Saturday 31 December 2016

Sad End To The Year

Its a sad end to the year on our little ranch,
Yesterday mama dove was attacked by the rouge buzzard that hangs about here.
Daddy dove carried on with feeding and come evening he was in with the babies.
When Martin checked this morning
Our two baby doves were dead, 
Daddy dove didn't manage to keep them warm through the night, doves share the responsibility of raising young, so we assumed he would manage.
We are now left with 3 males, the buzzard has taken 3 females along with chickens since we have been here.
While there is this constant threat I don't think we will be replacing the females.
Life will go on regardless, I just regret having not rescued the babies yesterday after the loss of the female, I also regret having the doves brought here.
Let's hope 2017 is a good year.
Diary (final extract)
Friday 31st December 1982
Went to Carmarthen bought Harrier WT2 walkie talkie, had a look round town, very nice had lunch in Littlewoods.
Phoned mother at 2-30am they had just walked back from Embassy new year eve party.
The diary finishes here, I suppose a new one was started, I guess at some point they got married from other bits and bobs that were found along with the diary, I have found out they lived here until retirement when they sold up and moved back south.

Friday 30 December 2016

A Little Bit Unwell

We both got laid up tummy bugs, Martin started feeling poorly Wednesday evening and I started feeling poorly yesterday, needless to say we haven't done anything.
Yesterday was spent on the sofa in front of the fire.
I did go off to bed a couple of times to sleep it off.
Today we are both feeling a lot better, Martin has been back concreting in the Alpaca shelter.
I was still feeling a bit washed out but got a bit of sewing done.
Wednesday before bug hit I had made up a pot of soup.
I dug up a nice size leek from the garden.
 The leeks are a lovely thick size this year
chopped up with some potatoes and a bit of an onion that was sitting in the fridge, added some chicken stock and mixed herbs
Blended to nice thick creamy Leek and Potato soup.

Wednesday 29th December 1982
John and Douglas fitted up CB ariel, Molly and I went for drive around and bought petrol, coal and shopping.
Tried out CB handsets could not transmit very far.
 Jones phoned about delivery of straw, trailer and lorry load over £1.20 per bale, too dear.
 Delivery promised fro dealer who let us have 45 bales for £2 a ton cheaper, delivery within two weeks.

Thursday 30th December
Went to Carmarthen, bought coaxial cable for CB's, roasting pan, wok and CB ariel. 

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Wild Things

Baby Doves 6 days old
 Martin managed to get a photo of the yesterday when mama dove came down to feed, the nest is looking very messy and mucky but we are not interfering 
Walking over the fields there is lots of areas being rutted up
 We suspect it is Badgers
 we are going to try going out into the fields at night to see if we can spot them,
Martin has been busy up at the Alpaca field shelter 
He has started laying down the concrete pad on the inside.
Today should see the last of the concrete go down.
He did do a little job for me in my cabin
 Martin got me a lovely flat screen TV for Christmas, it was his job to get it mounted in the cabin
 Perfect fit.
I have been working on a new big project, this time its for us pop over to my craft blog to see.

Monday 27th December 1982
Chores morning and evening,
went out for a drive to Cardigan, on the way went through Cenarth and stopped at some lovely falls, enjoyable day.
John fixed window on pick up, glass had come adrift from holder.

Tuesday 28th December
Chores morning and evening.
Went for a drive to Carmarthen, all shops still closed, had coffee and buns then went on to Cothi, Tally, Abergorlech then Gwenogle and home.

Monday 26 December 2016

A Fishy Day

That's it over for another year, I hope you all had a good one,
After the morning feed round was done, Martin made breakfast, 
Scramble eggs and smoked salmon,
We then made inroads into the presents, there did seem a lot of stuff there, Sol had his stocking filled by the big man
 He loved tearing open his pressies
 And worked his way through his stocking
we then headed off down to the beach, it was lovely and calm and the beach was empty, the occasional dog walker arrived.
 late lunch a carrot for Sol
 we had a little picnic of sausage rolls mince pies and cake, we took along a flask as well.
 I took along my metal detector that I got for my birthday last month
 And found treasure
A strip of copper, and a walnut I found on the beach.
we returned home in time to do evening feeds,
A late dinner sat in front of the fire 
 Scallops and Chorizo
 followed by lobster with a garlic and mayo dip.
 Christmas is now over the toys are broken, but Sol did have a lot of fun, pulling out the stuffing.
I hope everyone had a nice peaceful relaxing day we did.

Saturday 25th Dec 1982
Xmas Day.
Chores all done, mother rang spoke to all, David rang, Fran rang, Mrs Coates rang.
Had breakfast, Santa left me a stocking, opened presents, had a lovely day, had dinner after Queens speech, tree looked lovely with lights. Parcel from Richard and Cheryl contained everything for xmas except kitchen sink ha ha.
Happiest xmas I can remember for a long time.

Sunday 26th December 1982
Boxing Day
Chores morning and evening.
Mother phoned to say they we home from Eileens.
Somber Day.


Saturday 24 December 2016

The Big Man Is Coming

Tonight is the night, children all over the world are waiting in anticipation for the big man to visit them.
I hope what ever gifts he brings fills them with happiness.
Some-one else is waiting for a visitor.
 I hope there wont be a lump of coal in his stocking.

Postie brought a lovely delivery today, fills me with lots of excitement for next year
 The latest Chiltern Seeds catalogue's, I love Chiltern seeds and there catalogues, as well as all the usual there is a vast array of unusual, already I am starting a list, Okahijiki, Orach, Ajmud, Tortarello and Pipiche are a few of the edibles I am interested in.

Made up a quick bowl of coleslaw today
 A chance to try my new mandolin.

I wish you all Merry Christmas and a peaceful 2017  

Thursday 23rd December 1982
Checked all the sheep, took hay around on the tractor, put back strays with main flock.
Went and got tree, made 48 mince pies, 24 sausage rolls.
John puttied in door frame to try and keep out draught, started sorting out back room for Xmas, John put in two double sockets and coaxial cable for television.
put Xmas tree on a stand, put up Xmas decs.

Friday December 24th 1982
Scrubbed all floors, cleaned up all through.
John did all the chores.
Left here at 10 o'clock met Molly and Douglas in Carmarthen,
had fish and chips, did last minute shopping.
John received letter from Taunton police about driving without due care and attention.
Court January 10th.

Friday 23 December 2016

Last Of The Baking

Today I was doing the last of the baking,
It was the turn of the sausage rolls,
I had a bag of minced pork in the freezer from our own pigs.
And a pack of frozen puff pastry
 The pork was mixed with onion, grated carrot and grated apple, a bit of fresh sage and thyme,
 half of them I sprinkled with poppy seeds.
I had half a bag of minced pork left, already defrosted
so it had to be used.
similar mixture to the sausage rolls but with the addition of some breadcrumbs and mustard I made up a batch of pork meatballs, cooked them up and are now in the freezer ready for a couple of meals. That's me done cooking this week, Martin will be home tonight for a few weeks, he is planning on rustling up a few meals.

Storm Barbara blew through today, one tree over and a window blown in on the shed, a little job for Martin tomorrow.
I hope everyone has managed to brave the storm.

Monday 20th December 1982
John went to see Mr Idris Jones about straw, mucked out cattle barn. Celendine bad front foot.
left here 3 o'clock, met Molly Douglas and Dick at service station, had meal exchanged presents, they took Lawrence home,
On the way home fan belt was slipping, stopped at service station, lucky to find RAC chap, put on new fan belt £20.80, gave him £5 for his trouble, home at 10 o'clock.

Tuesday 21st December
Went to Mr Evans in Pencader, picked up 45 bales straw £1.10 at bale, then looked at Renault Tractors and machinery, 
unloaded straw, poled off cattle in barn, put down straw bedding.

Wednesday 22nd December
Went to Carmarthen xmas shopping, 
on the way home picked up 2 cwt coal.
Looked at prices of calves in mart, quite high, got bang on head with microphone.
Snow everywhere.


Thursday 22 December 2016

Bits Of News

First bit of news, this morning, sun was just up set out to feed everyone breakfast,
First up is the Doves 
At last yippee Mrs Dove has hatched her two eggs
 If you click on the photo it should enlarge, right at the back behind the egg shell is two little newly hatched babies,
very difficult to get a photo, they are so tiny, I am perched on a step ladder and the netting is in the way.
I will get more photos over the next few days.
I have named the two new additions Peace and Goodwill although by the time they are fully grown I will not be able to tell them apart from the adults.
Today I got my Christmas cakes done

I use Nigellas Chocolate Fruit Cake, it can be eaten straight away, no need to decorate if you don't want to, a very moist fruit packed cake.
Bovey Belle called in this morning, lovely to see her, she brought along a lovely gift of her preserves and cookies.
Bad News 
Carmarthenshire has its first confirmed case of Bird Flu,
Not good, this is in my area, Lincolnshire were the first case was is a long way from here, so there must be more not yet discovered in between.
Tomorrow storm Barbara comes ashore I hope everyone stays safe.

Saturday 18th December 1982
Snow fell from 6pm yesterday until 10am today, 11/2 inches fell.
Went to Carmarthen farmers, bought 4 bags 707BOCM, then back into town to do shopping, snow on roads nearly all the way, stopped in at Binnies to buy 3 candles, took land rover with us.
John took hay round to sheep when we got back.
Marzipand cake, made batch of white bread.

Sunday 19th December
June apparently Bulling.
Mother phoned spoke to Lisa Fran and father,
Mr Sivell came and collected ram, 
told John of possible source for straw.


Wednesday 21 December 2016

The Mince Pies Are Done

It must be nearly Christmas as I have done the mince pies.
there is only me that eats them, I always wait until a few days before Christmas to do them.

I did mini pasty shaped this year using the smallest of the pasty cutters in the set I got, a few spilled out, I always overfill.
I had two jars of mincemeat left over that I made last year, I used one jar, so there is one left for next year.
Tomorrow I am doing sausage rolls, and the Nigella chocolate fruit cake I do each year, the fruit is soaking ready for tomorrow.

Monday Martin dispatched one of the cockerels, 
we had it for dinner that evening.
There is still plenty left over, I am going to pop it in the freezer to use up over the holidays.
We have another 3 cockerels to do, they are not going to put any more meat on now, so its time for them to go.
Over the week end I dug out some of the ribs from the freezer
They made a lovely meal, the sauce was one I just made up as I went along.
For those who asked for some of the piquant pepper seeds they have now been sent off, ready for starting off  January/Feb time.
Thursday 16th December 1982
Took all morning to get tractor and trailer out of bottom of field.
Went logging in forestry all afternoon, arrived home too dark to unload, cleaned up kitchen in the evening,
Moll phoned, Mrs Kinchin buried, mother went.
Friday 17th December 1982
Snowed morning and evening, unloaded wood, left several large poles in yard to saw up. Mr Dudley came across to see if his speckled face ram had strayed to us.
Searched all through main flock no luck, but found him and others had got through to sheep from Dorset, got them all into yard.
Marked with red splodge on back of neck all 65 that had been with Ram, then turned them out with main flock.
 One had very bad eye.



Monday 19 December 2016

A Shopping Day

We had to go out for a bit of shopping today,
Animal feeds to see us over the holidays,
Red Mite spray for the chickens.
A new bed for Sol, we had a 20% voucher off animal beds to use.
He tried it out in the shop and as soon as it was in the back of the car he was straight into it, I am sure he loves his new bed, 
I did a bit of Amazon shopping the other day, delivery's arrived today.
 A sack of strong flour for bread making.
 A new mandolin, my other one that is all plastic, I have had about 15 years and it has a crack in it, no longer safe to use, this time I pushed the boat out and went for one in a metal frame.
A mandolin is something I use a lot, perfect for making coleslaw and giving me nice even slices for dehydrating.
 I have had these on my shopping list for a while, looking forward to making some pasties now.
All the family pressies are ready for Martin to take back with him tomorrow and deliver.
He will be back on Friday and home for a few weeks, looking forward to spending some time together.
Tuesday December 14th 1982
Man from agri came to check flock numbers, his count agreed.
Rep called about fertilisers, sorted out and cleaned up all veterinary equipment, Letter from mother and 3 cards, John got super ser working for kitchen. Lit backroom fire.
Celandine badly tore back teat, called vet, did not stitch, inserted antibiotic cream and plastic insert, sprayed with antibiotic spray.
Jasper still scouring, separated her from Celandine.
Rained all day, John phoned dealer about straw, £60 a ton, and Thomas about wood shavings.
Wednesday December 15th 1982
Logging in forestry  in the morning, logging in field in afternoon, tractor and trailer stuck at bottom of field, light fell so have to go and try get it out tomorrow.



Saturday 17 December 2016

Been Adrift

I don't know why but I seem to have gone adrift the past few days, before I knew its Saturday.
Anyway its been a busy few days, making the most of the fine weather.
I got the asparagus bed top dressed with 10 bags of spent mushroom compost 
And made a start cleaning down the cover of poly tunnel number 1
 There was a lot of green algae, inside and out, its been a very dampish year, if the covers are not washed down it just builds up and blocks out much needed light.
I picked the rest of the Guava berries
 They have a lovely citrus taste
I found a recipe for a liqueur I had enough to make a small bottle, it should be ready in about a month.
Mrs Dove has been sitting tight on her eggs
when she left to feed yesterday I managed to get a peek,
two eggs, not a brilliant photo I had to zoom in, I don't want to disturb her, hatching is due NOW, fingers crossed we will have 2 baby doves to spread peace and goodwill in time for Christmas.
There has been some lovely sunrises in the morning
A glorious morning the other day.
Right today's list is looming
Move the pigs there area has turned into a stinky muddy bog.
Clean out the goat house.
Clean out the chicken house.
its going to be a smelly dirty day, 👃😜




Wednesday 14 December 2016

Christmas Has Come Early

Christmas has come early for the Alpacas
They have there new shelter
 As you can see they are making use of it
 Plenty of room for them and a few more, it is 24ft x 12ft.
 As well as Martin's tractor, which is not staying there
 There hay racks have to go up yet, some guttering and the IBC tanks for water, the shelter will have a concrete floor put down, we have put it on the highest area of ground, and next year the field will be divided up into four paddocks, each giving access to the field shelter.
Martin worked for 3 days in the rain putting it up, we are very pleased with it and we are thinking of something similar for the goats. 

Sunday December 12th 1982
John went through chest and trunk in back room and packed away more things.
Cleared out back room once again.
Set up cream separator and separated Celandine's milk.

Monday December 13th 1982
Three phone calls received from ministry of agri Cliff Michael, about signed forms for beef conversion scheme, mislaid found them on the clip board, then phoned again for Mr Coates phone number, John met with Nick forestry commission about calendar month in which to collect wood, £12 to end of January.  
Then went and collected wood, then into Carmarthen shopping.
I miked Celandine in the morning while John dealt with  wood, made some bread.

Tuesday 13 December 2016

December Poly Tunnel

I am so behind getting stuff done, this week will be spent sorting out the poly tunnels, they are looking a bit of a shambles.
 Pak Choi is still doing OK, we have been harvesting it as needed.
 The beetroot needs taking up before its gets woody.
 The onions are all growing now.
 Satsumas are ready for picking
 There is still a few lettuce
 Lemons need harvesting they are starting to drop from the branches now
Chop Suey greens and Chinese cabbage are also welcome additions to stir fry's.

the Yacon is waiting to be harvested along with the Oca, 
so I need to get out there and get things done.

Saturday December 11th 1982.
John sanded down clothes airer, then in the afternoon went and chain sawed some more logs for fire, walked and checked main flock of sheep all well.
Tried to sight fields for ploughing for barley.
Had some Xmas cards come and picture from Chris and Lisa.
Cheryl phoned, John milked out Celandine again night and morning.
phoned mother and Rev Kinchin, received money from Douglas