Imogen (Is this naming of every storm a new thing? In the past I thought it was just called 'winter').

Just after lunchtime, my daughter and her partner arrived together with their two children. Grandson number one was keen to come and see the new chickens, so as soon as he had got out of their car, I took him to see the new arrivals which he approved of.

He'd brought with him an activity to do, so his father and he settled down on the rug in the living room. Grandson number one had used his pocket money to buy this and I was very impressed with it.
It was a plaster block that came with a small plastic hammer and what looked like a child's paint brush. The idea is to use the hammer to knock away the plaster and the brush to carefully brush it away to reveal little dinosaur bones imbedded in the plaster, which, once all the bones have been discovered, can be put together to make a dinosaur. It's not an activity to be carried out on a carpet without a protective cover. I can recommend it as a great activity.
Grandson number one is learning about dinosaurs at school and, having found his dinosaur bones will be taking the model, the unbroken plaster (which has a nice 'fossil' shape in it) and the digging tools to school this week to show his friends and teacher.
Grandson number two is now 12 weeks old and is very lovely. He's a strong, robust young chap with a winning smile and a healthy pair of lungs. When he's hungry there is no doubt about it, he can certainly get his needs heard. Both Mr J and I took turns to coo at him and received beaming smiles in return.

I relish moments like these, three generations spending time together in the cosy warmth of the house and each other's affection. There aren't very many days that my daughter and I don't speak to each other, we have a good relationship that seems to have us spending a lot of time laughing together. We share the same sense of the absurd and laugh at the same sorts of things, which is very often ourselves.

The younger generations timed their departure perfectly. There was just enough time for Mr J to make me a cup of tea and put the television on to watch the Ireland v Wales match. I had hoped it would be a close match, I'm not a fan of matches were it feels a bit one-sided and I wasn't disappointed. I was also pleased to see that the spectators behaved well because I was saddened at the booing and jeering I heard during the Scotland v England match on Saturday. There is a code of conduct that makes rugby really rather special and that sportsmanship has traditionally also applied to supporters, sadly I've noticed over the last two or three years that some yob behaviour seems to be creeping into the spectator stands.

The early evening was spent making the house as warm as possible for the night, the storm had arrived and was making the solar panels shake on the roof. Having completed the kitchen curtains first thing in the morning, it was lovely to shut the world out but still the curtains moved in the wind so I put up a second heavily lined curtain behind it, just over the section where the patio door opens and lets the draught in.  Once this storm is over we can look at adding an additional draught-proofing strip to the door to reduce the amount of draught blowing in through the patio doors.

After supper Mr J lit a fire in the lounge wood burner and we curled up on the sofa and watched Call the Midwife, I was falling asleep by half way through it and so at nine o'clock headed for bed, warm and happy. It has been a good weekend.


  1. Good to see that you had a good weekend. That dinosaur activity looks to be great fun. Flighty xx

  2. GG1 loved the dinosaur and very proudly told his teacher during show and tell. By the sounds of the questions he was asked the talk turned into a talk about grandmas farm, which he is also very proud of!

  3. Obviously a budding archeologist! I've never seen that activity before but it sounds as though it was a great hit. Sheila xx


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