Sunday, 27 July 2008

Return of the eldest son....or order is restored.

Well, the most important piece of news is that Tom has returned from his exciting adventures in Australia. He had a fantastic time. He went to school, took part in Venture Scouts and passed the practical part of a boat safety certificate, got a job trimming vines, drove the Jackaroo, saw Koalas and Kangaroos, bought a new camera and took lots of photos. He came home, took the photos to Scouts the next day to do a slide show for them and whilst transfering them to one file on his USB, he lost them!!!!!! What is it with us and photos at the moment? Poor boy. It is just the excuse he needs to go back and do it all again though!!! He does of course have his own pictures in his mind and the memories will stay with him forever I am sure. Such an amazing thing for a boy of his age to do.

He has brought back one really great thing. He has always been a good lad and helped around the house but an insight into their way of doing things has been a god send!! He has come back and taken charge properly of the younger ones and is getting them to lay and clear the table, wash and dry up and to do as they are told!!! Fantastic! They have been really bad about helping regularly but in Oz they all had to take turns so he has brought it home. That said, he was only back for 2 days before they all went off to survival camp with Scouts, so back to the regime tomorow!

My ankle is feeling much better than when I last posted but is still very painful and a little swollen, 4 weeks on!!! Is there a light at the end of this dark and dismal tunnel? Thank goodness Tom is back to help keep my chin up. It has been very difficult for me here without him. I really miss the conversations I think the most. It has been a very difficult 2 months here. First my knee and then a really long list of things going wrong and then climaxing with the horse incident. Things must begin to get better now surely.....

So a few good things to post about.....

An afternoon at the Warriner School Farm making a willow yurt and a felt covering for it from real wool from their sheep.

Here they are squidging the wool with their feet. The wool is soaked and then trampled under a sheet!!! David really enjoyed doing this part!!

And here it is!!They had beautiful Anglo Nubian gaots there too....I really do love them and it reminded me about my quest for goats. So further discussions ensued at home. There were also some little teeny weeny piglets just a day old. 17 of them were born in the field to one sow!! 3 died straight away and these 3 were considered too small and weak to survive in the field yet. So cute!!

The weather having been so beautiful the last few days, I have been filling up the old sand pit with water for Will to play in. He has been loving it!!! We also found some face paints that they had some fun with...especially Will!!

In the background you can see the pumpkin plants growing like Bongleweed (anyone else out there read that book as a child?By Helen Cresswell I think)along the veggie patch, about to overshadow my third sowing of carrots!! I'm so pleased with my vegetable patch this year. Carrots are doing well, beetroot looking good too. The tomatoes are flowering and the beans are forming!!!! Yipee!!

There are lots of things going on in the garden at the moment, but no pictures as yet. It looks a bit like a building site. Or a war zone. Or both!

Workshop under construction. Chickens moved temporarily. New fence for veg patch (can just see it in the pic above!). Gate on th eside where my tomatoes and beans are. And,......

the front garden is about to become a home for this!!!

The new Survival Family vehicle!!! It needs a little work for it to go through an MOT (but then so will our disco!) but it is great!!! 12 seats! Sunroof! The windscreen folds down!!! and a roof rack too! So cool! A great project for Tom and Rob. Can't wait until it is up and running!! Thats a while away yet though as they are going to do it all themselves.

We went to see some ferrets today too, after we picked up the boys from camp. They had a great time and no rain!! They ate rabbit and fish and cooked over fires with no utensils. Jonathan is actually saying that he will join scouts too. Wow. The ferret lady was lovely and has 3 that she is looking to rehome. She has a gill that is pregnant and due in a couple of weeks but Jonathan fell in love with the 3 adults so it looks as though we may go and fetch them sometime this week. Could they be taken to Wales? Or maybe nextdoor will look after them for us. Hmm. We'll see. Maybe we should wait until we get back. More thought needed.

So need to rehome the Guinea Pigs really and possibly the quail too. Any takers?!

Oh and Kim came to collect the chicks this week too. The Cream Legbars and the Old English Pheasant Fowl. This was taken just before they went! We'll miss them but we have so many here and with going to Wales in September we need to get someone to look after them all!!

Thats the OEPF and Ican't find one of the beautiful legbars :-(
Oh yes, here they are!!!!
So that about wraps it up I think. The 2 middle boys went on holiday with my parents for 10 days to Dorset and so there hasn't been a great deal happening really!!! Hehe!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

My left foot.

Here it is.... Yuk. Pretty grotesque, huh? This was taken at 3pm yesterday about 24hrs after the fall. Well, I say fall, but really it was more like a jump as I bailed out before i fell. I was exercising Bob, as Jonathan is away on holiday, and we had been out for about an hour and a half. It was hot and the flies were awful, not to mention the fact that we went out alone and went on a new route....oh deary me. All it took was a pigeon to fly out of the hedge while we were trotting on the grass verge, Bob took a side step, stumbled, I lost one stirrup and then he bolted!! We were only aboutt 5 minutes from the field so I guessed he wouldn't stop until he got there, so I figured I would be better to jump off at canter than fall at gallop on a bend with a car there. So off i jumped. Landed on my left foot, heard the crack noise and then fell backwards and hit my head on the road. Bob went off like a rocket without me on top to slow him down and i managed to get up on my feet and hobble back towards the field, turning my foot over again on the uneven road surface on the way. OUCH!!

So, cup of tea and bucket of cold water later, it had swollen up an was excruciatingly painful so I got a lift home (and a carry into the house!!!) and then off to A & E we went. I couldn't put any weight on it so I was doing an embarrassing kind of hop into the hospital, but was not once offered a wheelchair or crutches to assist me. They sat me in a chair with my leg hanging and no ice and then made me hobble my way to x ray. The tears were rolling by then and a nurse had the sense to lift up the foot and put some ice on it. 'Its ok, only a sprain' says the doctor whilst walking past and 'just a tubi grip and off you go!'. Gee thanks. It took half an hour to get that, and I had to ask!!! No painkillers and i had to beg for the crutches.

Then yesterday it started to go blue and purple, and over the top of my foot too. It probably didn't help that i had to keep on my feet and looking after William. Up and down the stairs and out down the garden. But today I have managed to get the day in bed. Possibly a little late but I'm not entirely sure of the diagnosis.....think the noise i heard on impact was a tearing ligament and the swelling over my foot indicates a fracture possibly. Ugh. I will leave it for a few days to give it a chance to improve before i make a fuss.

This is the last straw in a line of disasters.

First the laptop a couple of weeks ago. Then the goats last weekend. I won't go into detail, but it seems that we have some things growing in and around our garden that makes it unsuitable for goat keeping. I am totally gutted and still raw from the experience, so it has made me more determined to find a field to rent somewhere or something. During last week I candled the eggs in the incubator and as only one was fertile I had to make the decision to turn it off, as I can't justify the cost for just one possible chick which could then turn out to be a cockerel anyway. Then on Sunday morning our little duck squeezed through the fence into next doors garden, and their dog got hold of it and killed it.

So all in all it has been a very streesful few weeks. My thanks to Joe, Hannah and Sam for being there when I needed them and my apologies to those that I have failed to do my best by. My brain hasn't really been very with it.

On a positive note though, I went to an open afternoon at our village nursery and was pleasantly surprised. I don't really like pre school etc any more than i like school, in fact probably more so , but in my quest to find some time for David on a One to One basis, it could be a short term solution. William seemed to like it and once he found his feet he payed with the other children and didn't worry about where I was. It is a very small nursery, only 12 children I think and he has a place for 3 afternoons when it is vey low key and relaxing/laid back. Well, we will try it and see. William has been enjoying going to play at Sam's house and the last few times he has been, we have had no tears at all!!! So maybe he is more like Tom after all.

At this point I will add a couple of pictures that I took before the run of bad luck when i was still feeling enthusiastic about things. Who else would take photos like these?!!!

And what is that one all about? Me thinks my camera is on its way out....just to add to the list of woes!!!!

So today is a River Cottage day and maybe a little bit of the Good Life in order to restore my enthusiasm and dreams for the future. Maybe even a browse through some of my back issues of Country Smallholding and Permaculture.

Time to go now, the Ibuprofen are calling me!